South By Southwest Festival Canceled Over Virus Fears

The New York Times reports:

The 34th annual edition of South by Southwest, the sprawling festival of music, technology and film in Austin, Texas, that has become a highlight on the annual global cultural calendar, was canceled by city officials on Friday over fears about the rapid spread of coronavirus.

Festival organizers and government officials had come under intense pressure in recent days to pull the plug on South by Southwest, with more than 50,000 people signing an online petition and a growing list of tech companies — among them Apple, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok — announcing their withdrawal.

The decision was announced at a news conference by government officials who stressed the needs to protect public health, and noted that South by Southwest tends to draw thousands of people from around the world.

The event saw 160,000 attendees in 2019.