Another beloved festival is pulling out due to the concerns about the novel coronavirus. South by Southwest (SXSW) - which was set to return to Austin, Texas March 13th–22nd, 2020 - has officially announced that, for the first time in its history, it has been canceled. The decision was made on account of the City of Austin declaring a state of local emergency.
Mayor Steve Adler, Judge Sarah Eckhardt, Dr. Mark Escott of the Interim Health Authority, and Austin Public Health Director Stephanie Hayden announced today the local disaster for the city as the COVID-19 virus is creating fear worldwide. The declaration will last for seven days with an option for renewal.
According to a report by KVUE ABC, Dr. Escott's concern with the festival falls on the close proximity of participants and attendance of international guests. The team behind the festival released a statement today explaining the situation and possible plans. "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," reads a passage.
This news comes right after word broke that Ultra Music Festival and Tomorrowland Winter will cancel their festivals as well. As of this writing, Coachella, Stagecoach, EDC Las Vegas, Movement and Burning Man are still scheduled to proceed as scheduled.
Those planning on attending 2020 festivals should act in accordance with public health standards and CDC recommendations.