Online petition: Cancel South by Southwest festival amid coronavirus outbreak

So far, the petition has reached over 8,600 supporters

AUSTIN, TexasA new petition has surfaced online, calling for the cancellation of the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas due to the coronavirus outbreak.

SXSW festival officials announced last week that the event was still going on as planned, according to a previous KSAT 12 report.

Last year, more than 400,000 people attended the festival over two weeks and of those, more than 73,000 attended the conference portion.

SXSW and local events proceed as scheduled despite coronavirus concerns

SXSW sent us this statement Friday, saying they are working closely with health officials to keep the event going, despite the coronavirus concerns:

“The SXSW 2020 event is proceeding as planned. Safety is a top priority for SXSW, and we work closely with local, state, and federal agencies year-round to plan for a safe event. Where travel has been impacted, especially in the case of China, we are seeing a handful of cancellations. However, we are on par with years past in regard to registrants who are unable to attend. We are increasing our efforts to prevent the spread of disease per Austin Public Health’s recommendations. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide updates as necessary.”

The online petition was created just three days ago by user Shayla Lee, on

Lee says she’s concerned about the coronavirus outbreak and the thousands of people making their way to Austin for the event.

“I believe that having an event like this is irresponsible amid an outbreak,” Lee said in the online petition. “Please think about the children, elderly, diabetics, asthmatics...”

The petition aims to reach 10,000 supporters. As of Sunday, 8,649 people and counting have signed in favor of it.

If you’re in agreement with cancelling the event and want to sign the petition, click here.

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About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.