AUSTIN, Texas – Friday, Austin Mayor Steve Adler declared the city a local disaster and canceled one of the area’s largest festivals of the year.
Adler said the 2020 South by Southwest festival has been canceled over concerns of the coronavirus.
The annual festival brings thousands together to celebrate film, music and comedy.
Officials say the decision was medical and data-driven.
Mayor Adler explained, “Based on the recommendation of our public health officer and director of public health and consultation with our city manager, I’ve gone ahead and declared a local disaster in the city and issued an order that effectively cancels South by Southwest for this year.”
South by Southwest officials say they are “devastated” by the news to cancel.
Organizers are exploring options to reschedule the event and provide a virtual online experience.