Conventions & Awards

SXSW Will Go Ahead says Austin Public Health Chief

SXSW will proceed as planned despite concerns over the coronavirus, Austin public health officials said during a press conference Wednesday.

“It’s important for us to remember at this stage that we’re actively evaluating mass gatherings on a daily basis,” said Mark Escott, the interim medical director for Austin Public Health. “Right now there’s no evidence that closing South by Southwest or other activities is going to make this community safer. We’re constantly monitoring that situation.”

“If we make the recommendation to shut down SXSW, people will still come here, without that organizational structure that SXSW provides,” said Escott. “All along SXSW has been extremely responsive.”

Cancellations Grow

But a growing number of major companies are pulling out of the event despite assurances from public health officials.

MORE: Amazon, Vevo, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter Join Growing SXSW Coronavirus Cancellations

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