SXSW 2020 has been canceled by the City of Austin.
In the past couple of days, several brands, including Netflix, Apple, Facebook, and Linkedin, pulled out of the week-long conference. A petition to cancel the festival dates over growing concerns around the coronavirus outbreak got over 55,000 signatures since its posting last Sunday (03/02).
On Saturday (03/07), the festival announced that it would be canceling its March 2020 dates in compliance with the City of Austin's direction. This is the first time that SXSW will not be pushing through in its 34 years in the industry. SXSW 2020 was slated to take place from March 13 to 22 in Austin, Texas.
SXSW added that they "are working to provide a virtual SXSW online experience as soon as possible for 2020 participants, starting with SXSW EDU."
Read the full statement below:
March 6, 2020: City of Austin Cancels SXSW March Events
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.
Filipino folk-pop nine-piece Ben&Ben and R&B singer Kiana Valenciano were this year's Philippine representatives to the festival. Indonesia's Grrrl Gang, Taiwan's Sleeping Brain, China's Hiperson, Japan's The fin., South Korea's DTSQ, London-based Beabadobee, and more were also announced as part of this year's lineup.