sxsw crowd 2013
[Photo by: Anna Hanks/Wikimedia Commons]

South By Southwest may have been canceled due to coronavirus but the festival is going ahead with their awards for films that were screening at the event.

Further, they are expanding their online screenings, creating a digital environment in replacement of the physical event.

Read More: Record Store Day postponed until summer over coronavirus

According to Variety, SXSW Director of Film Janet Pierson made the announcement today (March 13) which would have been the first day of the event.

“This was going to [be] a transformative event, and with the cancelation, the filmmakers were left stranded and scrambling,” she said. “We had several Special Awards juries already in place via links, and since we are not able to present the event, we decided to continue and expand to all the juried competitions, if the majority of the filmmakers opted in and juries were available. We know it’s no substitute for the live SXSW event with its unique and fantastic audience, but at least it’s some way to get attention for these wonderful films.”

Further, Pierson says SXSW is still acting as a qualifying festival for the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards.

The awards are announcing March 24 with online screenings available for press, ticket holders, industry insiders and others who would be attending.

Read More: Record Store Day postponed until summer over coronavirus

South By Southwest ended up formally canceling the festival on March 6. Fans initially launched a Change.org petition to cancel the event.

Ozzy Osbourne and Trent Reznor both canceled panel appearances, and sponsors such as Apple, Netflix, WarnerMedia, TikTok and more pulled out. You can read their full statement on canceling here.

The outcome of canceling this year’s event is causing massive issues for Austin, Texas. The city prospers from the tourism SXSW brings in and the canceling of the event is jeopardizing the future of the festival.

SXSW later broke the news of company layoffs incoming from the cancelation.

What do you think of SXSW’s response to their event cancelation? Let us know in the comments below.

See More: Lollapalooza rocks day two with BMTH, DCFC, Bishop Briggs and more