SXSW Has Been Canceled Due to the Coronavirus

Sponsors and talent have begun to drop out of this year's SXSW over coronavirus concerns.  (Photo by Amy E. Price/FilmMagic)
Sponsors and talent have begun to drop out of this year's SXSW over coronavirus concerns. (Photo by Amy E. Price/FilmMagic)
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By Bonnie Stiernberg / March 6, 2020 5:14 pm

After many of their sponsors and participants dropped out over coronavirus fears, raising questions over whether the festival itself should cancel, the city of Austin has officially announced it will cancel its annual tech, film and music conference South By Southwest in light of the disease.

“Based on the recommendation of our public health officer and our director of public health…I’ve gone ahead and declared a local disaster in the city and associated with that, have issued an order that effectively cancels SXSW,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said in a press conference. As of Thursday, there are were no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Austin’s Travis County, but Adler said that they believed scrapping large gatherings of people — particularly ones like SXSW, which bring thousands of out-of-towners into the area — would help to stem the spread of the disease.

Adler also declared a state of emergency in the city. SXSW issued a statement about the cancellation, saying, “We are devastated to share this news with you. ‘The show must go on’ is in our DNA, and this is the first time in 34 years that the March event will not take place. We are now working through the ramifications of this unprecedented situation.”

You can read the full statement below. SXSW was scheduled to take place March 13 to March 22.

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