The city of Austin has canceled the SXSW March events due to concerns over the coronavirus.
The coronavirus may not be as widespread in the United States as it is in other countries, but many involved in the entertainment industry are refusing to take a chance. DC, for example, officially pulled out of March convention appearances due to concerns over the coronavirus. Earlier today Emerald City Comic Con was also officially canceled due to the outbreak as well. Now, it seems, that the coronavirus is adding at least one more major gathering to its list.
Earlier today South by Southwest or SXSW events was officially canceled by the city of Austin. Earlier this week, Austin had opted to keep the SXSW going as Austin Public Health had declared that shutting down the event would not make the city any safer. The situation and concerns over the coronavirus had clearly evolved since then and those in charge of the city no longer feel that the event should take place in the city.
You can read SWSX’s full statement below:
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.
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.
We will continue to work hard to bring you the unique events you love. Though it’s true that our March 2020 event will no longer take place in the way that we intended, we continue to strive toward our purpose – helping creative people achieve their goals.
In addition to the various convention cancellations, the coronavirus has also caused the cancellations and/or delays in the premieres of several films. While Disney is reportedly determined to keep Black Widow on track for its release, the latest James Bond film, No Time to Die has delayed its release due to concerns over the coronavirus.
What do you all make of this news? Are you glad to hear that Austin is taking the coronavirus seriously? Were you looking forward to SXSW? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Stay tuned for the latest news on the impact of the coronavirus on fan events as it develops.