SXSW 2020 cancelled due to coronavirus
As more and more big name attendees pulled out of SXSW, fears that the Austin-based festival was set to be cancelled due to the coronavirus continued to grow, and those concerns were finally realised tonight when organisers announced SXSW had been called off.
SXSW was set to run between March 13-22, with the film, music, interactive and education events welcoming tens of thousands of attendees. It is the first major American film festival to be cancelled and as the coronavirus problem continues to escalate there could be many more to follow around the world, including Cannes.
Over the past week the likes of Apple, Netflix, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter all pulled out of the event, affecting a number of key film and TV premieres in the process. This included the likes of Spike Jonze’s Beastie Boys documentary, A24’s The Green Knight and Judd Apatow’s The King of Staten Island.
The cancellation of SXSW is due to local government demanding its closure as part of its disaster declaration. Chief administrator of Travis County, County Judge Sarah Eckhardt, stressed this was not a decision based on panic and that instead this was “based on expert medical opinion that we should cancel festivals or mass gatherings countywide.”
As we edge closer towards the arrival of more key festivals in the 2020 calendar, the organisers of CinemaCon (end of March) and Tribeca (April) will be paying close attention. While theses events and others are currently still set to go ahead the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 virus means that few large gatherings are set in stone for the foreseeable future.