Sad news for comics fans in America: this year’s San Diego Comic Convention (SDCC) has been officially canceled over COVID-19 concerns.
Organizers the SDCC posted the announcement through the SDCC 2020 official website, and also took the opportunity to disclose the cancelation through its Twitter page.
As indicated in its tweet, this marks the first time in San Diego Comic-Con’s half-century-long history that the annual event has been canceled:
The last few weeks have been an unprecedented time. Since it is becoming apparent that COVID-19 restrictions will not be a short-term matter, we have made the sad decision to cancel Comic-Con for the first time in its 50-year history.
— San Diego Comic-Con (@Comic_Con) April 17, 2020
According to the announcement, the event will resume next year from July 22 to July 25.
The organizers of San Diego Comic-Con had originally hoped that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic might have lessened significantly by the time the summer season begins this year.
But after closely monitoring advisories from healthcare officials, as well as recommendations from the office of the governor of the state of California, the organizers have decided that for the safety of everyone, SDCC 2020 will have to be canceled.
WonderCon Anaheim, another convention produced by SDCC organizers, was supposed to be held last April 10 to April 12. It is now confirmed that it will resume at the Anaheim Convention Center next year on March 26 to March 28.
To protect public health and slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19, the California Department of Public Health announced a recommendation that gatherings and events of more than 250 people should either be postponed or cancelled. (1/4)
— WonderCon Anaheim (@WonderCon) March 12, 2020
Apart from the scheduled conventions this year, Comic-Con’s organizers were also planning significant renovations on Balboa Park’s Federal Building. These renovations would have paved the way for the grand opening of the Comic-Con Museum in 2021.
But now, those renovations are now being rephased.
What happens to attendees who already made arrangements?
For those folks who have already bought their badges for this year’s event, they will be given the option to request for a full refund, or keep their badges to be used instead for Comic-Con 2021.
All badge holders should expect an email in the days to come, complete with instructions on how to go about with the refund process.
As for exhibitors, they can also opt to ask for a refund, or have their payments be applied to next year’s event.
Furthermore, onPeak, the official hotel partner of SDCC, will cancel all hotel reservations and refund all payments. Those who booked need not do anything because the cancellation process will automatically be facilitated by onPeak. They should be able to receive notifications when their refund has been completely processed.
Throughout its 50-year existence, the San Diego Comic-Con has become more than an institution among comics fans.
It started out as an ordinary convention where comics creators, illustrators, publishers, writers, collectors, and fans can gather together. But the last few decades have seen the annual event expand in scope well beyond comic books, and now include video games, movies, TV series, books, and even toys.
Conventions vs. coronavirus
The San Diego Comic-Con is far from being the only convention canceled, postponed, or shifted online due to COVID-19 fears this year.
Other popular conferences that got derailed include the SXSW, Mobile World Congress, Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference, E3, Game Developers Conference, and Google’s Cloud Next Conference, as well as its I/O Developer Conference.
Featured image courtesy of Comic-Con