SXSW 2020 has officially been canceled amid growing fears of coronavirus. The annual tech, music, and film meetup held in downtown Austin will not take place again. The cancellation came as a result of the reported 17 cases of coronavirus in Texas.
At a press conference at Austin’s City Hall on Friday, a number of city officials updated the media on the status of the city’s upcoming festivals.
“It’s really unfortunate to be canceling SXSW, it’s tied to who we are in this city, and I look forward to the next iteration of SXSW when it comes,” said Austin Mayor Steve Adler.
We are exploring options to reschedule the event and are working to provide a virtual SXSW online experience as soon as possible for 2020 participants, starting with SXSW EDU. For our registrants, clients, and participants we will be in touch as soon as possible and will publish an FAQ.
We understand the gravity of the situation for all the creatives who utilize SXSW to accelerate their careers; for the global businesses; and for Austin and the hundreds of small businesses – venues, theatres, vendors, production companies, service industry staff, and other partners that rely so heavily on the increased business that SXSW attracts.
Amazon Studios, Apple, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, and Starz had been among the companies that had canceled their SXSW plans, while Starz parent Lionsgate and HBO Max and CNN parent WarnerMedia had scaled back their activities.
Yesterday, Variety reported that the three major music groups — Sony, Universal, and Warner Music — have advised employees not to travel to the festival.
COVID-19 has recently lead to the cancaltion of other major confrences like The Game Developers Conference, Mobile World Congress, Facebook’s F8 developer conference, Google’s Cloud Next conference and I/O developer conference. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.