Thanks, Coronavirus: SXSW 2020 Has Been Cancelled
The annual Austin fest was supposed to begin next week.
The latest bit of bad news this week: South by Southwest 2020 has been cancelled.
The news was confirmed by Austin, Texas mayor Steve Adler: “I’ve issued an order that effectively cancels South by Southwest,” Adler said in a press conference held today. “There was no path forward that would mitigate the risk enough to protect our community.”
SXSW issued an official statement confirming cancellation, which you can read below.
— SXSW (@sxsw) March 6, 2020
The news is startling, but not altogether out of left field; artists all over have been pulling out of performances due to fears of the virus spreading at crowded concerts, and thousands signed a recent petition calling for this very festival to be cancelled in light of public health and safety concerns.
People are certainly not happy that the arts festival, which attracts hundreds of thousands of attendees every year, is the first major event to be pulled thanks to corona. The city and citizens of Austin will lose tons of counted-upon money, and scores of hopeful artists will lose opportunities to showcase their work. Maybe they’ll reschedule it?
If you’re cheering #SXSW being canceled simply because you hate the traffic or whatever, you’re being a dick. Local small businesses could *go* *under.* Artists (not the famous ones!) have busted their asses to showcase their work and get their shot there.
Just … just shush.
— Jessica Shortall ? (@jessicashortall) March 6, 2020
#SXSW brings in more than 300 million dollars to Austin, Texas. The fact the mayor cancelled it reflects both responsibility and the potentially severe virality of #CoronaVirus. Trump cut the CDC budget. He has Pence in charge. We don’t have enough testing kits. Lord.
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) March 6, 2020
Thoughts to my fellow freelancers who were counting on covering SXSW for income and the programming team who have worked all year to put this together in the face of so much uncertainty and the artists and filmmakers who were excited to premiere their works and…
— Monica Castillo (@mcastimovies) March 6, 2020