Apple pulls out of SXSW 2020 over coronavirus concerns, cancels planned Apple TV+ premieres

As concerns heighten over the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, Apple has pulled out of their participation in the South by Southwest (SXSW) 2020 festival, canceling the premiere three new Apple TV+ originals (the Beastie Boys Story documentary, the animated Central Park musical series, and the Home docuseries about cool homes.

Apple pulls out of SXSW. Image: Adam Horovitz and Mike Diamond in “Beastie Boys Story,” premiering April 24 on Apple TV+.
Adam Horovitz and Mike Diamond in “Beastie Boys Story,” premiering April 24 on Apple TV+.

Todd Spangler for Variety:

The tech giant had been set to premiere three new Apple TV Plus originals at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival, 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 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.


“It’s important for us to remember at this stage that we’re actively evaluating mass gatherings on a daily basis,” said Mark Escott, the interim medical director and health authority for Austin Public Health. “Right now there’s no evidence that closing South by Southwest or other activities is going to make this community safer. We’re constantly monitoring that situation.”

MacDailyNews Take: It’s unfortunate, but it makes sense for Apple to be cautious her by pulling out of SXSW this year.

1 Comment

  1. Netflix has withdrawn from SXSW as well. If the fear of Covid-19 kills the whole event, the economic impact on Austin will be a lot worse than just “unfortunate.” The good news from China does not necessarily reflect good news anywhere else.

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