Coronavirus: Memphis in May festival on track despite concerns

It looks like the show will still go on.

That’s the word from Memphis in May officials, despite growing concern over the coronavirus.

Festival officials told WHBQ they see no reason to cancel, despite cancellations of major events in Texas and Florida.

More than 400,000 people were expected to fill the streets of Austin for South by Southwest.

The annual tech, film, and music conference draws visitors from more than 100 countries around the globe.

That's according to South by Southwest officials, who announced Friday they will cancel the massive event.

“There were multiple registered guests from international locations and domestic locations with evidence of person-to-person spread,” said Mark Escott, Austin EMS System medical director.

The Ultra Music Festival in Miami also was canceled.

Nearly 200,000 Electronic Dance Music fans were expected in the city’s Bayfront Park March 20 to 22.

Organizers are calling the festival “postponed” until 2021.

“This decision is not a cause for alarm or panic, but rather we are doing it in an abundance of caution,” Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said.

For Memphis, Beale Street Music Festival officials monitor the coronavirus situation seriously but have no plans to cancel the music festival or any other Memphis in May event.

"Our events are still more than 50 days away," Robert Griffin, Memphis in May Vice President of Marketing, told WHBQ. "A lot can happen between now and then."

Griffin told the television station tickets are still selling, which indicates to them that people want the show to go on.

“Currently there is no threat locally, according to Health Department officials and the CDC,” he said. “There is no local threat, so at this point, there’s no reason to be alarmed.”

While some festival guests do travel from other countries to attend the festivities, Griffin said, it will be up to the health departments, the CDC and Homeland Security to determine whether they’re safe to travel.

“That’s where they do their job with people coming into the U.S., and we are doing our job from a security and safety standpoint at the event,” Griffin said.

Griffin said conversations have happened to possibly include additional hand-washing or sanitizer stations, but he said he’s confident ticket holders will be vigilant in bringing their own supplies as well.

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