South by Southwest (SXSW), framed as an edgy, 10-day collision of tech, art, music, film and Leftist politics and iconoclasm, is canceled this year.
The event that beckons the unwashed, Cheetos-finger-licking creatives for the nerd Coachella was canceled because “the man” had other ideas.
The City of Austin, Texas, announced an emergency over the coronavirus (COVID-19), though there are no cases of the virus reported in or around the city.
Two large participants in the event, Facebook and Amazon, had previously pulled out of many of the events because of the virus.
USA Today reported that the founders were forced to face facts:
“This is the first time in 34 years that the March event will not take place,” the company said in a written statement. “We are now working through the ramifications of this unprecedented situation.”
The conference this year had several high profile speakers in place, including former presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton, Beto O’Rourke and Andrew Yang and Steve Jobs’ widow Laurene Powell Jobs and rockers Ozzy Osbourne, director Judd Apatow and to Kim Kardashian West. Nearly 300,000 people attended in 2019.
SXSW was supposed to have kicked off on March 13.
The coronavirus was also blamed for the partial shut down of the Arnold Schwartzenegger Sports Festival and bodybuilding event he’s held in Ohio for several years. Spectators are not allowed to watch the 20,000 athletes compete until the final night, where they’ll be allowed to watch in a smaller venue.
It’s a sad day for me and everyone at the @ArnoldSports team. But we will always put our fans’ health first. After discussions with @GovMikeDeWine, @MayorGinther, and the CDC, we will be postponing the expo because we can’t risk bringing 250,000 people together with #COVID19. pic.twitter.com/Fuzcmapxiy
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) March 3, 2020
Let’s watch to see how the organizers and participants figure out how to blame President Trump for its cancellation.