SXSW Cancelled Over Covid-19 Fears – A Sign of Things To Come?

News broke on Friday that Austin’s biggest Music Festival and Conference SXSW will not go ahead this year due to Covid-19 fears.

The Festival which has ran for the last 34 years and attracted attendance figures of over 232,000 in 2019 released a statement of their regret.

“…We are devastated to share this news with you. ‘The show must go on’ is in our DNA, and this is the first time in 34 years that the March event will not take place. We are now working through the ramifications of this unprecendented situation.

As recently as Wednesday, Austin Public Health stated that ‘there’s no evidence that closing SXSW or any other gatherings will make the community safer.’ However, 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…”

Last week Musicvein reported on the wave of artists cancelling tours in areas which have seen an outbreak of the Coronavirus, with questions being asked on the impact of music festivals and concerts in the UK – this SXSW cancellation could be the catalyst to further Festivals and large scale events being cancelled around the world.

With the Government confirming 209 positive cases of the virus in the UK and panic buying in supermarkets – are us Brits really concerned for our public safety?

Musicvein reader Gary Cross spoke about his attendance to the Stereophonics concert held at Motorpoint Arena Nottingham. “I was surprised to see that there were no public health warnings at the almost sold-out venue. There were no people wearing gloves and masks, no security checks to see if attendees were well – it was business as usual! I can tell you one thing for sure though, more men than usual were washing their hands in the toilets!”

So it seems for the moment that until we have a major Public Health warning, disruption to UK Festivals/Concerts isn’t happening and it’s business as usual.

Stay tuned to Musicvein for further updates.

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