Apple has decided against appearing at the annual SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas this year plans this year as a petition grows to cancel the event.

Currently, the event’s organisers seem bullish in continuing despite calls to halt the event to keep coronavirus from spreading. The event is a major driver of economic growth, clocking $355m in local impact.

The petition has counted more than 45,000 signatures.

Apple is one of the highest-profile participants to pull out. So far Amazon Studios, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok have confirmed they will not attend, with more expected to cancel before the 13-22 March event.

Apple has previously used the event to launch new Apple TV Plus exclusives, host discussions on docuseries, and screen documentaries.

There is no word whether the technology giant will find an online outlet for its launch plans this year.

Coronavirus cases in the UK have jumped to 87, while the USA has counted 37.

Other US event cancellations include:
Facebook F8 Developers Conference
Seattle’s Emerald City Comic Con
Arnold Sports Festival
Game Developers Conference
The London Book Fair
Ultra Music Festival