The South by Southwest (SXSW) festival is, at this point in time, still scheduled to take place later this month. However, HBO has revealed that it will not attend the event this year due to ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The decision was made by HBO’s parent company WarnerMedia, it revealed this week. The announcement follows a number of past event cancellations over the outbreak, including Mobile World Congress and more.
WarnerMedia isn’t the only company that decided to ditch SXSW this year, but it is the most recent to make that announcement. Amazon previously revealed that it won’t be attending this year’s event due to concerns over the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. According to EW, HBO won’t be attending, either, out of precaution over the outbreak.
The event is scheduled to take place in Austin, Texas, from March 13 to March 22. Netflix was previously scheduled to screen a number of films, including Uncorked and Mucho Mucho Armor, but it decided against attending and canceled its March 15 panel on the series Black Excellence.
Apple reportedly has also canceled its plans to attend the event, meaning that several of the biggest companies won’t be there this year. Similar cancellations eventually spurred the cancellation of big events like GDC 2020 and it is possible we’ll see a similar event cancellation involving SXSW in coming days.
City officials have attempted to ease concerns; a recent press conference said there haven’t have been any confirmed cases of the disease in the city. However, people travel from all over for events like SXSW and given the current outbreaks in multiple parts of the US, it isn’t surprising that some companies are erring on the side of caution.