You’ll have to stay home with the Armadillo. After more than four decades as a holiday shopping tradition in Austin, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar has announced there will be no in-person event this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
An online shopping site has been launched for those who still want to buy gifts from some of the Bazaar’s long-standing merchants. The Armadillo Art Concierge, at artconcierge.armadillobazaar.com, is a searchable site “allowing customers to browse and shop from the award-winning Armadillo Bazaar artists using curated searches or personal shopper concierge services,” according to a press release.
“Although we cannot safely have an event this season, we hope to still shine a light on all the incredible artists who, like so many other small businesses, lost their income when art shows across the country were cancelled due to the pandemic,” Bazaar producer Anne Johnson noted. “While we’ll miss the festive tradition of dancing in the aisles to live music while shopping and discovering art, the Armadillo Art Concierge opens the door to reach people across the nation.”
The loss of live-music bookings at the Bazaar, which usually takes place in December at Palmer Events Center, is another blow to the Austin music community. Like ACL Radio’s weekly “Unplugged at the Grove” series at the now-shuttered Shady Grove, the Bazaar shows provided well-paying gigs to dozens of accomplished local acts.
The Bazaar’s history, and name, date back to Armadillo World Headquarters, the legendary 1970s venue that helped put Austin on the map as a music mecca. The Bazaar began there in the mid-1970s and continued in other locations after the AWH closed in 1980. It has been held at the Palmer Events Center for about a decade.
READ MORE: A history of the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar