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Texas live music champion knocked out due to economic impact of COVID-19

Texas live music champ knocked out due to economic impact of COVID

Graham Williams Margin Walker Presents Mohawk
Graham Williams, owner of Margin Walker Presents, is a longtime Austin music vet. Photo by Chad Wadsworth

One of the biggest champions of live music in Texas has been knocked out. Margin Walker Presents, the largest independent promotion company in Texas, has announced it is closing at the end of this week due to the economic impact of COVID-19. 

"For most of us in 'the biz,' March marked the beginning of the close of live entertainment, which continues now, and will continue for a long time to come," the Austin-based company said in a statement. "The uncertainty and lack of resources have hammered down on those working in this world from venues to artists to festivals, promoters, and beyond.

"Even with strategic changes in the business, painful staff cuts, and taking loans and grants, sadly, we at Margin Walker Presents have not been immune, and it breaks our hearts to announce that this wild ride has come to an end, and we are closing the business, as of this week."

Margin Walker Presents launched in 2016, and is owned by Graham Williams, a longtime veteran of the Austin music scene. Williams began his career as an Emo's bouncer before eventually cofounding the iconic Fun Fun Fun Festival in 2006 as part of Transmission Events. After Transmission was purchased in 2016 by Stratus Properties, Williams left to begin Margin Walker Presents, bringing a lot of his staff along, too.

Over the past four years, the company expanded to Houston, Dallas, San Antonio. During its relatively brief tenure, the team produced more than 3,500 shows across the state and launched a music festival, Sound on Sound.

Those who have purchased tickets to an upcoming Margin Walker Presents show through the company may contact Eventbrite for a refund. For those who purchased directly from the venue, a list that includes Dada and Ruins in Dallas, contact the venue directly. 

As for the Margin Walker team, they're down — but don't count them out. 

"Stay happy, healthy, and keep your heads held high. At the end of the day, this is one small piece of the puzzle of this music community," said the company. "We’ll see you on the dance floor again soon."