Originally published in the San Antonio Report
In what may be the largest outdoor event held in the city’s downtown since the pandemic began, more than a thousand techies and urban professionals are gathering at a park later this month.
Tech Bloc, a local tech sector advocacy organization, will host the “Reboot Rally” from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 20, at Legacy Park across from the new Frost Tower. The event is being billed as a reignition of pre-pandemic life – for those who are ready for it.
“We want to bring the tech community back online and celebrate with an energetic boost, a jump start to the engine, a signal to ourselves and the world that the tech district is fully back open for business,” said Tech Bloc CEO David Heard.
The event will also feature the unveiling of a new, County-funded website Heard said will highlight the tech district’s venues and market it in economic development efforts. A promotion for the event says the web resource will “document and share the exciting story of our growing tech district with the world for years to come.”
The tech district, a cluster of tech ventures around Houston Street downtown, is home to enterprises such as Geekdom and CodeUp, as well as new arrivals like SkipCart, a delivery app. San Antonio developers Weston Urban and GrayStreet Partners are luring tech companies with high-speed internet, common lounges, ping-pong tables, and bicycle storage rooms.
Heard said the event is not intended to signal that the pandemic is over. “We’re not qualified to do that,” he said. “We’re trying to provide an opportunity for reconnection for those that are ready and comfortable to do that.”
The event is mask-optional, and social distancing will not be enforced. Centro San Antonio is set to provide overflow facilities for crowds to expand into if they become too numerous.
Assistant City Manager Colleen Bridger, who oversees the city’s pandemic response, said the outdoor event appears “fairly low-risk, as long as people are smart.”
More than 58% of Bexar County residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and the county is on track to have vaccinated 60% of the 16-and-older population by next month.