SXSW Aftermath Continues

SXSW responds as City of Austin launches official festival evaluation

SXSW responds after City of Austin launches official evaluation

SXSW crash Red River tragedy March 2014
The City of Austin will launch a full evaluation into SXSW. PhotoWizHTX/Twitter

Earlier this week, Austin City Council Member and mayoral candidate Mike Martinez announced he would bring forth a resolution asking for an official evaluation of SXSW. On Thursday, March 27, the City Council voted 7-0 to approve the resolution, paving the way for City Manager Marc Ott to helm a 90-day analysis of everything from crowd control to event sprawl.

Martinez defended his decision saying, "I think it’s time we take a comprehensive look at how SXSW weaves into the fabric of the city every year, and consider whether there are steps we could and should take as a city to help ensure the festival’s sustainable success — not just for organizers and attendees, but for everyone in the community who’s impacted."

During the evaluation, the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission will look into alcohol-related issues, the City will hold public forums for neighborhoods most affected by SXSW, and the Urban Transportation Commission will oversee traffic management related to the event.

After a particularly chaotic SXSW, one that received international criticism, it appears Martinez's fellow council members agree, passing the resolution unanimously.

SXSW was quick to respond to the news, sending a statement via email saying,

We fully support this 360-degree examination of the ways in which the City of Austin, SXSW and all involved parties can better improve the event. It's a terrific initiative, and we're eager to incorporate the results to produce the best possible event for all SXSW attendees — global and local alike. We look forward to the discussion and ongoing collaboration.

The resolution passed just moments before it was announced that a fourth victim died from injuries sustained after Rashad Owens allegedly plowed a car into a crowd of revelers on Red River Street during the festival. De'Andre Tatum was pronounced dead on March 27 University Medical Center Brackenridge, where he had been in a medically induced coma since the accident. Tatum was just 18 years old.