SXSW Canceled

Following studios like Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Warner Media and Lionsgate dropping out of the South by Southwest (SXSW) film, music, tech and media festival earlier this week, the city of Austin has decided to cancel the event entirely. The cancellation doesn’t come as a result of the cancellations, but rather the concerns about the spreading coronavirus outbreak that caused those companies to cancel for the well-being of their employees. You can read the full statement below.

Here’s the statement released by SXSW, which is quite a bummer, despite the sensible reasoning behind it:

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.

It’s not clear what the options for rescheduling might be, especially since the coronavirus seems to be only just starting to spread more across the United States. Plenty of mass gatherings in other cities around the world are being canceled, including the Emerald City Comic-Con over in Seattle. There will likely be many more events canceled in the future, so keep your ear to the ground to see how your future plans will be impacted by this growing health concern.

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