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SXSW

SXSW 2020 Cancellations Continue to Pile Up

Gettyimages | JEALEX Photo
By Sharon Oliver

As organizers of SXSW 2020 insist "the show must go on," cancellations to participate in the festival continue to mount up amid growing fears of COVID-19 spread.

Up to so far, SXSW 2020 is set to go on as planned starting March 13 in Austin, Texas with SXSW officials trying to reassure the public that nothing has or will change and they are carefully following guidelines from local health officials as well as those set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

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Amazon Studios

Amazon Studios
Gettyimages | VALERIE MACON

Amazon Studios is the latest to pull out of this year's festival activities. On behalf of Amazon Prime's marketing activation with EW, the following statement was released to various press and PR folks:

"*Due to health concern, Amazon Prime Video has decided to pull back from the festival and will be cancelling all activities including the Blue Room Photo/Video Studio over the weekend and the Entertainment Weekly party on Saturday evening. We regret any inconvenience this may cause. The health of our team members and guests is our priority.

Thank you for your understanding,

Entertainment Weekly*"

Amazon Employee Tested Positive for COVID-19

COVID-19
Gettyimages | Anton Petrus

A worker at an Amazon office in Seattle recently tested positive for the coronavirus. Amazon stated in a memo to the staff:

"The employee went home feeling unwell on Tuesday. February 25 and has not entered Amazon offices since that time."

The company asked everyone who experienced symptoms to stay home and seek medical attention. To date, 10 people in the state of Washington have died from the virus, all within the city of Seattle. Amazon now joins Twitter, Facebook, Mashable, China Gathering, Intel and TikTok in skipping the upcoming event.

Petition Calling for SXSW Cancellation

petition
Gettyimages | Daniel Sambraus / EyeEm

On Sunday, Change.org created a petition calling for the cancellation of SXSW 2020, which had garnered nearly 15,000 signatures by Tuesday. Petition author Shayla Lee wrote in the petition addressed to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, The Center for Disease Control and the Austin Department of Public Health:

*"I'm concerned about the hundreds of thousands of people who will be traveling to Austin, Texas in March for the SXSW festival. I believe that having an event like this is irresponsible amid an outbreak."

SXSW Stance

festival
Gettyimages | WIN-Initiative

Written on SXSW attendee safety web page is the following: "Regarding the current Coronavirus (COVID-10) outbreak: 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, we are proceeding with the 2020 event with the health and safety of our attendees, staff and volunteers as our top priority."

Elsewhere, the list of cancellations for conferences, concerts and events around the world continues to expand.

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