Inaugurated in 1987, SXSW has amassed global success and generated a huge income for its home city and the Texas capital, Austin.
“The show must go on is in our DNA” SXSW mentioned in their statement, but, as it seems, the fear of coronavirus won’t stop for anyone.
Last year alone SXSW made just over $355 million for the city whilst generating a sudden influx of tourism to Austin, with over 70,000 attendees representing 106 different countries. Parent company SXSW LLC mentioned that the City of Austin had the last say in cancelling the event, furthering that the matter was out of their hands.
Over the past two months specifically, you can’t turn on the news or open a newspaper without seeing a headline discussing the impact of coronavirus and its impacts on industry. Before the announcement by SXSW, film and tech conglomerates such as Netflix, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, Intel, CNN, and Mashable all withdrew their showcases or pulled on-ground officials from the event.
It’s no doubt that the cancellation will have an impact on both amateur and professional peoples, companies, and organisations that use the event as a launch platform, PR generator, or simply a viewing ceremony for competition and emerging technologies.
SXSW recently released a statement, using the opportunity to point out their concerns for cancelling the event with still very little knowledge of the virus’s future: “there’s no evidence that closing SXSW or any other gatherings will make the community safer. However, this situation evolved rapidly, and we honour and respect the City of Austin’s decision.”
— SXSW (@sxsw) March 6, 2020