Just days after Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Amazon and Twitter pulling out of the South by Southwest conference, the management of SXSW released a statement today, announcing the City of Austin’s decision to official canceled the March 2020 event.
For the first time in 34 years, the March event will close its doors to the public after a rapid spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, with over 260 reported cases in the United States.
“We are devastated to share this news with you. “The show must go on” is in our DNA..[and] we are now working through the ramifications of this unprecedented situation,” according to SXSW latest statement released today.
According to insiders from the music industry, following the decisions of many other tech companies, major music labels including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group have also pulled the plug advising its employees against going.
Earlier this week, the Austin Public Health denies the need for such cancellation to take place commented that “there’s no evidence that closing SXSW or any other gatherings will make the community safer.”
As for SXSW and its partners and collaborators, the cancellation by the City of Austin provides substantial ground cover against any liability related to damages due to last minute cancellation. This qualifies as an ‘Act of God’ and within the state of emergency or legal variant thereof – a decision that was beyond the capability outside the SXSW and its management.
Google, among other live music events, has also announced that it will no longer host I/O, a Google conference in California, considerably opting for telecast presentations instead.
Among others, featured guests from the music inudstry scheduled and canceled at SXSW 2020:
- eOne Music Global President Chris Taylor (Creating & Monetizing Music Track)
- Professor, sound engineer, and record producer Susan Rogers (Creating & Monetizing Music Track)
- Founder and CEO of DropLabs and former CEO of Beats By Dre Susan Paley (Future of Music Track)
SXSW 2020 was scheduled to take place on March 13th through March 22nd. It is one of the biggest conferences in Austin. South by Southwest was founded in 1987 as a place to exhibit ‘new things’ and showcase local bands.
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