Sad new: SXSW is canceled this year due to high-profile companies dropping from attendance and fears of spreading the coronavirus.
The city of Austin decided to cancel the annual tech, film and music conference, SXSW (South by Southwest), after high-profile companies canceled their attendance. Companies like Twitter, Facebook and TikTok cancelled due to fears about the coronavirus., which is being described as a “local disaster.” Originally, the conference was scheduled to go from March 13th to 22nd in Austin, Texas. It is a huge disappointment with the cancelation happening just a few days before the event.
“We are devastated to share this news with you,” organizers wrote on the SXSW website. ”‘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.”
Is coronavirus a real risk for SXSW?
Austin officials said there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Travis County, which includes Austin. However, big-name tech companies aren’t taking any chances. Companies like Facebook, Intel, Twitter and TikTok have been limiting travel for their employees due to the virus. There also seemed to be an online movement to cancel SXSW as well. A Change.org petition demanding the conference organizers to cancel the conference received more than 40,000 signatures. The petition called the plans to hold the event “irresponsible” during a viral outbreak.
We are likely to see more events canceled
SXSW isn’t the first major event to be canceled due to coronavirus concerns. We’ve seen just this week, Google I/O, the Geneva International Motor Show, the Mobile World Congress and Facebook’s F8 developers conference canceled or postponed. And these won’t be the only cancelations due to the coronavirus. More major event cancelations are almost a sure thing at this point as the coronavirus continues to spread.