SXSW has become a must attend for avid tech heads and those in the music industry, with showcase events and conferences taking place all over Austin, Texas for 10 days.
However, in response to the current outbreak of coronavirus the decision has been made to cancel the festival just a week before it was due to take place. The conference is another in a line of major events to be cancelled in recent days.
The likes of Netflix, Apple, Amazon and Twitter had all called off product launchs, announcements and film premieres among other things, putting SXSW in a difficult position.
Originally scheduled to take place March 13 – 22, the City’s mayor Steve Adler announced today that it would no longer be going ahead.
In a press conference today Steve Adler said, “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.”
Despite there being no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Travis County the Interim health authority for Austin Dr Mark Escott said the cancellation was a “proactive step in preparing this community for this storm.”
You can see the conference’s statement below:
— SXSW (@sxsw) March 6, 2020
Photo: Larry W Smith/EPA/Shutterstock