SXSW Canceled Over Coronavirus, for 1st Time In 34 Years

Shortly after the Beastie Boys, Ozzy Osbourne and Trent Reznor announced they’d pulled out of the annual South By Southwest music festival, the Austin-based event has been canceled. According to a statement on the official SXSW website, the coronavirus is to blame.

“We are devastated to share this news with you,” the statement reads. “‘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. 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,” the statement continued. “For our registrants, clients, and participants we will be in touch as soon as possible and will publish an FAQ.”

Prince of Darkness Ozzy Osbourne, Nine Inch Nails’ frontman Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are also bowing out this year in order to stay healthy. Reznor and Ross were originally scheduled to deliver the keynote speech on HBO’s Watchmen series.

Over the past few days, Facebook, Intel, Twitter and TikTok all pulled out of the conference as large corporations limited travel for employees amid the virus outbreak. The conference said it had 73,716 attendees in 2019, 19,166 of whom were from outside the United States.

According to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering’s coronavirus tracker, there have been almost 97,000 cases of coronavirus infection and 3,305 deaths worldwide, including 11 in the United States.

HEADER IMAGE from SXSW website