Houston-area teen band reacts to SXSW cancellation

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston teenage band was impacted by the cancellation of the world-renowned South by Southwest festival.

It was scheduled to begin Friday, March 13.

The City of Austin declared a local disaster, preventing the festival from taking place. This means a loss of about hundreds of millions of dollars for the Austin economy, but it also represents the end of a huge opportunity for young musicians from the Houston-area who were going to perform.

Last week, Fourth Strike Band, was told its gig was canceled.

The teens and three others were set to play next Friday at the School of Rock Showcase at SXSW. It would have been their second year, and they were looking forward to it.

"We were all like 'wow, we get to play in Austin. It's a great opportunity to meet other bands and interact,'" said one of the band members.

Last Friday, all of the March events for the festival were cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.

"I've gone ahead with declaring a local disaster in the city and associated with that issued an order that effectively cancels South by Southwest," said City of Austin Mayor Steve Adler.

Most Houston-area school districts are asking staff, students and families who traveled to or through mainland China, South Korea, Italy and Iran to report it to their schools and stay home. These countries are listed as level three on the CDC's travel health notice list. ...

"We are encouraging our parents and students who travel to self report to self-quarantine for the 14-day period," said Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan.

The Austin area will be losing roughly $350 million in revenue due to the cancellation.

Despite the cancellation, Fourth Strike is understanding.

"I think it was a good call," said another band member. "I don't think there was too much to worry about, but it was good they're being careful."

This is the first time in 34 years that the show won't go on.

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