SXSW 2020: Major exodus continues with CNN latest to bail due to coronavirus epidemic

SXSW officially cancelled after companies such as Apple, LinkedIn, IBM, Netflix, WarnerMedia, TikTok, Amazon Studios, Intel, Facebook, Twitter and Panasonic bail on the event.

Scenes like this with actress Mandy Moore and actor Milo Ventimiglia in 2018 are common at SXSW.

” data-credit=”Image: Jim Bennett/Getty Images” rel=”noopener noreferrer nofollow”>South By Southwest Conference And Festivals - Day 4

Scenes like this with actress Mandy Moore and actor Milo Ventimiglia in 2018 are common at SXSW.

Image: Jim Bennett/Getty Images

With just days to go before Austin, Texas hosts SXSW 2020, the event has been cancelled. The organizers announced this after dozens of additional companies made announcements that they would not be participating in the music, film, tech, art and gaming conference. The event brings in over 400,000 people from around the world, and more than $350 million in local economic impact, but Apple, LinkedIn, IBM, Netflix, WarnerMedia, TikTok, Amazon Studios, Intel, Facebook, Twitter and Panasonic were among the first to bail due to worries about the coronavirus.

And today, media giant CNN cancelled its plans to participate. CNN issued the following statement, “Out of an abundance of caution and because the situation has been changing so rapidly, CNN has limited all non-essential travel and events for its employees until further notice. Because of that, CNN will not be moving forward with the CITIZEN by CNN House at SXSW this year.”

SEE: Coronavirus having major effect on tech industry beyond supply chain delays (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

South by Southwest is scheduled for March 13-22 and takes place at venues throughout Austin. It’s normally the kind of event where you can rub elbows with Jon Hamm, bump into random aliens, bleed for the throne at an HBO Game of Thrones activation, pet a Hellhound from Amazon’s Garden of Earthly Delights at various locations, and then walk down the street to another setting to learn about technology such as what LG is doing with 5G mobility or find out more about the future of autonomous vehicles. It’s a magical kind of place and it seems like the type of event that the real world can’t affect but, sadly, this year it is as the threat of the coronavirus and COVID-19 is looming large.

For those who do attend, this year will be very different with the lack of vendors and attendees. Maybe it will feel more in size like the way it did in decades past before it became a mega conference. Because in addition to the companies listed above, Sony, Universal and Warner Music have advised employees not to attend. RealSelf has cancelled its popular House of Modern Beauty event. All of the Hypergiant SXSW activations have been cancelled. The Latinx House has closed. The Capital Factory cancelled its startup crawl. And entertainers such as Atticus Ross, Kumail Nanjiani, Emily Gordon, Ozzy Osbourne, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and the Beastie Boys have already bailed with more surely to come over the weekend. 

There are big names still on the marquee. Hillary Clinton, Adam Schiff, Beto O’Rourke and Andrew Yang were late additions to the schedule as part of the “Conversations about America’s Future” series and they haven’t said they’re cancelling. Chris Evans is still listed as a keynote speaker, but he’s also Captain America, so he has superpowers. 

As of Friday, SXSW organizers said that the event is going on as scheduled and has released the following information: “SXSW is working closely on a daily basis with local, state, and federal agencies to plan for a safe event. As a result of this dialogue and the recommendations of Austin Public Health, we are proceeding with the 2020 event with the health and safety of our attendees, staff, and volunteers as our top priority.”

Also see

The latest cancellations: How the coronavirus is disrupting tech conferences worldwide  (TechRepublic)
The tech pro’s guide to video conferencing (TechRepublic download)
Coronavirus domain names are the latest hacker trick (TechRepublic)
Coronavirus: Critical IT policies and tools every business needs (TechRepublic Premium)
As coronavirus spreads, here’s what’s been canceled or closed (CBS News)
Coronavirus: Effective strategies and tools for remote work during a pandemic (ZDNet)
How to track the coronavirus: Dashboard delivers real-time view of the deadly virus (ZDNet)
Coronavirus and COVID-19: All your questions answered (CNET)
Coronavirus: More must-read coverage (TechRepublic on Flipboard)

View original article here Source