South By Southwest (SXSW), the Austin music, art, film and technology festival has been called off for the first time in its 34-year history, due to concerns about the novel coronavirus COVID-19. After major companies Apple, Facebook, Intel, Twitter, and others canceled their participation in the festival in rapid succession over the past week, the continuation of the conference was put in doubt.
A tweet from the City of Austin Mayor Steve Adler states: “@MayorAdler + Travis Co. have declared a ‘local state of disaster’ following recommendations from Dr. Escott + the Expert Advisory Panel. This decision effectively cancels SXSW + proactively increases preventative measures for #ATX events.”
SXSW released a statement to Glasstire expressing its desire to explore rescheduling the event, and are also working to provide a virtual SXSW online experience as soon as possible for 2020 participants. “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.” The full statement is available here.
Nine installations, featuring international experiential and conceptual art, were scheduled for the festival and set to be viewed between March 13 and 22, as we revealed a month ago.
For more about SXSW, please visit its website here.