THR reports that SXSW has been canceled due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, Austin, Texas, Mayor Steve Adler announced during a press conference Friday afternoon.
The annual event, which brings together the film, interactive media and music industries, was previously scheduled to take place between March 13 and 22 in the city.
Adler said he had declared a “local disaster in the city” that had effectively canceled SXSW. He added that the decision had been made based on the recommendation of Austin’s public heath officer and director of public health given the size and nature of the event, which often features concerts where people are in close contact. Travis County, where Austin is located, does not have a confirmed case of the virus, known as COVID-19.
SXSW organizers confirmed the cancellation in a statement on the event website, writing, “SXSW will faithfully follow the City’s directions.”
The statement continues, “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.” Organizers also said they were exploring options to reschedule the event, which was expected to draw more than 200,000 people, and were working to offer an online experience for 2020 participants.
The cancellation follows many companies choosing not to participate this year as a safety precaution, including Netflix, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, WarnerMedia and Amazon Studios.