Maaaan, this hasn’t been a good week at all. We might have to get our war on, some plane peaced out in the middle of the sea (which sea we don’t even know), and some washout ruined Banksy’s okay name. Most importantly, though, Austin’s South by Southwest Festival suffered an unfortunate tragedy: A suspected drunk driver, attempting to flee police following a sobriety checkpoint, rammed through the barricades near the Mohawk club and drove through attendees, injuring 23 and killing two. The driver is currently in custody and is facing capital murder and aggravated assault charges.
No doubt that everyone, everyone who is involved in the business is shocked, saddened, and worried about all this. While questions remain to be answered, SXSW is doing what it can to mitigate the effects of the tragedy. The festival has opened an Emotional Support Center at the Austin Convention Center that will run through the remainder of the festival, and both the Mohawk and next-door club Cheer Up Charlie’s will be open for business for the duration of the festival as well.
So yeah, things are pretty somber at the moment. But what can you, reader who skipped out on the festival but are reading every site to find out what’s been happening, do to help? Well, SXSW is partnering with the City of Austin and the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau to run a charity for those who wish to help the victims. Called SXSW Cares, the charity, operated by the local Austin Community Foundation, will distribute funds to victims through a community-based system. Any remaining money will be placed in a trust in the event of a future tragedy similar to this one. Donate at the link above, and send some empathy to Austin, will ya?
[Note: E. Nagurney’s roommate was one of the injured. TMT is keeping her and the other victims in our thoughts.]
• SXSW Cares: http://www.sxswcares.com