For over 30 years music and entertainment artisans and fans have descended on the capital city of Austin in Texas for a week of events including hundreds of musical performances and panel discussions in the annual SXSW Festival.
Earlier this week Facebook, Netflix, Apple, and Twitter all announced that due to the mounting concerns over the corona virus they would not be participating in the 2020 edition of SXSW.
On March 6, just one week before the annual event, the city of Austin has announced that this year’s SXSW Festival has been canceled.
The decision was made after the Austin Public Health office stated, “there’s no evidence that closing SXSW or any other gatherings will make the community safer.”
SXSW stated that they are “exploring options to reschedule the event and working to provide a virtual SXSW online experience as soon as possible for 2020 participants.”
SXSW Festval organizers noted “ 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.”
SXSW is the latest in a series of recent cancellations. The Ultra Music Festival in Miami announced on Wednesday that they would be canceling their event later this month. France has also announced that they are canceling the Tomorrowland Winter Electronic Music Festival.
Several music artists have also canceled or postponed tours; especially tours scheduled in Asian countries, including BTS, Green Day, Slipknot, Trivium, Whitesnake, Sons of Apollo, The National, and Mac DeMarco.
feature photo credit: By Anna Hanks from Austin, Texas, USA – SXSW Music panel with Will Butler, Win Butler, Paul Krugman. SXSW 2015 Austin, Texas -5225.jpg, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68745089