A fund set up to benefit the victims and their families of this week’s fatal car crash at the South by Southwest music festival raised $20,000 in donations less than 24 hours after it was established, organizers said.
After the early morning incident on Thursday in Austin, Texas, clubs the Mohawk and Cheer Up Charlie’s announced it had teamed with the city and festival organizers to create the SXSW Cares Fund.
Apparel company Vans also pledged proceeds from Thursday’s sales from its Vans Village pop-up store, which was located near the clubs. The Southern California-based shoemaker said online sales for its Band Re-issues shoe line will also be donated.
Many people were in line to get into the Mohawk to catch a set from Odd Future frontman Tyler the Creator shortly after 12:30 a.m. when a suspected drunk driver being pursued by police broke through a barricade and slammed into the crowd. Two were killed and 23 were injured.
The Mohawk canceled its Vans-sponsored slate of Thursday afternoon shows but opened its doors for an evening showcase featuring ASAP Mob.
The SXSW Cares Fund will be disbursed to those most affected through a community-based process to be created by representatives of SXSW, the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau and the city of Austin with the Austin Community Foundation, organizers said.
“This is our No. 1 priority -- their care and support,” Mohawk owner James Moody said in a statement. “We are a community here that exists far beyond the 10 days of SXSW. Our intent is to come together to help the families of each and every one of the victims.”
“Vans grieves alongside everyone in the city of Austin at South by Southwest for the innocent lives taken last night on Red River St. We are deeply saddened by this senseless tragedy,” the statement also said.