The Independent reported that Netflix and Apple have also dropped out. The companies did not return requests for comment. The report said Netflix planned to host five film screenings and a panel, all of which have been canceled, while Apple's scheduled SXSW events included a debut of a new series expected to come to Apple TV+ later this year.
Meanwhile, The Statesman reported tech giant IBM has canceled its plans to attend SXSW due to a company-wide travel restriction that bars anyone from attending events with more than 1,000 attendees.
And yet, SXSW organizers and Austin City officials say the festival slated for March 13-22 is still on.
Dr. Mark Escott, medical director for Austin Public Health, said at a press conference yesterday that there is “no evidence that closing SXSW or other activities would make [the] community safer.” He said SXSW organizers were working to keep festival goers safe by screening all employees to ensure they are not ill before working; providing additional hand-washing stations and hand sanitizers; and placing signs around the festival to remind people to practice proper hygiene.
Escott said Austin Public Health was also assessing ways to “lessen social contact” by possibly reducing the number of people allowed into venues.
An increasing number of brands have pulled out of SXSW, including TikTok, Mashable, Intel, Facebook, Vevo, Twitter and Amazon Studios.
Meanwhile, numerous other industry events have been canceled, postponed or moved online due to the coronavirus outbreak, such as Shoptalk; Adobe Summit 2020; Dubai Lynx, the Middle East creative festival owned in part by Cannes Lions parent Ascential; and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Fox News also became the first media company to cancel its upfront.
Ad Age put together a Coronavirus Industry Event Tracker, where you can keep tabs on the latest developments around events being canceled, postponed or moved online.