The SXSW That Almost Was: Part 2

Grateful to be back home.


On Wednesday night, as I packed my bag for a SX-less Austin, Texas, I was sad, but hopeful.


SXSW may have been cancelled, but I had an idea. I wanted to document the experiences of those impacted - the artists, the entrepreneurs, the bartenders, the restaurateurs, the small business owners, the venues, the cab drivers, the lighting technicians... the list goes on and on and on.

I wanted to tell the story of how a community banded together to support each other, and how they created something from the remnants of the cancelled festival. How quickly things can change.

Austin is an interesting case study because of the large economic impact of a single event (SXSW - one of the first to be cancelled in this climate, might I add), and abundance of independent establishments. However, as more and more cities are entering lockdown, these are problems circulating worldwide.

I was originally scheduled to fly home March 23rd. I had more interviews lined up, more b-roll to capture, and much more barbeque to eat. But, when your prime minister looks the camera in the eye, and tells you to come home "while you still can", you get your butt home.

Grateful to be back home.

Grateful to be Canadian.

And now, it's time to self-quarantine for 14 days... a responsibility I will accept graciously - after all, I have a documentary to edit.

Stay safe, friends ❤️


📸: David Brendan Hall, Photographer & Journalist. We bumped into each other outside the Austin Convention Centre on what was supposed to be Day 1 of SXSW, and grabbed a pint. Even amongst sadness, there can be a silver lining.