More and more high-profile businesses and speakers are nixing plans to appear at Austin’s blowout music, media and tech conference in response to the spread of COVID-19. South by Southwest organizers say that the show will go on regardless – from March 13 to 22 – stressing that Austin public health officials have not advised them to shut things down. Still, an online petition to call off the conference has drawn tens of thousands of signatures. And the cancellation announcements keep coming.
We rounded up a list of every big-name attendee that’s bowed out of the conference so far.
The company, now a newcomer to the entertainment industry, became the latest to change its mind about SXSW on Wednesday, according to reports. As part of the conference’s film and TV portion, Apple had planned to debut three new shows coming out under its Apple TV Plus banner including Spike Jonze documentary film Beastie Boys Story. The company was also set to host a panel discussion on Little America, its anthology series about immigrants’ lives in the U.S., which premiered in January.
Five screenings are no longer happening as a result of the streaming giant’s decision to skip out. That means crowds will have to wait a little longer to see Uncorked, Netflix’s upcoming drama about a young black man’s desire to become a master sommelier, while his father steers him toward the family barbecue business instead. Showings of four documentaries, A Secret Love, L.A. Originals, Mucho Mucho Amor, Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics have been scrapped too, along with a panel discussion.
Owned by Dallas-based AT&T, the company pulled out of SXSW on Thursday, prompting a whole bunch of cancellations. Among them were panels for HBO’s Watchmen (with Damon Lindelof, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross) and A Black Lady Sketch Show (with Robin Thede), as well as TBS’ Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. A premiere of HBO’s We’re Here was also axed along with one of TNT’s Snowpiercer.
A panel on the CW’s Supernatural featuring its stars Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins and Jensen Ackles has been taken off the program too. (WarnerMedia is a partial owner of the CW.)
So much for screenings and panels for Tales from the Loop and Upload, two upcoming TV series from the producer.
The house that Zuck built bowed out of SXSW on Monday. “Due to concerns related to coronavirus, our company and employees will not be participating in SXSW this year,” Jocelyn Jones, a Facebook spokesperson, said by email. A number of its employees had been booked on panels, and an event in East Austin was planned through the company’s artists in residence program, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
Company CEO Jack Dorsey changed his mind about speaking at one of the conference’s featured events after Twitter announced Sunday it was “suspending all noncritical business travel and events” for its employees and others involved in the company’s operations in response to the virus.
The breakout new video platform is “erring on the side of caution” by canceling its SXSW plans, it told a variety of news outlets Tuesday, adding “We are looking at a variety of alternative ways to bring parts of the previously scheduled experience to the audience in creative news forms.”
The under-the-hood electronics maker shut down its plans on Tuesday.
Never mind those plans to host its annual Mashable House at SXSW, the media company said Tuesday that was out of the question, along with its party dubbed MashBash.
Monday brought news that the music video streaming company was pulling out. At the time, it was one of the earlier big businesses to announce plans to stay home during the conference.
The investor and host of the popular “Tim Ferriss Show” business podcast offered some words of caution Tuesday in announcing not to visit Austin, “I love SXSW,” he tweeted, “but I don’t believe the novel coronavirus can be contained, and I view an int’l event of 100K+ people as a huge risk to attendees and the entire city, given limited ICU beds, etc.”
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