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South By South Best

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Quick note that the “shelter in place” order in Austin has severely cramped our distribution of what’s left of nearly $15K in funds for this. We are actively working with GoFundMe to convert our fund into practical funds we can continue distributions while heeding Austin/Travis County regulations on travel.

Rest assured we will be resolving these challenges and resuming our donations shortly. To date, nearly $8000 has been distributed (full accounting shortly), and we have a gameplan for the remaining ~$7000. STAY TUNED and thanks for your support and patience.

Please, stay safe

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This GFM was started Thursday, March 6 to drop significant tips to service workers, hospitality staff, and entertainment workers laid idle from the cancellation of SXSW in our hometown of Austin. That cancellation alone—estimated at a $325 million US shock to our local economy—hit those workers dramatically and suddenly. This fund is for them. 

We raised and distributed over $7200 immediately across Austin (3/7 - 3/9), which included a $2500 donation to Black Fret, an organization that helps the ATX entertainment community with economic shocks.

In days since, the scale of the COVID-19 fallout has intensified for these same workers. And interest in this fund has stayed steady, so we are keeping it open. We’re grateful for GoFundMe’s own donation of $250 to this fund. 


Our mission remains the same: to distribute meaningful funds (in tips, etc.) DIRECTLY into the hands of SXSW’s backbone: the people mentioned above. We remain focused on doing that while adhering to CDC guidelines. We will be posting updates (below) on our progress (follow hashtage #southbysouthbest). We take your trust in us as a deep responsibility and we are working hard to stay true to our mission and to you. 

Thank you to everyone the love and support for our ATX community. Y’all are amazing. 


We’re a 200+ person agency in Austin. Long timers, we’re real people who were concerned about the intensely local and personal fallout from SXSW 2020 being canceled. We’re a group of social media marketers using these platforms to activate an effort to help Austin’s service workers directly.


Nope. Real people. Doubting it? Check us out at There’s even a phone number there to call us and verify we’re legit. We live here in ATX and care about the people who make it our home. We’re not doing this for publicity, but to help our city.

Here’s a bit of context, from KVUE’s feature on this fund, from 3/7:


  • Love To Austin
    • $577 
    • 4 yrs

Organizer and beneficiary

T3 Thinktank
Austin, TX
Mary Arnold

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