The 2020 South by Southwest Festival won't be happening due to fear surrounding the coronavirus.

On Friday afternoon (March 6), Austin, Texas Mayor Steve Adler told reporters that he'd declared that the city was in too much danger for the annual festival to go on this year.

"I've gone ahead and declared a local disaster in the city, and associated with that have issued an order that effectively cancels South by Southwest this year," Mayor Adler explained, referencing the coronavirus.

The festival's official Twitter account used a press release to confirm that the annual music festival had been canceled.

"The City of Austin has canceled the March dates for SXSW and SXSW EDU. SXSW will faithfully follow the City’s directions," begins the statement. "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."

Elsewhere in the press release, it's said that festival organizers will look into possibly rescheduling the festival.

For years, SXSW has been part of a launching pad for rising artists in the world of hip-hop. Over the last several years, acts like Kid Cudi, Danny Brown, Kendrick Lamar, the late XXXTentacion, Vince Staples and countless others have performed at the multi-day event.

The Coronavirus is a disease that causes respiratory infections. The most recent outbreak began being reported on in late 2019. According to NBC, 14 people in the U.S. have died of the disease. John Hopkins University says 100,000 people have died of the disease worldwide.



As recently as Wednesday, Austin Public Health stated that “there’s no evidence that closing SXSW or any other gatherings 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.


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. For our registrants, clients, and participants we will be in touch as soon as possible and will publish an FAQ.


We understand the gravity of the situation for all the creatives who utilize SXSW to accelerate their careers; for the global businesses; and for Austin and the hundreds of small businesses – venues, theatres, vendors, production companies, service industry staff, and other partners that rely so heavily on the increased business that SXSW attracts.


We will continue to work hard to bring you the unique events you love. Though it’s true that our March 2020 event will no longer take place in the way that we intended, we continue to strive toward our purpose – helping creative people achieve their goals.


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