At The Request Of The City Of Austin, South By Southwest Has — For The First Time In 34 Years — Cancelled Its Festivities Over Public Health Concerns.
Cancel any plans you’d made to head down to Austin for South by Southwest this month.
After speculation over the possibility earlier in the week, SXSW announced today that the annual music, tech and film festival has been cancelled — a first in its 34-year run.
A statement released this afternoon by the organizers behind the event note that the cancellation comes at the request of City of Austin officials over fears that opening the Texas capital to a massive influx of international travelers could up the potential of the coronavirus spreading throughout the city and region.
Though the annual March event has its detractors, there is no denying that many North Texas creatives look forward to participating in SXSW each month. No matter the health implications, this cancellation will have undeniable negative ramifications for the Austin economy, at the very least.
The event’s statement in full reads as follows:
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.