Apple s no longer participating in the SXSW 2020 festival, as concerns heighten over the spread of the coronavirus as reported in Variety.
The tech giant had been set to premiere three new Apple TV Plus originals at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival, including Spike Jonze’s documentary film “Beastie Boys Story,” and also was scheduled to host a discussion of Apple’s “Little America” with docuseries creators Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. Those have now been cancelled.
Apple joins others that have backed out of attending this year’s SXSW, including Amazon Studios, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Mashable and Intel.
Organizers of SXSW continue to say the annual music, technology and entertainment festival in Austin, Texas, is still on for March 13-22. On Wednesday, officials for the city of Austin said the festival will still go forward. “Right now there’s no evidence that closing South by Southwest or other activities is going to make this community safer,” Mark Escott, the interim medical director and health authority for Austin Public Health said a press conference per CNN, adding, “We’re constantly monitoring that situation.”
Apple’s events at SXSW had been included the world premiere of the Jonze-directed “Beastie Boys Story,” featuring band members Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz; animated musical series “Central Park” from directors and exec producers Loren Bouchard (“Bob’s Burgers”) and Josh Gad (“Frozen”), alongside executive producer Nora Smith (“Bob’s Burgers”); and “Home,” a docuseries that promises a never-before-seen look inside “the world’s most innovative homes.” Apple also had scheduled a screening of political coming-of-age documentary film “Boys State,” which it acquired in partnership with A24 for $10 million at the Sundance Film Festival.
Calls for SXSW to cancel the conference have increased over the past week, with a Change.org petition urging the event’s organizers to pull the plug now at more than 45,000 signatures.