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Ozzy Will Skip SXSW Appearance Sighting Coronavirus Concerns

Gettyimages | Frazer Harrison
By Kevin JP

Ozzy Osbourne just announced the cancellation of his plans to appear at SXSW Festival as concerns over the coronavirus continue to loom large. The Prince of Darkness announced the news on Thursday that he's decided to withdraw from attending the annual technology, film and music festival in Austin, Texas. A rep for the Ozzman said in a statement, 'Following recent cancellations by major corporations, artists, record companies and studios because of the ongoing threat of the coronavirus, Ozzy Osbourne has likewise decided to cancel his upcoming appearance at SXSW.'

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Growing Fears

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Fears continue to grow in the wake of several other performers and speakers backing out of scheduled events, such as The Beastie Boys and Trent Reznor, of Nine Inch Nails fame. Also on the list are a growing number of major technology companies such as Warner Media, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, TikTok, LinkedIn, IBM and Audible. Both the Beasties and Reznor didn't have much say in the matter. Apple produced 'Beastie Boys Story', which was to be screened at SXSW and Warner Media is behind 'The Watchmen', the project Trent was planning to support in Austin.

No Need to Panic

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Earlier this week, Austin public health officials shared that the city would not be made any safer by canceling the event at this point. Dr. Mark Escott, the interim medical director and health authority for Austin Public Health said, 'Right now, there is no evidence that closing South by Southwest is going to make this community safer'. As reported by the Statesman, Escott also mentioned that a panel has been assembled and health officials are actively monitoring the situation - 'And if there’s any evidence that our community will be safer by closing down public events, we’ll do that', he said.

Just Another Setback For The Ozzman

Gettyimages | Kevin Winter/AMA2019

Ozzy has been fighting through a handful of recent health setbacks and also just cancelled his 'No More Tours 2', or at least the North American part of the tour, that was to support his recently released new album, 'Ordinary Man'. He did so in order to seek treatment in Sweden and avoid having to cancel dates at the last minute. Osbourne was scheduled to promote a world premiere screening at SXSW, a documentary airing on A&E this summer entitled, 'Biography: the Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne'.

Everything Happens For a Reason

Giphy | Squirrel Monkey

Why did Netflix, Apple, Google, IBM, Facebook and Audible, among others, decide to back out of SXSW if there aren't any confirmed cases in Austin, Texas? Perhaps it was local government warnings that did the trick. This week, the Public Health Department in Santa Clara County recommended that in order to protect residents of the county from the virus, 'local employers should refrain from exposing staff to close contact with large numbers of people.' The county is the corporate homes to some of the aforementioned companies like Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft.

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