Despite coronavirus SXSW organizers say conference is still on (Update: South By Southwest festival cancelled)

SXSW News

UPDATE: South By Southwest has been cancelled — not much of a surprise given the current status of the coronavirus.

Even though coronavirus continues to be a concern domestically and across the world, SXSW organizers (Vox Media) say that one of this country’s largest conferences and festivals will proceed.

SXSW (South by South West or “South By”) is currently scheduled to run March 13 through March 22 in Austin, Texas.

Most recently Facebook and Twitter have pulled out of the conference citing COVID-19 concerns.

Per The Verge:

“Many other tech industry events have also been canceled out of caution for coronavirus. Google and Microsoft today canceled two small conferences, though their major developer conferences that take place in May are still scheduled, at least for the moment. The Game Developers Conference, originally planned for later this month, has been postponed to sometime this summer. And Mobile World Congress, which was scheduled to take place in Barcelona at the end of February, was canceled twelve days before the show was supposed to start.”

Over 3,000 have died from COVID-19, and at this point 90,000 cases are reported worldwide.

Of course, things can change in the next few days. But it would be hard to imagine that attendance at SXSW would not be impacted by the fear of the disease.

Founded in 1987 SXSW is an annual conference that brings together a diverse array of film panels, music performances, tech and media. Past speakers and presenters have included Trevor Noah, Ethan Hawke Neil Gaiman, Bill Nye and Elizabeth Warren.

Attendance in 2019 was as follows: SXSW Music 28,119; SXSW Interactive 30,621; SXSW Film 16,297; SXSW 4,260; and other exhibits and parties 152,000. Film premieres included Us, The Beach Bum, Long Shot and The Highwaymen.

VIAThe Verge
Mike Carrall
Mike Carrall is a tech executive by day in Silicon Valley who writes under a pseudonym. Mike's passions includes extreme sports, testing audio gear, trying (not so successfully) to restore a vintage 70's McIntosh receiver and spending time with his seven year-old daughter.