April 19, 2024


Sapiens Digital

SXSW Show Gets Canceled on Coronavirus Worries

(Credit: Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP via Getty Images)

The coronavirus has shut down another major technology-related event. On Friday, the city of Austin, Texas forced the cancellation of the SXSW conference. 

Austin’s mayor Steve Adler did so by declaring a “local disaster,” citing the coronavirus outbreak, which has been spreading across the US. 

“SXSW will faithfully follow the City’s directions,” the show’s organizers said in a statement, which added: “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, starting with SXSW EDU.”

SXSW was slated to be held next week from March 13 to the 22nd. The annual event attracts more than 400,000 people, but the risk of a coronavirus carrier spreading the illness among attendees caused city officials to cancel the gathering. 

“There were multiple registered guests from international locations and domestic locations with evidence of person-to-person (coronavirus) spread,” said Mark Escott, Austin Interim Health Authority, during a press conference on Friday. 

Although SXSW is perhaps best known as a film, art and music festival, the annual gathering has also featured many talks and exhibits from the biggest names in tech and gaming. Apple, Facebook, Netflix and Twitter were originally slated to attend, but reportedly bailed, citing coronavirus-related risks. 

The ongoing outbreak risks shutting down all major upcoming technology events in the coming months. Both Facebook and Google have already canceled their annual developer conferences, which were slated to be held in California in late April and May, respectively. To compensate, the companies plan on substituting the conferences with virtual events anyone can attend online.

Meanwhile, the Game Developers Conference was going to be held later this month. But the show has been postponed with the hope it will be held later this summer.

Further Reading

Source Article