AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: Austin and Travis County leaders announced on March 6 that SXSW has been canceled.
The 2020 South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) is days away, and a few companies are not going to be in attendance. Major tech companies have pulled out of attending the festival that kicks off on March 13 as concerns surrounding coronavirus continue to grow.
A petition calling for the cancellation of the two-week event has garnered more than 49,000 signatures so far. SXSW said it isn't changing its stance on canceling and has continued announcing new big-name speakers.
More than 80,000 people worldwide have been diagnosed with coronavirus, and more than 60 of those cases are in the U.S., according to the CDC. At least one person is being tested for the coronavirus in Travis County, but Austin health officials said the risk to the public is low.
"We've had persons investigated across the state for the past six weeks, and none of those individuals have tested positive for COVID-19," said Dr. Mark Escott.
Here's a list of companies that have pulled out of SXSW so far:
- China Gathering
- Amazon Studios
- The Latinx House
- Capital Factory
Most recently, on March 5, Capital Factory announced on its website that Capital Factory House at SXSW event was being canceled. The announcement contained the following statement:
"Safety is our top priority. There is no hesitation about this decision after reviewing all of the available information and speaking at length with all of our team, our members, our partners, and our advisors."
Capital Factory said it would return to SXSW in 2021.
On March 2, Twitter became the first big company to cancel after Market Watch reported the company's CEO will no longer speak at the annual festival. Hours later, Facebook announced it won't be participating in SXSW.
The following day on March 3, Intel shared that it is also pulling out of attending Austin's biggest event, as did Mashable.
TikTok announced it was pulling out of the festival, providing the following statement:
“TikTok has decided not to participate in SXSW this year. While we think the risk is relatively low, we are erring on the side of caution as we prioritize safety for our team, creators, partners, artists and brands. We are looking at a variety of alternative ways to bring parts of the previously scheduled experience to audiences in creative new forms.”
According to Variety, Amazon Studios canceled its screenings and panels for "Tales of the Loop" and "Upload," as well as a consumer marketing activation.
A Vevo spokesman told Ad Age, "After careful consideration of all known and unknowns regarding the coronavirus, Vevo has decided to cancel its annual SXSW event this year."
Software company SAP on Wednesday announced it was canceling all in-person events for the month of March, including SXSW. It said it "made the decision out of an abundance of caution related to the transmission of COVID-19."
On Wednesday, The Latinx House released the following statement:
“Our mission to create a welcoming environment for the Latinx community and our allies begins with our collective health and safety.
In following the latest developments regarding COVID-19, it is with a heavy heart that we have decided to cancel our events at South by Southwest this year. Our thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted by this illness and those who are working to contain and put an end to it.
Even though we won’t be at SXSW, our mission to amplify the voices of and content created by Latinx artists, entertainers, policy experts, and grassroots organizers continues full steam ahead as we plan our next opportunities for collaboration.”
Netflix canceled five film screenings and a panel for #BlackExcellence. The five films reportedly canceled include "Uncorked," "A Secret Love," “L.A. Originals,” “Mucho Mucho Amor” and “Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics.”
Apple was scheduled to premiere three new Apple TV Plus originals at the 2020 Austin event. The tech giant was also set to host a discussion of Apple's "Little America."
On Thursday, WarnerMedia, which owns Warner Brothers, CNN, HBO and more, announced it will not move forward with activations at SXSW "as a precaution."
KVUE is a media sponsor of SXSW 2020.
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