SXSW 2020 Canceled Due to Coronavirus Concerns

South by Southwest (SXSW), a major annual event that features film festivals, interactive media, music festivals, and conferences, has been canceled, the city of Austin announced today. SXSW was set to take place from March 13 to March 22.

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Austin has declared a health emergency, and SXSW has been canceled on the advice of local health experts who have warned that it could cause COVID-19 to spread.

SXSW event organizers say they're exploring options to reschedule and are working to provide a virtual SXSW experience for 2020 participants.

The City of Austin has cancelled the March dates for SXSW and SXSW EDU. SXSW will faithfully follow the City's directions.

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.

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, and we honor and respect the City of Austin's decision. We are committed to do our part to help protect our staff, attendees, and fellow Austinites.

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.

SXSW typically draws well over 70,000 people from around the world, and up until today, the organizers had planned to keep the event going despite multiple companies pulling out.

Apple was planning to debut new Apple TV+ content at SXSW, but earlier this week said that it would no longer attend. Other companies that include Amazon Studios, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Panasonic, SAP, HBO, and Intel had all declined to attend because of COVID-19 fears.

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Top Rated Comments

arn Avatar
56 months ago
yeah... super last minute notice, but it's hard to imagine them proceeding with all the companies canceling and the general sentiment about coronavirus. Massive international conference just isn't a good idea right now.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DTphonehome Avatar
56 months ago
WWDC is gonna be next. Actually a good opportunity for Apple to demonstrate their streaming prowess by doing a remote conference.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macmyworld Avatar
56 months ago
Getting out of hand. Are we all going to live in a bunker for the next 4 months? Austin has a state of emergency even though they have no cases. What happens when they have actually disease there? Armageddon?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thadoggfather Avatar
56 months ago
Color me both surprised and not surprised at the same time.

the city held out and doubled down for a very long while before doing this. on a week's notice no less
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cardfan Avatar
56 months ago
Well that stinks. Wait why do I care about this again?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DotCom2 Avatar
56 months ago
Shame, but I think it's the right thing to do. I feel that Apple is probably going to cancel WWDC as well. I would be surprised if they didn't. This thing isn't even going to START to get over until well into the summer I am afraid.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)