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SXSW Moving Forward, Despite Cancellations

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(CelebrityAccess) — Organizers for the annual South by Southwest music festival and conference announced that the event is proceeding as planned, despite growing concerns about the spread of coronavirus.

“SXSW is working closely on a daily basis with local, state, and federal agencies to plan for a safe event. As a result of this dialogue and the recommendations of Austin Public Health, the 2020 event is proceeding with safety as a top priority,” event organizers said in an update on Monday.

Organizers also emphasized the importance of personal hygiene for the event, such as washing hands covering your mouth when you cough.

They will also be providing on-site disinfectant wipes and spray, hand sanitizer for common area spaces and activity spaces, microphone wipe downs, the inclusion of Austin Public Health Disease Prevention literature, outreach to all meeting spaces, venues, and hotels.

South by Southwest is scheduled to take place in Austin over ten days, from March 13 – 22 but a number of key speakers and organizations have announced they have backed away from participating this year, including tech titans Facebook and Intel, as well as video streaming service Vevo, according to the Austin Statesman.

Other cancellations include keynote speaker Tim Ferris, who announced on Tuesday that he was pulling out of this year’s event, writing via social media: “After much thought, I’ve cancelled my attendance at SXSW. I love SXSW, 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.”

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has also canceled a planned speaking engagement at this year’s SXSW, stating on social media that he had stepped back from unnecessary travel.

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