SXSW joins the Hollywood panic over the coronavirus by canceling its 2020 event.
On Friday, March 6, Mayor Steve Adler of Austin, Texas, announced that the film, music, and interactive industry conference South by Southwest was to be canceled because of the pandemic of COVID-19, or coronavirus.
Adler held a press conference where he said: "Based on the recommendation of our public health officer and our director of public health, and after our consultation with the city manager, I've gone ahead and declared a local disaster in the city In association with that, I've issued an order that effectively cancels South by Southwest for this year."
SXSW was slated to run from March 13 through 22nd. It's a special event that's incredibly fun and a great place for the industry to debut genre-focused film and television shows.
This comes on the coattails of the new Bond movie shifting its debut to November and Hollywood set to lose $5 billion to the virus.
Fifty thousand people signed a Change.org petition to cancel the event, so at least someone is happy.
In a statement on its website, SXSW said it would "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."
The good news is that the event may happen again soon.
The statement goes on to say...
"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."
More to come.