Tech and culture festival SXSW canceled due to coronavirus fears

  • Tech and culture festival SXSW has been canceled due to coronavirus fears.
  • On Friday, the mayor of Austin, Texas announced that the event will not go ahead on March 13.
  • The COVID-19 outbreak hs caused major disruption around the world, disrupting business supply chains and causing the closure of offices and public events.

US festival South by Southwest (SXSW) has been canceled in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. 

On Friday, Austin, Texas mayor Steve Adler announced that he had declared a state of disaster, and that this year’s event — which had been due to kick off on March 13 — has been canceled.

SXSW is an annual emerging tech and media conference and music festival in Austin, Texas that was founded in 1987. Prior to the event’s cancellation, over 35,000 people signed a petition asking for the organizers to call off the event, and numerous major companies had pulled out — including Facebook, Twitter, Intel, and TikTok. 

The event is one of major events and conferences that have been canceled amid the growing coronavirus outbreak. Major tech industry conference Mobile World Congress was called off, the Game Developers Conference was postponed, Facebook canceled its F8 conference and its marketing summit, and Google canceled I/O, its yearly gathering for developers. 

The coronavirus, which began in Wuhan, China, two months ago, causes a respiratory disease known as COVID-19. Cases have been recorded in 70 countries, including more than 100 in the US. More than 100,000 people have been infected, and more than 3,000 people have died from the virus. 

SXSW said in a statement that it was looking into rescheduling the event, as well as providing an online alternative. “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,” the organisation said.

Here’s the full statement from SXSW:

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