SXSW 2020: Facebook, Twitter Cancel Participation

Facebook is skipping SXSW over concerns about the spread of coronavirus, joining Twitter in sitting out the annual film, music and technology festival.

“Due to concerns related to coronavirus, our company and employees will not be participating in SXSW this year,” a spokeswoman for the social networking company said Monday in a statement. Facebook had about a dozen speakers scheduled to participate in the event and one activation.

The company also recently canceled its annual F8 Developer Conference, which was set to be held in May in San Jose, California.

Twitter made a similar decision on Sunday evening, announcing that, due to its mandatory global business travel restriction, its employees would not be able to attend the event, which is scheduled to run March 13-22 in Austin. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also dropped out of the event, where he was set to be interviewed by Axios’ Dan Primack.

Several global events, including Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, have been canceled in response to the global outbreak.

But SXSW is currently scheduled to take place as planned. A safety resources page on the event’s website was updated Monday to inform attendees that organizers are “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.”