SXSW has been canceled this year because of coronavirus fears, as announced by Austin city officials. As reported by IndieWire, the festival is the first major U.S. film event to get canceled because of coronavirus concerns.
The festival released a statement on social media about the cancellation.
“We are devastated to share this news with you,” states the organization, adding that the cancellation is “the first fime in 34 years that the March event will not take place.”
“We are now working through the ramifications of this unprecedented situation,” the statement continues. “As recently as Wednesday, Austin Public Health stated that ‘there’s no evidence that closing SXSW or any other gatherings will make the community safer.’ However, this situation evolved rapidly, and we honor and respect the City of Austin’s decision. We are committed to do our part to help protect our staff, attendees, and fellow Austinites.”
— SXSW (@sxsw) March 6, 2020
Before the cancellation was announced several big entertainment companies as Netflix, Apple, WarnerMedia and others had pulled out of the festival in the days leading up to it, continuing to add writing on the wall that the event would eventually get axed.
Netflix was the latest company to announce it will skip the music and entertainment festival. This means the streaming service will go without premiering five of its upcoming films like Courtney B. Vance and Niecy Nash in Uncorked. Other films that were set to screen at SXSW include Sundance hit Charm City Kings, The Lovebirds starring Issa Rae, Cut Throat City, Really Love and more.