At Auditorium Shores on Saturday afternoon, the second verse was the same as the first — and the third, fourth, fifth and on. Eager people heading to the park for the last free SXSW concert of the festival walked up to the gates with a smile and walked away tentatively, unsure what to do next after being told the event was canceled because of standing water.
“We just got here, and as we were walking up we found out it was canceled,” said Mayra Lopez, who drove in from San Antonio with Maria Lara just for the concert. The two had hoped to see the evening’s headliner, Norteño group Intocable.
Workers at the gate turning away festgoers recommended watching social media for updates on a possible relocation of venue for the concert. They mentioned the official Twitter accounts for SXSW and Intocable as good bets for updated information within the coming hours. Shortly after 6 p.m, the festival tweeted that Intocable and another act on the bill, Compass, would not be rescheduled or relocated.
Ryan Smith, of Austin, said he had barely gotten to the gate when he heard the news. The bands at the fest have been getting better, he said, and this was his first foray into the fray all week. Smith hoped to see Bomba Estéreo and DJ Toy Selectah.
“This is the last day we were interested,” Smith said. On the possibility of finding other free music alternatives downtown or catching the relocated SXSW free show, he said “I don’t really have my hopes up.”
On the corner of the South First Street and Riverside Drive, Fil Kovisars, community marketing manager for Stonyfield Organic, passed out promotional bandanas and free cups of yogurt to those coming and going, having hoped to catch the rush of people coming to the concert. Kovisars said the yogurt brand has had a booth at Auditorium Shores the past couple nights where attendees could get yogurt samples and spray paint free canvas bags, but that he had not heard any information about relocation from festival organizers.
The BoDeans, also on the bill for Saturday, will now play Maggie Mae’s Gibson Ballroom at 12:30 a.m., according to SXSW’s Twitter.
4:48 p.m.: SXSW has announced that Saturday’s free show at Auditorium Shores has been canceled because of standing water in the newly renovated and reopened park. Here is the full statesman from SXSW Music:
The South By Southwest Festival (SXSW) free concert on Auditorium Shores has been canceled for Saturday, March 21.
Due to standing water on the parks grounds, the show has been cancelled in order to preserve the parkland. The decision to cancel the Auditorium Shores show, a free event open to the public, is a joint decision between the City of Austin and SXSW producers.
SXSW is working to move the concerts; Check @SXSW or sxsw.com for more information.
Earlier: From SXSW Music:
SXSW and PARD have been assessing the conditions of Auditorium Shores and closely monitoring the weather. We are currently planning to delay gates until 4:00 p.m. based on current weather trends. Our opening acts – Hunter Sharpe and The Eastern Sea – are cancelled due to weather. The grounds were not damaged during last night’s events – they are still in good shape and it is priority to keep them that way.
Here is the line-up:
4:40PM – BoDeans
6:00PM – Mexican Institute of Sound + Toy Selectah
7:00PM – Bomba Estéreo
8:00PM – Intocable