SXSW 2020 Canceled Amid Coronavirus Concerns
For the first time in 34 years, SXSW in Austin, Texas will not happen. The music, tech and film festival has been canceled amid fears of a Coronavirus outbreak.
A statement at the official SXSW Twitter page offers some background and makes clear that the city of Austin canceled the annual festival. "SXSW will faithfully follow the City's directions," the note reads. A longer statement offers some hope for the festival in 2020.
"We are now working through the ramifications of this unprecedented situation," the notice reads. "As recently as Wednesday, Austin Public Health stated that 'there's no evidence that closing SXSW or any other gatherings will make the community safer.' However this situation evolved rapidly."
The Verge quoted Mayor Steve Adler as saying, "I've issued an order that effectively cancels South by Southwest."
While not a destination for mainstream country music fans or artists, the festival has attracted talent like Keith Urban and Garth Brooks for events in recent years. The status of the March 13-22 event seemed in peril even as the privately owned festival stated they would not cancel. Brands like Facebook, Twitter, Netflix and Apple had dropped out, and major record companies like Sony, Universal and Warner had urged employees not to travel to the festival.
A larger statement at the SXSW website hints at a virtual SXSW experience for 2020, but no firm details were announced. The event also may be rescheduled, perhaps even for 2020.
"We will continue to work hard to bring you the unique events you love," the expanded statement reads. "Though it’s true that our March 2020 event will no longer take place in the way that we intended, we continue to strive toward our purpose – helping creative people achieve their goals."
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