SXSW 2020 Cancelled

SXSW 2020 has been cancelled.

The annual ten day technology, film, and music festival, which was set to run in Austin, Texas starting next week, March 13 and running through March 22, was cancelled today, according to a press conference held by officials from the City of Austin and Travis County, due to growing concerns about the COVID-19 virus, better known as the coronavirus.

Pressure has been mounting on the festival in recent days, thanks in part to an online petition which has garnered over 55,000 signatures by this afternoon. On top of that, numerous participants have announced their pullouts over the last week, including Facebook, Twitter, Apple, IBM, Universal Music Group, and BMI, as well as several keynote speakers and stars slated to make appearances at the festival.

The cancellation stands to present a massive blow to the economy of Austin; last year, SXSW brought in over $300 million in tax revenue to the city.

Austin Mayor Steven Adler declared a local disaster in the city and issued an order cancelling SXSW 2020. The declaration applies across the county and effects all festivals and gatherings drawing people in areas where COVID-19 has been an issue.

After the announcement, SXSW released a statement saying, “SXSW will faithfully follow the City’s directions. We are devastated to share this news with you…this is the first time in 34 years that the March event will not take place.”

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