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article imageSXSW events cancelled this year due to corona virus concerns

By Ken Hanly     Mar 8, 2020 in World
Austin - South by Southwest (SXSW) is an annual gathering of film, interactive media and music festivals and conferences that run parallel to each other. SXSW joins numerous other events in cancelling the event this year due to concerns about the corona virus.
Austin Texas mayor cancels SXSW
The SXSW is held annually in Austin Texas. Mayor Steve Adler said in a press conference on Friday: "Based on the recommendation of our public health official and director of public health and after consultation with our city manager I've gone ahead and declared a local disaster. And along with that issued an order that cancels SXSW this year." Adler said that it was unfortunate that he had to cancel the event.
Mark Escott, the interim medical director and health authority for Austin Public Health noted the large size and scale of the event along with the many opportunities for close person to person contact during the events as factors in the decision to cancel the event. He also expressed concern that the event would attract attendees from affected areas to Austin. At the same time, he said there was no reason for the public to panic. Escott said the public could take precautions such as washing hands and staying home if sick. Sarah Eckhardt the local Travis County judge said that cancellation was not a panic decision.
On the SXSW website organizers of the event promised they would comply with the city's announcement. The website said: "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." The organizers are looking at the possibility of rescheduling the events as well as providing an online visual experience as soon as possible for the 2020 participants.
Key participants in SXSW had already cancelled plans to attend
Perhaps another reason SKSW should be cancelled was that many important participants had already decided they would not attend a fact that would no doubt lower attendance considerably. Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix all gave notice they would not be attending early in March. Apple also withdrew later. As a result screenings and other events would not take place making it likely that people would decide not to attend.
SXWX was scheduled from March 13 to March 23 in Austin. The SXSW started way back in 1987. Last year the even had about 417,400 attendees. Those attending came from 105 different countries other than the US. The events at SXSW cover topics that include film, music, digital branding, environmental sustainability, and science and technology. The conference usually runs through two weekends.
Other events have also been cancelled
GSMA that sponsors the mobile phone meeting Mobile World Congress in Barcelona cancelled the show for this year. Facebook and Google also decided they would not hold their usual annual conferences over concerns about the coronavirus. Up to now the virus has claimed over 3,000 lives. The illness first appeared on New Year's eve centered in China''s Hubei province but there are now many cases in South Korea, Italy, Japan and Iran among other countries.
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