Austin’s South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival, which was due to start in March, has been cancelled due to coronavirus fears. This is the first time the annual festival has been cancelled in its 34-year history.
Austin’s mayor, Steve Adler ordered the cancellation, leading South by Southwest to post a statement on the announcement:
“The City of Austin has canceled 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 honour 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 utilise 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.”