Apple is pulling out of SXSW due to coronavirus concerns, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported on Wednesday. Apple is following in the footsteps of Facebook, Twitter, Amazon Studios, and others in not attending the Austin-based conference due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Variety also confirmed Apple’s withdrawal from the event. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Apple’s events at SXSW included a world premiere of Spike Jonze’s Beastie Boys Story, an animated musical series called Central Park, and a documentary series called Home. The premieres, as well as a talk featuring Little America creators Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, have been canceled, Variety reports.
Many companies and organizations have announced they will no longer be attending the tech, music, and film festival, which is scheduled to take place from March 13th to March 22nd. Yet the show will proceed as planned for now, Austin public health officials said today.
“It’s important for us to remember at this stage that we’re actively evaluating mass gatherings on a daily basis,” Mark Escott, the interim medical director and health authority for Austin Public Health, said at the press conference, according to CNN. “Right now there’s no evidence that closing South by Southwest or other activities is going to make this community safer. We’re constantly monitoring that situation.”
On Monday, SXSW updated its site with a page dedicated to questions about coronavirus’ impact on the event and tips to prevent spread of the disease. “Safety is a top priority for SXSW,” says a statement on the page. “Currently, we are taking the following actions on-site: provision of disinfectant wipes and spray, hand sanitizer for common area spaces and activity spaces, microphone wipe downs, inclusion of Austin Public Health Disease Prevention literature, outreach to all meeting spaces, venues, and hotels.”
By Jay Peters