Financial news outlet CNBC has just reported that the popular Austin, Texas multimedia conference South by Southwest (SXSW), has been cancelled due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. A visit to the event’s website indeed confirms that the City of Austin has pushed organizers to cancel SXSW. The annual tech, film and music festival had been scheduled to start next week on March 13th and run through the 22nd. According to the report, major tech companies including Facebook, Intel, Twitter and TikTok had already pulled out of the event as companies continue to limit travel for employees and contractors amid the fast-growing virus outbreak.
SXSW had approximately 73,716 attendees in 2019, of which, 19,166 were international visitors.
A Change.org petition seeking to have conference organizers cancel the event has reached more than 50,000 signatures, stating that proceeding with the conference would be “irresponsible.”
Apparently, before canceling SXSW, organizers had been working with government agencies to ensure safety of the event.