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South By Southwest is Cancelled

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KUT Public Radio contributed to this report. We will update this post. 

South by Southwest has been cancelled, due to concerns around COVID-19 .

At a news conference Friday afternoon, Austin Mayor Steve Adler said he’s declared a “local disaster” and has issued an order that “effectively cancels” SXSW.

There are no known cases of coronavirus in Austin or Travis County, and there is no emergency today. But officials were concerned about large numbers of people in close contact. They also were worried about multiple registered guests who were from areas where the disease had spread.

In the past week alone, roughly 25 brands – including Twitter, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Warner Media – have pulled out of the festival, citing concerns over the coronavirus.

Last year, the festival brought in an estimated $356 million and drew more than 400,000 attendees from across the globe. SXSW organizers have deferred to the city and county in its decision-making about whether to cancel the festival.

The coronavirus has led to the deaths of 14 people in the U.S. and infected more than 100,000 people since late January.