Apple and Netflix will no longer be participating in this year’s SXSW festival as concerns over the coronavarius continue to grow. The tech giants join Facebook, Twitter CEO Jack Dorcey, TikTok, Amazon Studios, and more companies in pulling out of annual music and film festival held in Austin, Tex.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Netflix planned to screen five films during the festival, including Kenya Barris’ new sitcom #BlackExcellence. Apple was expected to premiere three projects that will air on the Apple TV platform, including a Beastie Boys documentary directed by Spike Jonze.
Despite concerns and a petition calling for SXSW to be cancelled this year, festival organizers don’t plan on pulling the plug. “As a result of this dialogue and the recommendations of Austin Public Health, we are proceeding with the 2020 event with the health and safety of our attendees, staff, and volunteers are our top priority,” reads a statement on the festival website.
Festival organizers are working closely with local state and federal agencies “to plan for a safe event.” Additionally, APH has remained in communication with the CDC and health departments around the country.
“At this time, no health departments in the state have requested the cancellation of any gatherings as the current risk of person-to-person spread in their jurisdictions remains low,” the statement continues. Historically, March is not a peak international travel month in Austin, but we will continue to monitor.”
SXSW 2020 is scheduled to run from March 13-22.