South By Southwest has been canceled due to growing concerns over the coronavirus.
In a press conference, Mayor Mayor Steve Adler declared a local disaster because of the coronavirus.
“The city of Austin has cancelled the March dates for SXSW and SXSW EDU. SXSW will faithfully follow the City’s directions,” SXSW posted to Twitter following the announcement.
“We are devastated to share this news with you. ‘The show must go on’ is in our DNA, and this is the first time in 34 years that the March event will not take place. We are now working through the ramifications of this unprecedented situation. As recently as Wednesday, Austin Public Health stated that ‘there’s no evidence that closing SXSW or any other gathering will make the community safer.’ However, this situation evolved rapidly, and honor and respect the City of Austin’s decision. We are committed to do our part to help protect our staff, attendees and fellow Austinites.”
Austin officials said that there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus, but confirmed that there are over 100,000 cases worldwide.
SXSW was set to kick off between Mar. 13 and 22. Recently, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, and Intel pulled out of the festival.
The conference had 73,716 attendees last year, 19,166 of whom were from countries outside of the United States. Many other people also more work and volunteer at the event.
A slew of other events as of this week were cancelled or postponed, including Google I/O, the Geneva International Motor Show, the Mobile World Congress and Facebook’s F8 developers conference.
The Beastie Boys pulled out of their SXSW performance over concerns of the coronavirus this morning.
The hip hop group, which now consists of Mike “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horvitz, was set to participate in the Austin festival’s film portion, where they would discuss their upcoming biopic, Beastie Boys Story.