AUSTIN, Texas — South by Southwest, or SXSW, is planning a return to Austin in March after two years of cancelations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The festival was canceled in 2020 as the virus first began to spread across the U.S. In 2021, SXSW held a virtual festival with no in-person attendance.
Last week, SXSW announced it will require all credentialed participants in 2022 to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19, or a recent negative COVID-19 test. The documentation will be required in order to collect and maintain credentials, the festival said.
“We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Austin in March and want to assure you that the safety of our SXSW community continues to be our top priority,” SXSW said in a statement on Jan. 5.
Organizers are planning a hybrid festival this year that will include virtual elements alongside in-person events. They said they are working closely with the City of Austin and Austin Public Health as the COVID-19 landscape continues to change rapidly.
SXSW said it will release more information soon about specific policies on testing, masking and social distancing.
The highly infectious omicron variant continues to drive a surge in cases across Central Texas, the U.S. and many parts of the world. Cases, however, are expected to peak by the end of the month.
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