SXSW canceled amid coronavirus outbreak

AUSTIN, Texas — The South by Southwest music and technology conferences in March are canceled amid the coronavirus outbreak.

On Friday, Austin city officials declared a local area disaster, canceling the event, which was to be held March 13-22 at various venues throughout the city, from happening.

“‘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,” event officials said on social media. “We are now working through the ramifications of this unprecedented situation.”

The event attracts about 100,000 music, technology and pop culture fans and has an estimated $356 million economic impact to the Austin area, according to event officials.

High profile companies, including Apple, NBC Universal and Netflix, had pulled out of SXSW earlier in the week.

There are no cases of COVID-19 in Travis County.

“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,'" Event officials said on social media. "However, this situation evolved rapidly, and we honor and respect the City of Austin’s decision.”