SXSW 2020 Canceled Due to Coronavirus Concerns

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South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, has been canceled due to growing concerns over the new coronavirus.

"Based on the recommendation of our public health officer and our director of public health", said Austin's mayor, Steve Adler, at a Friday press conference.

SXSW event organizers say they're exploring options to reschedule and are working to provide a virtual SXSW experience for 2020 participants. It's a big deal for travelers, a big deal for local businesses, and a big deal for all the artists - from musicians to filmmakers to the people putting together those impossibly elaborate "activations" that dot the downtown landscape each year. "We are working through the ramifications of this unprecedented situation", the organizers said in their statement. These are wild, kinda frightening times!

It comes just hours after several major companies including Amazon Studios, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter dropped out of the festival.

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SXSW, which draws 400,000 visitors, was scheduled for 13 March to 22 March.

"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 hono [u] r and respect the City of Austin's decision". Officials said it was a precautionary measure. We are committed to do our part to help protect our staff, attendees, and fellow Austinites.

South by Southwest, a collection of music, film and interactive conferences annually held in Austin began in 1987.

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt, the county's top elected official, said no one in the Austin area has been found to have the COVID-19 virus.

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