SXSW 2020 cancelled due to coronavirus fears

Following on from the cancellation of showcases by Facebook, Netflix and more yesterday, SXSW 2020 has now officially been called off.

Set to begin next Friday, March 13th, the music and arts festival announced it would be cancelling this year’s edition following directions by The City of Austin.

In a statement on the festival website, SXSW said: “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.”

Continuing on the announcement stated that the Texan conference is “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.”

Speaking at a press conference today Austin Mayor Steve Adler stated: “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”

The news comes less than three days after Adler held a conference to announce that “At this point, there’s no evidence that cancelling SXSW makes us safer.”

SXSW is the second US festival to have cancelled its event this year, following on from Miami’s Ultra Festival deciding to postpone the festival until 2021 as a precaution. A spokesperson for the festival said:  “We’re emphasizing to the public that this decision is not a cause for alarm or panic, but rather that we are doing it with an abundance of caution”

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