How Coronavirus Fears Are Impacting SXSW And Other Tech Events

Large companies have pulled out of this year’s South by Southwest festivals in Austin, leading some to wonder whether the event will ultimately be canceled.

By Shelly BrisbinMarch 5, 2020 2:28 pm, , ,

Companies including Netflix, Apple, IBM and Facebook have announced they will skip the South by Southwest festivals, known as SXSW, this year. The annual 10-day event is set to begin March 13. On Wednesday, public health officials said there was no evidence that canceling the event that takes place in numerous venues all across Austin would make the city safer from coronavirus.

Tech expert Omar Gallaga says SXSW organizers could decide to cancel or scale back the group of festivals if enough companies and high-profile speakers pull out.

“This has been going on, not just with SXSW,” Gallaga says. “Every major tech event has had to do some soul-searching and figure out if they’re going to continue.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– Which major tech events have already been canceled

– Why SXSW has so far decided not to cancel

– What factors individuals should consider when deciding whether to attend SXSW