South by Southwest (SXSW) is a yearly tradition of music, video games, and other entertainment in the city of Austin, and in 34 years, the March event has gone on without fail. This year breaks that tradition. By order of the City of Austin, SXSW 2020’s March events have officially been canceled, an order with which the organizers will comply.
The SXSW organizers announced the decision to cancel March SXSW 2020 events via the organization’s Twitter on March 6, 2020. Though not explicitly stated, concern over travel with the coronavirus epidemic is more than likely to blame for the cancelation. According to the announcement, Austin Public Health officials had previously stated that there was no reason to believe that closing down SXSW would be beneficial to the safety of Austin citizens.
“However,” SXSW wrote. “This situation evolved rapidly, and we honor and respect the City of Austin’s decision. We are committed to do our part to help protect our staff, attendees, and fellow Austinites.”
SXSW 2020 was expected to take place from March 13 to March 22, 2020 before the cancelation occurred.
With SXSW currently canceled, the organizers have stated that there could be a possible rescheduling.
“We are exploring options to reschedule the event and are working to provide a virtual SXSW online experience as soon as possible for 2020 participants, starting with SXSW EDU,” The statement continues. “For our registrants, clients, and participants we will be in touch as soon as possible and will publish an FAQ.”
The cancelation of SXSW 2020 follows the recent postponing of GDC 2020, the ESA’s elevated concern over E3 2020 in wake of Los Angeles’s recently announced state of emergency, and a massively growing list of other events being canceled or postponed in relation to coronavirus worries.
It’s worth noting that Shacknews was also set to participate in its own way in SXSW 2020 with the kickoff of our Shack Smash Tournament Series, featuring a Super Smash Bros Ultimate Invitational tournament with $20k on the line. Though SXSW’s cancelation certainly affects our plans, we are currently looking into the possibility of a private event.
We have just heard the news that @sxsw has been canceled. Our #ShackSmash Invitational was set to take place on the show floor of @SXSWGaming. We’re in the process of moving forward with the tournament in a private event. Please stay tuned for more updateshttps://t.co/mtuufjdqGf pic.twitter.com/kZDw5kxCKY— Shacknews (@shacknews) March 6, 2020
For both SXSW 2020 and Shack Smash Series news, stay tuned for further news and information on these events as it becomes available.