HBO is the latest to abandon SXSW because of coronavirus

Christine Fisher
Contributing Writer
FilmMagic via Getty Images

HBO is the latest company to pull out of SXSW. Several other companies -- including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Netflix and Twitter -- have done the same, as the coronavirus outbreak continues to cause concern. HBO said Thursday that its parent company Warner Media "decided it's best not to move forward with activations at SXSW," CNET reports.

At the moment, it seems that SXSW will still happen. According to a statement on the festival's website, officials are "working closely on a daily basis with local, state, and federal agencies to plan for a safe event." Even if the festival does start as planned on March 13th, it will be considerably smaller than it has been in past years, as large and small companies alike attempt to avoid putting people in unnecessary contact.

Several other festivals and tech shows have already been canceled, including GDC, MWC, I/O, F8. Today, organized postponed the upcoming Minecraft Festival, and chances are we'll see more cancelations. As Engadget's Jessica Conditt points out, panic around the coronavirus outbreak could expedite the demise of in-person tech conventions altogether.