Austin’s biggest festival, SXSW, has officially been canceled.
Organizers issued a press release Friday stating that the festival would not happen this year due to concerns over the recent spread of coronavirus.
“The City of Austin has canceled the March dates for SXSW and SXSW EDU. SXSW will faithfully follow the City’s directions, and we are exploring options to reschedule the event. We are also working to provide a virtual SXSW online experience as soon as possible for 2020 participants, starting with SXSW EDU.”
“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.”
In a statement posted on the festival’s website, organizers added that they hope to reschedule the festival and find ways to bring the SXSW experience online.
“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, theaters, vendors, production companies, service industry staff and other partners that rely so heavily on the increased business that SXSW attracts.”
“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.”
Coronavirus has spread throughout the U.S. with three new cases confirmed in Georgia and two recent deaths in Florida. There have been a reported 312 cases in the United States but that number could grow as testing for the virus becomes widely available. Congress recently passed an $8.3 billion spending package to fight and treat the spread of coronavirus.