South By Southwest Cancelled Due to Corona Outbreak

by James DeRuvo

Indiewire is reporting that the annual pop culture film, music and computer festival South By Southwest (SXSW) has been cancelled due to the Covid19/Corona virus outbreak. Could NAB be far behind?

SXSW follows other conferences including Google IO, Adobe Summit, CP+,and Mobile World Congress, all of which cancelled their annual gatherings over fears of attendees becoming exposed during travel. Adobe has said, however, that their annual Summit will be an online virtual experience this year.

There is even talk that the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will also be cancelled. The Games have only been cancelled one other time in its history, and that was in 1940, due to World War II. Ironically, those Games were also set to take place on Tokyo.

The announcement fresh off the heels of companies like Netflix, Starz, Lionsgate, Apple, Amazon and Warner Media all pulling out of SXSW in recent days. With the festival scheduled to begin March 13, organizers really had little choice but to call it quits for 2020.

As for NAB, the trade show association put out a statement signaling that the show will go on, but that it would be monitoring the overall situation as the conference approaches.

While the NAB stands firm in its commitment to hold the convention as planned, the health and safety of attendees and participants are NAB’s top priority. To that end, NAB is dedicated to providing rapid responses and assistance in support of the global NAB Show community’s participation plans. 

NAB also pointed out that some manufacturers and attendees may have little choice but cancel due to US travel restrictions.

Video hardware company AJA has already pulled out, citing Corona virus fears, and if Adobe scuttled the physical summit they hold every year in Las Vegas in favor of a safer online event, you have to wonder if they may not make the trip as well.

I have a hunch more will follow suit as the time to travel to NAB draws near.