SXSW 2020 cancelled over coronavirus concerns

SXSW 2020
Source: Twitter

San Francisco: South by Southwest (SXSW) festival conference, which was scheduled for next week at Austin, Texas, has been officially cancelled in wake of rising cases of novel coronavirus infection.

Festival organisers and government officials had come under intense pressure in recent days to pull the plug on South by Southwest, with more than 50,000 people signing an online petition and a growing list of tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok, announcing their withdrawal.

The decision was announced at a news conference by city and county officials who declared a “local disaster”, even as they stressed that Austin has not had an outbreak and that the number of confirmed cases in Texas was relatively small, The New York Times reported on Friday.

Earlier this week, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok said they would not attend the massive culture and tech event.

Apple said that it would no longer participate, cancelling its world premiere of Spike Jonze’s documentary, “Beastie Boys Story,” as well as its screenings of animated musical series “Central Park” and docuseries “Home,” according to a Variety report.

Netflix has cancelled five film screenings including feature film “Uncorked,” and four documentaries: “A Secret Love,” “L.A. Originals,” “Mucho Mucho Amor,” “Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics,” and a panel for #BlackExcellence.

Additionally, Amazon Studios confirmed its decision to withdraw from SXSW, axing its screenings of “Upload” and “Tales of the Loop,” which had included Q&As with the cast and crew.

Meanwhile, the Dell Technologies World 2020 event, originally scheduled for May 4-7 in Las Vegas, has been made into a virtual event.

“Because nothing is more important than the health and safety of our team members, customers, partners and suppliers, we have decided to make Dell Technologies World 2020 a virtual event,” Dell Technologies World said on its website.

“This decision was not made lightly. As we learn more about the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, we know this is the right thing to do, given the global nature of Dell Technologies World,

“The core of what we set out to accomplish together is still important, which is why we will deliver keynotes, select breakout sessions and live chats with experts as a virtual experience,” it added.