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Apple Backs Out of South by Southwest Due to Coronavirus Worries

Amazon, Twitter and Facebook have also pulled out of the Austin cultural festival

The 2020 South by Southwest festival continues to bleed participants, as Apple is now the latest big name to pull out of this year’s event due to concerns about the spread of Coronavirus, a company representative told TheWrap.

The company had planned to debut three new Apple TV+ shows in the festival’s film and television section, and hold a panel discussion of “Little America” with creators Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. Those events have now all been canceled.

Apple is far from the only major participant to back out of SXSW 2020. Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Vevo, Intel, China Gathering, Mashable, TikTok, SAP, and The Latinx House have also all canceled their festival events and appearances.

Representatives for the South by Southwest festival did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap, but so far now organizers have maintained that the event will happen as scheduled March 13-22, despite calls to cancel it including a Change.org petition that has more than 46,000 signatures.

The news follows a wave of entertainment companies enacting strict measures in response to coronavirus. Earlier Wednesday, Sony closed three of its European offices for the rest of the week after an employee was potentially exposed to coronavirus, MGM delayed the release of “James Bond: No Time to Die,” and the 2020 Ultra Music Festival in Miami was canceled.

In addition, talent agency powerhouse CAA has restricted employee travel to “business-critical” only for at least the next two weeks, and the MipTV conference, originally scheduled for March 30-April 2, has been canceled.

THR first reported the news.