Amazon Studios pulls out of SXSW festival over coronavirus scare

Los Angeles, Mar 4 (PTI) Amazon Studios has withdrawn its participation from the South By Southwest (SXSW) festival owing to the coronavirus outbreak.

The novel coronavirus or COVID-19, which originated in China, has spread to over 60 countries, including the US, where it has claimed the lives of nine people.

According to Variety, the studio was set to present two world episodic premieres of Greg Daniels' sci-fi show 'Upload' and Matt Reeves and Nathaniel Halpern’s 'Tales From the Loop'.

The two events were to be followed by Q&A sessions with the press.

The move follows Facebook and Twitter’s recent decisions to withdraw from the annual music, technology and entertainment festival in Austin, which runs from March 13 to March 22.

The festival is one of the large-scale events that is held every year. In 2019, the the festival drew more than 417,000 attendees, from a total of 106 countries.

The SXSW organisers, however, have ruled out that the festival will be cancelled.

'Regarding the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak: SXSW is working closely on a daily basis with local, state, and federal agencies to plan for a safe event.

'As a result of this dialogue and the recommendations of Austin Public Health, we are proceeding with the 2020 event with the health and safety of our attendees, staff, and volunteers as our top priority,' they said. PTI RB BK BK