Anime Expo is the latest nerd-culture event to pre-emptively cancel due to COVID-19. The cancellation is the most recent sign that social distancing practices will likely remain in place into the summer.
In a press release late last week, April 17, organizers Anime Expo announced that the convention would be canceled for this year:
With the COVID-19 situation continually changing, as well as more restrictions in place worldwide and in our host city Los Angeles, we can’t in good faith move forward with this year’s event. We know it will affect all of you differently and we did not come to this decision lightly.
Badge holders for the convention now have the option to receive a full refund on this year’s badge purchases or to have their purchase roll over to next year’s show. Additionally, attendees who booked hotel rooms through the Anime Expo official site will have their reservations automatically canceled.
Anime Expo is one of the biggest nerd-culture events of the year and the largest gathering of Anime fans in North America. The show was planned for mid-summer, specifically July 5-8. The 2020 edition of the show would have been the 29th year of the show’s run. As is implied by the badge roll over mentioned above, planning for the 30th Anniversary of Anime Expo is already underway. Anime Expo 2021 will take place July 2-5 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
While show organizers grapple with social distancing ordinances across the globe, more and more conventions are canceling earlier and earlier. While health concerns are most likely the main reasons for these convention cancellations, there is also a solid business reason to announce a cancellation sooner rather than later. For many exhibitors, artists, and performers, like cosplayers, these shows are the main source of income. Canceling earlier gives these stakeholders extra time to make other arrangements and possibly get refunds for travel expenses.
Hopefully, we’ll all be out of quarantine by July 2021.