Facebook pulls out of SXSW amid growing fears over coronavirus

Karissa Bell
Senior Editor
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Facebook just became the latest high-profile company to pull out of SXSW. The company, citing health concerns, announced that its employees will no longer be attending the annual festival.

"Due to concerns related to coronavirus, our company and employees will not be participating in SXSW this year," Facebook said in a statement to Engadget.

The move isn't necessarily surprising. Facebook also canceled its biggest annual event, developer conference F8, which draws thousands of attendees from all over the world. And their withdrawal from the Austin festival comes hours after Twitter said it's pulling the plug on its SXSW plans after the company restricted all "non-essential travel" for employees.

Despite the high-profile cancellations, it appears the conference organizers plan to push ahead with the event as planned — at least for now. A statement posted to the festival website Monday states that festival officials plan on "proceeding with the 2020 event with the health and safety of our attendees, staff, and volunteers as our top priority."