Austin cancels SXSW because of coronavirus

Marquee from conclusion of SXSW 2019
The festival that wasn't: the City of Austin, Texas, cancels SXSW 2020 amid coronavirus concerns. (Shelley Hiam/Courtesy of SXSW)

Updated at 5:10 p.m. Central

Mayor Steve Adler announced a disaster for the city of Austin and officially cancelled SXSW for this year, due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

The annual event is a staple for the technology, music and film worlds; last year's edition drew more than 400,000 visitors to the city. The 2020 edition was slated to take place March 13 to 22.

In a statement Friday afternoon, SXSW said: "The city of Austin has canceled the March dates for SXSW and SXSW EDU. SXSW will faithfully follow the city's directions."

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt announced a county-wide disaster declaration that will last for 7 days and is renewable.

"We are devastated to share this news with you," organizers said in a statement.

"'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 on ramifications of this unprecendented situation," it continued.

Dr. Mark Escot said there are no cases of COVID-19 in Travis County. As regards SXSW, this is an effort to be proactive. Officials said it was a precautionary measure.

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External Link

Southwest Conference & Festivals - official site