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COVID-19: How To Help and Get Help

Updated: Monday, April 6

On Friday, March 6, Austin City officials announced the cancellation of SXSW due to public health concerns around the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The health and welfare of our community take precedence above all, and AMF urges everyone to stay informed and follow the recommended guidelines for preventative safety. All AMF in-person events and workshops during March 2020 have been canceled. Please read below for updates and more info.

Austin music needs us all, now more than ever. 

AMF is here to provide support and relief in any way we can, and we are also here to serve as an anchor of stability amid heightened instability.

The true impact of the SXSW cancellation on Austin’s economy is impossible to predict, but we are seeing its ripple effect reverberate through the local music industry and community. Individuals who own and operate small local businesses and venues, work in the industry, and rely on a much-needed revenue boost from gigs and other income-earning opportunities to support their livelihoods are hurting.

As we work to understand and respond to the needs of those hit hardest, our music family is coming together. Here are some of the ways in which you can find assistance and support local music in the coming weeks:

Please note: this is not a comprehensive list of resources, nor is it a guide for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Again, AMF urges everyone to stay informed and follow the recommended guidelines for preventative safety. We will continue sharing music-related information through AMF’s social media channels as we learn more, so please check-in for updates. 


Texas Music Office

The Texas Music Office is keeping its website updated with a growing list of resources including small business loans, grants, and unemployment assistance for music industry professionals affected by COVID-19 and the resulting layoffs. See the full list and submit applications here.

City of Austin

The City of Austin has compiled this list of resources to help people in the service, events, music and other industries who are likely to be impacted most by the recent restrictions. Available resources include deferred payment plans and customer assistance programs for all utility services, subsidized childcare, rent payment assistance, foreclosure avoidance, addressing immediate housing needs and homeless resources, food assistance, and small business coaching, planning and loan programs. Get more information here.

Austin Federation of Musicians

A short, useful list of resources for professional musicians in Austin during the COVID-19 Pandemic Response curated by The Executive Board of AFM Local 433.

Central Texas Food Bank

The Central Texas Food Bank is actively monitoring developments related to COVID-19, and plans to keep its pantries open for community members in need of food assistance, including groceries and hot meals. Find a pantry near you.

Community Fundraisers (via KUTX)

  • Banding Together: Some 70 local organizations and businesses started a GoFundMe with the goal of raising $100,000 to help affected artists, venues, and events in the Red River Cultural District. They’re also trying to relocate events that no longer have venues and put on replacement shows.
  • Stand With Austin: Austin Community Foundation is accepting donations for individuals and small businesses impacted by the cancellation. Both SXSW and Austin Mayor Steve Adler have encouraged people to donate to the fund.
  • T3 Thinktank: The Austin-based advertising agency organized a GoFundMe to raise money for local venues, restaurants, bars, and hotels. T3 says it plans to give out the money as “surprise tips” to servers, bartenders, housekeepers, rideshare drivers and others affected by the cancellation.
  • Southern Smoke Foundation: The organization made a fund called “Relief for Austin” to support people in the food and drink industry who are being affected. Businesses or individuals can apply for funds here.
  • I Lost My Gig: Another group asked creatives, service industry workers and others to submit how much income they’re losing. People can donate to these individuals, which are listed on the website, via apps like Venmo and PayPal.

Freelance Artist Resources

This list is specifically designed to serve freelance artists, and those interested in supporting the independent artist community. This includes, but is not limited to, actors, designers, producers, technicians, stage managers, musicians, composers, choreographers, visual artists, filmmakers, craft artists, teaching artists, dancers, writers & playwrights, photographers, etc. See all resources here.

Good Apple Foods

Good Apple Foods delivers organic, locally grown produce to folks all around Austin. Their subscription service starts at $30, and they have started an emergency grocery delivery service for people at-risk of severe COVID-19 infection in partnership with the Hope Food Pantry and the Austin Transportation Department. For every subscription box ordered, Good Apple will send one to a neighbor in need. Request food assistance here.

HAAM – Health Alliance for Austin Musicians

As always, HAAM is here to help musicians navigate the healthcare system and beyond. For up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 symptoms, testing and prevention directives please visit their website here. You will also find an extensive list of resources available if you are in need of food assistance, family & child care, financial support and more.

Medical Access Program

The Medical Access Program is a health coverage program available to Travis County residents who have lost their jobs and their health insurance.  Learn more and download an application here: 19.

If you have questions about MAP, please contact Central Health directly at 512-478-8130. 

Nationwide Industry Support

Billboard has published an extensive resource guide for music professionals who need help during the coronavirus crisis, including nationally recognized programs and state-by-state support groups. Read the full list here.

SIMS Foundation

The SIMS Foundation has mental health and substance abuse resources as they relate to COVID-19, and their homepage is updated with links to available financial relief organizations. If you or someone you know in the Central Texas music community is in crisis or simply having a difficult time with recent events, please give SIMS a call at 512-494-1007.

Temporary Employment

If you have lost your job due to coronavirus related layoffs and cancellations, this article from KVUE details how you can apply to receive help and benefits. Several local and regional businesses in Austin and surrounding cities are looking for additional staff to meet the needs of their businesses.

HEB is looking for short-term employees to fill a variety of roles crucial to keeping their stores stocked and running smoothly.

Amazon is raising its hourly rates by $2 and hiring 100,000 new employees to keep up with the demand for their services at this time.

Germania Insurance Amphitheater is seeking part-time event coordinators to assist in the planning and execution of artist VIP and hospitality programs, tour and venue activations, and other seasonal events for the Germania Insurance Amphitheater and Austin Bold Stadium. Event Coordinators may also work other concerts, festivals, and races that take place at the Circuit of the Americas. Some experience required.

Workforce Solutions Capital Area is maintaining resources for immediate hiring support offered to businesses and workers. There is also a Job Seekers page for immediate openings to linked job postings.


If you are aware of additional resources, please let us know:

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