The greater Austin community rallied together quickly after the tragic Red River accident that took place during SXSW 2014. The SXSWCares Fund was created on March 13 (just hours after the incident), to raise funds for those affected by the tragedy. Now, less than a month after its inception, SXSWCares is launching a multi-day, mega-event to further the cause.
Organized by Transmission Events, the Red River Cultural District, Austin Music People and SXSW, the SXSWCares Big Benefit will take place April 12 - 20. The nine-day initiative will feature day and evening events and an online auction to continue fundraising efforts (approximately $180,000 has already been raised).
Participants — more than 20 venues and 30 area businesses so far — will host events (or promotions) in an effort to raise additional funds that will be directed to SXSWCares at the Austin Community Foundation. Austin Music People Executive Director Jennifer Houlihan reiterated to CultureMap that this is not a festival — no street closures, no wristbands, no free drinks. Instead, individual events will take place under the larger umbrella of the Big Benefit name.
Venues include ACL Live, Cheer Up Charlie's, Mohawk, Holy Mountain, Red 7, Stubbs, The White Horse and more.
With a multi-day event at controlled locations, organizers hope to maximize fundraising efforts by offering businesses and individuals multiple chances to participate. It's also the hope that by participating in the recovery efforts, the community will gain closure. Interested businesses can join in on the community-wide fundraising effort by contacting Austin Music People.