Since the announcement of the cancellation of the annual SXSW in Austin, TX, the festival organizers have notified pass holders that “2020 registrants can opt to defer their registration to 2021, 2022, or 2023” in a letter. According to Austin 360, the letter continued on to say that “We will be in touch soon with a system for deferral and FAQ.” The festival was scheduled to take place this upcoming weekend and next, March 13-22 with a showcase lineup that included many musical acts such as Japanese Breakfast, Ezra Furman, 070 Shake, Phantogram, The Black Lips, as well keynote speakers that included a roster with Roger Waters, Janelle Monae, Diplo, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross of Nine Inch Nails, St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark), Sleater-Kinney founding band member Carrie Brownstein.
This past Friday, Austin Mayor Steve Adler issued an official statement regarding the cancellation. None“I’ve gone ahead and declared a local disaster in the city, and associated with that have issued an order that effectively cancels South by Southwest this year.” This is the first in the festivals 34 year history that it has been canceled. The festival was canceled due to concerns over the outbreak and spread of COVID-19, a novel Coronavirus.
A day after its cancellation, festival co-founder Roland Swenson confirmed that the festival has no insurance regarding sicknesses and infections. “We have a lot of insurance (terrorism, injury, property destruction, weather). However, bacterial infections, communicable diseases, viruses and pandemics are not covered.”
Miami’s Ultra Music Festival recently announced its cancellation due to the virus. Coachella is also rumored to potentially be canceled as recent reports show that there is a case of the virus in Rancho Mirage, CA, a mere 20 minutes away from the Polo Fields.