SXSW 2020 Has Been Canceled Following Coronavirus Fears

The 2020 South by Southwest conference and festivals have been canceled amid fears of the growing American outbreak of the coronavirus. Many large companies had already pulled out of the conference, including Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Twitter.

Austin city officials said in a press conference, “this is a medical and data-driven decision.”

SXSW organizers said in a tweet they were “devastated.”

As of Friday, there were 260 reported COVID-19 cases, with 14 deaths, the majority of which were in Washington state.

SXSW, which was scheduled to take place from March 13 to March 22 in Austin, is one of the many tech and entertainment conferences to be shuttered due to the outbreak. On Tuesday, Google announced it will no longer hold its annual I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California. Facebook, Microsoft, and TED have also made similar cancellations.

Leaders at many of those same companies, like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon, are already limiting travel, urging employees to use caution, and canceling conferences as they prepare for a possible pandemic.

Founded in 1987, SXSW has grown into a collection of film, interactive media, and music festivals, pumping hundreds of millions of dollars yearly into Austin’s economy.

More on this

  • Google Cancels I/O, Its Biggest Annual Event, Following Coronavirus FearsAlex Kantrowitz · March 3, 2020
  • Ride-Hail And Delivery Apps Like Uber And Postmates Are Tight-Lipped About What They’ll Do When The Coronavirus Hits The United StatesRyan Broderick · Feb. 28, 2020
  • The Coronavirus Is Forcing Techies To Work From Home. Some May Never Go Back To The Office.Alex Kantrowitz · March 5, 2020
  1. Amazon
  2. Facebook
  3. Google
  4. Netflix
  • Ryan Broderick is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York City.

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  • Katie Notopoulos is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Notopoulos writes about tech and internet culture and is cohost of the Internet Explorer podcast.

    Contact Katie Notopoulos at [email protected]

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