For the first time in 34 years, SXSW will not be having its annual music, film and tech conference.
In a statement, the conference stated that the City of Austin canceled the festival and it will faithfully follow the city’s directions.
“We are devastated to share this news with you,” the statement reads. “This is the first time in 34 years that the March event will not take place. We are working through the ramifications of this unprecedented situation. As recently as Wednesday, Austin Public Health stated: “there’s no evidence that closing SXSW or any other gathering will make the community safer.” However, this situation evolved rapidly, and we 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.”
The news of the conference’s cancelation comes on the heels of various major tech companies pulling out of the festival including Facebook as well as media partners such as HBO and more. An earlier report from Variety stated that music executives from the likes of Sony, Universal and Warner Music advised employees not to attend the festival due to coronavirus fears.