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Tulsa Regional Chamber Out Thousands After SXSW Cancelled Due To Coronavirus

Posted at 9:29 PM, Mar 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-09 15:39:03-04

TULSA, Okla. — Representatives of the tourism department of the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce say they’re out thousands of dollars after concerns over the coronavirus caused the City of Austin, Texas to cancel their South by Southwest festival.

Related Story: South by Southwest (SXSW) Canceled Due to Coronavirus Concerns

About eleven curated bands from Tulsa have been participating in this music festival for the past five years. It's a tool the city uses to showcase entertainment available here.

Since the event is used to encourage people to travel to Tulsa, the Regional Chamber pays the entrance, venue, food, hotel, and travel fees for the 75 artists who participate.

Now, the tourism department says they're out the money they had already paid for the event.

"We'll work through how we get some of that money back and what kind of reimbursements we get," Ray Hoyt, the president of the Tulsa Regional Tourism, said. "It's well over $100,000 of investment through our partners and ourselves."

While the chamber works to get possible refunds, they do say they are working on an opportunity for the bands to play here in the upcoming weeks.

However, they say they are closely watching health advisories to determine when would be the best time.

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