With the coronavirus now causing great concern among global conference organizers — i.e. the Mobile World Congress canceled this month’s Barcelona confab and the International Olympic Committee will assess in three months whether to cancel this summer’s Tokyo games, SXSW organizers said today that the March 13-22 festival remains on. Last year’s SXSW drew more than 417K attendees with an economic impact on the fest’s Austin home of $355.9 million.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday reported multiple cases of the coronavirus with people under federal quarantine at JBSA-Lackland in San Antonio, roughly 90 minutes south of Austin.
SXSW said today in a statement (read it below) that it is keeping in close contact with local, state and federal agencies as they plan a safe festival. While the event has seen “a handful of cancellations,” especially in the case of those coming from China, that number is “on par with years past in regard to registrants who are unable to attend.”
This year’s European Film Market in Berlin, Germany saw a number of no-shows from Asian companies due to the coronavirus. The CDC also reported today that Americans should brace for the likelihood that the coronavirus will spread to communities in the United States, and be ready for serious disruption to their daily lives.
Here is today’s statement from SXSW officials regarding the coronavirus:
The SXSW 2020 event is proceeding as planned. Safety is a top priority, and we work closely with local, state, and federal agencies year-round to plan for a safe event.
Where travel has been impacted, especially in the case of China, we are seeing a handful of cancellations. However, we are on par with years past in regard to registrants who are unable to attend.
We are increasing our efforts to prevent the spread of germs per Austin Public Health’s recommendations, and we will continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide updates as necessary.
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