Another event is cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak: the SXSW annual tech, film and music conference held in Austin, Texas has been canceled.
An essential destination for global professionals across different industries, the South by Southwest, or SXSW conference in Austin Texas dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries.
The event features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. South by Southwest, the annual tech, film and music conference held in Austin, Texas, was going to take place March 13 – 22.March 6, 2020, but the city of Austin cancelled the event, as Austin Mayor Steve Adler declared a local disaster in the city an issued an order canceling the March dates for SXSW and SXSW EDU.
The show must go on
A series of companies, including Facebook, TikTok and Twitter, had already cancelled their presence at the event, but 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 local government officials announced the cancellation at a news conference Friday afternoon discussing the status of the outbreak and events in the city.
The organizers of the festival have said that they honor and respect the City of Austin’s decision and “will faithfully follow the City’s directions.” Despite being “devastated to share this news with you” they note: “we are committed to do our part to help protect our staff, attendees, and fellow Austinites.” This is the first time in 34 years that the March event will not take place, but as “the show must go on” notion is in the organizers’ DNA, they are working through the ramifications of this unprecedented situation.
A virtual SXSW online
A note published in the SXSW 2020 conference website by organizers states that “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.”
The organizers also add that they understand the gravity of the situation for all the creatives who utilize the conference 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.
As a last note, they write this: “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.”