Warren Buffett axes 'Woodstock' festivities at Berkshire's annual meeting

The meeting is among a slew of big events to be canceled or closed off to attendees because of the coronavirus outbreak

Forget the newspaper tosses, the discounted merchandise and the food.

Continue Reading Below

The carnival-style events that earned Berkshire Hathaway the moniker "Woodstock for Capitalists" won't be part of this year's annual meeting, billionaire CEO Warren Buffett said Friday.

"I very much regret this action," Buffett said in a statement. "For many decades the annual meeting has been a high point of the year for me and my partner, Charlie Munger. It is now clear, however, that large gatherings can pose a health threat to the participants and the greater community. We won’t ask this of our employees, and we won’t expose Omaha to the possibility of becoming a 'hot spot' in the current pandemic."

WARREN BUFFETT SAYS CORONAVIRUS, OIL DROP HIT TO STOCKS NOT AS BAD AS 1987, 2008

Attendance at the Omaha, Nebraska, event will be limited to Buffett himself, possibly Munger, the company's vice chairman; and several Berkshire employees who will deliver proxy votes, according to the statement.

It is now clear, however, that large gatherings can pose a health threat to the participants and the greater community. We won’t ask this of our employees and we won’t expose Omaha to the possibility of becoming a “hot spot” in the current pandemic. Therefore, we will limit attendance to me, possibly Charlie, and several Berkshire employees who will deliver proxy votes.

The May 2 meeting will be streamed online by Yahoo, Buffett said.

WARREN BUFFETT GIVES UP ON NEWSPAPER EMPIRE WITH $140M SALE TO LEE ENTERPRISES

The meeting is among a slew of big events to be canceled or closed off to attendees because of the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier this week, the NBA suspended its season indefinitely, while the NCAA canceled its March Madness tournament. The 2020 Masters golf tournament has been postponed, and the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas was also canceled.

"It is now clear, however, that large gatherings can pose a health threat to the participants and the greater community," Buffett said in the statement. "We won’t ask this of our employees and we won’t expose Omaha to the possibility of becoming a 'hot spot' in the current pandemic."

During the annual event, Buffett, 89, and his Munger, 96, field questions from shareholders for six hours. Last year, it drew more than 40,000 attendees from across the world.

"Charlie and I will miss you, but we will see many thousands of you next year," Buffett wrote.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS