By Abb Jones
The Reelness

South By Southwest, the annual tech, film and music conference in Austin, Texas, has been cancelled due to concerns surrounding the global coronavirus outbreak.

SXSW organizers had been facing growing pressure in recent days to cancel the event, which was scheduled to take place from March 13 to March 22, after a growing list of high profile companies dropped out – among them: Twitter, Netflix, Facebook, Amazon Studios, Vevo, WarnerMedia and the popular video app TikTok.

The virus, which causes flu-like symptoms such as fever, coughing and respiratory distress, on Thursday surpassed 100,000 infections worldwide with more than 3,000 deaths. On Friday, Texas confirmed five new cases of coronavirus in the state, all in the metro Houston area, bringing its total to six cases.

Austin mayor Steve Adler said he had declared a “local disaster in the city” that has canceled SXSW, saying the decision was made after consulting with Austin’s public health officer and director of public health, who feared the large public gathering could result in an outbreak.

Attendees at SXSW 2014 in Austin, Texas

SXSW draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to Austin each year. The festival was due to screen more than 100 films and had scheduled speakers that included Hillary Clinton, Stephen Colbert, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Chip and Joanna Gaines.



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