More than a year after the pandemic shut down dozens of Austin famous events like SXSW, ACL and countless live music events, a renewed wave of cancelations are sweeping through the city faster than you can say "Delta variant."
The COVID-19 situation in the Austin-Travis County area is looking grim with the emergence of the Delta variant—the seven-day moving average for new cases is 385 and ICUs are in dire straits with only seven available beds for the entire 2.3 million person metro as of yesterday.
More than five local events have already hit the chopping block, here's what they were.
Glow Paddle ATX
Glow Paddle ATX, a night paddle boarding event on Lady Bird Lake benefiting the Flatwater Foundation, has been canceled by organizers, citing concerns over health and safety. The event was originally scheduled for Aug. 20.
Widespread Panic at ACL Live
IMPORTANT UPDATE: This weekend’s @WidespreadPanic shows are being rescheduled to Friday, October 8 - Sunday, October 10, 2021. See below for details or visit https://t.co/MXx73bmFiU. pic.twitter.com/s6aWLh2Who— ACL Live (@acllive) August 13, 2021
Just hours before Widespread Panic was supposed to take the ACL Live stage on Friday, all the band's shows for the weekend were postponed due to singer John Bell testing positive for COVID-19. However, the shows have already been rescheduled to the weekend of Oct. 8.
Multiple shows at 3TEN ACL Live
CANCELLATION UPDATE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, @aLiveOneMusic tonight, 8/13/21 and @thelectricjoint tomorrow, 8/14/21 at @3TENaustin have both been cancelled. Tickets will be automatically refunded through point of purchase. pic.twitter.com/KV2QfVpIwm— 3TEN ACL Live (@3TENaustin) August 13, 2021
This weekend's performances at 3TEN ACL Live are taking a backseat. The performance by A Live One and Kalu & The Electric Joint have not announced any future plans to perform at 3TEN as tickets are being refunded.
And another week down the line, Austin's resident "Empress of Soul" is rescheduling her performance, which was scheduled for Aug. 21, with a new date to be announced. Jones didn't hold back on the sass when she mentioned the closure, flashing a cheeky message directed at Gov. Greg Abbott on Instagram.
Austin Pride Parade
Organizers of the 4th Street parade, which had been scheduled for Saturday, said the decision to postpone the celebration was made with an "unimaginably heavy heart." Pride was also canceled in 2020, making this the second year residents will have to do without. Pride usually brings thousands together in Downtown Austin and organizers asked locals to mask up in the interim.
The long-awaited opening festivities for Waterloo Park, located along East 15th, Red River, East 12th and Trinity Streets, were postponed on Thursday after being announced in May. Though the park will still open to the public today at 10 a.m., festivities scheduled for both September and opening day are now up in the air.
After opening its doors in July for the first time since the pandemic began, Hideout Theatre closed yet again when Austin reentered Stage 5 after just a few shows. The improv comedy theater and cafe said it will reopen as soon as it can.
Blues on the Green
After a momentous return to Zilker Park for a nostalgic two shows before they were called off in response to COVID cases surging. The free shows will be rescheduled but the date is still indeterminate as organizers asked Austinites to get vaccinated in the meantime, "so we can again enjoy free live music in Zilker Park."
It looks like this could be just the beginning for a slew of cancellations to come.
East Austin restaurant la Barbecue has been robbed a third time in less than three months, according to a post on the restaurant's Instagram.
In the post, the restaurant included photos of what appeared to be a man exiting a minivan from surveillance footage.
"This guy pulled up in a car full of stuff… he ripped our gate open and stole a couple empty kegs," the post said. "The ring system scared him off so he did not venture back into the area. PLEASE EVERYONE ON THE EAST SIDE BE CAREFUL!!! This guy goes back into his car to grab something before he goes in. I am hoping he won’t be back!!"
The robbery comes as many restaurant and food truck owners have been on guard from recent break-ins. East Austin cheesesteak truck R&B's Steak and Fries has also been robbed three times in around three months, according to owner Kris Elliott. Elliot said the truck was last robbed around a month and a half ago.
"When the weather gets cold, it seems like these things start to happen more often," Elliott said. "We're just happy no one got hurt."
Additionally, he said all 5 of the food trucks in their lot have experienced burglaries. The landlord of the space is taking action by investing in alarm and camera systems. "Been very tough dealing with this problem as us small business owners are just trying to survive during the pandemic," Elliott said.
And it's not just in East Austin. North Austin restaurants Eldorado Cafe and Chez Zee Bistro were both broken into and robbed on the weekend of Jan. 8, while over a dozen food truck robberies and break-ins were reported in the latter half of 2021.
Some, like Chez Zee's Deborah Velasco, wonder if the understaffed Austin Police Department's decision to no longer respond to non-emergency calls is part of the problem. Xose Velasco, owner of East Austin's Discada, said owners are keeping their guard up in the wake of the robberies as he was robbed twice within a month of reopening in November 2021.
"We try to keep the lights on," Velasco said. "We're a little bit more careful."
After 12 months, the long-anticipated massive Tesla factory in Southeast Travis County is up and operating and everyone wants a look inside.
Phase 1 of Giga Texas appears to be tied up as production of the Model Y Tesla is underway, the electric car company revealed on Wednesday in its fourth-quarter earnings call. The factory, located on the former Harold Green-turned Tesla Road, sits on more than 2,000 acres of land in southeast Travis County.
Here's a glimpse inside the factory.
Model Ys will be the first Teslas to come out of Giga Texas with an estimated delivery of August. The wait estimate comes after Tesla noted supply chain issues have affected their factories, which have been running below capacity for several quarters. A deep blue metallic like this goes for $1,000 more than a white or silver Model Y, totaling $61,990.
Model Ys began being produced at Giga Texas at the end of 2020. In general assembly at the factory, the Teslas get their major interior components to finish the vehicle.
Workers at Austin's Gigafactory are attaching seats to a structural battery pack. It's been described by some as the biggest difference between Texas-made Model Y's and the current version at the Fremont, California factory. It shouldn't have a major impact on the owner's experience, but Tesla has updated instructions for the jacking procedure, as the lift points are different.
With a sleek, open office setup, workers can take in a view of the factory from their seats. It's a component CEO Elon Musk wanted for what is now the headquarters of Tesla.
On the Austin, Texas public location Snapchat, a photo of inside Giga Texas has appeared. On the left you can see a sneak peek of a Model Y body.pic.twitter.com/N7zliZ5vkL— Sawyer Merritt (@Sawyer Merritt) 1643081462
With Snapchat's maps, anyone can look at everyday activity happening at the factory. To view these geographically-linked stories, click the bottom left "map" icon and search "Tesla Giga Texas." Once you've found it, you can view the Snapchat story of those in and around the facility. While most stories stay up for only 24 hours, Giga Texas is a designated place on Snapchat, allowing users to view a collection of photos and videos from the inside.
Following Model Ys, Texas-made Teslas will include the Cybertruck, Semi and Model 3. But it might be a while before those other models arrive. EV makers have been hit hard by the chip shortage, and it's thought that changing features are contributing to Cybertruck delays as Tesla works to compete in the electric pickup market.
Joe Rogan paid a visit to buddy Elon Musk this week. The two have been seen around town since both moving to Texas. Naturally, Rogan was impressed with the prototype.
If you're dying to get a closer look at this factory, you just might get to. In December, Musk said the factory would have tours available to the community early this year.
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