On the heels of this morning’s announcement that both WonderCon and San Diego Comic-con are being completely cancelled this year, to be recheduling for their usual calendar slots in 2021, Anime Expo follows suit.
Anime Expo, a convention that celebrates Japanese animation and comics (anime and manga), is normally held each year over July 4th weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center. This time, though, social gatherings of any size greater than standing in line at the supermarket are banned in California. Ray Chiang, director of Anime Expo, released the following statement:
Dear Anime Expo Community,
This is a day my team and I hoped wouldn’t come, but it is with a heavy heart that I am announcing the cancellation of Anime Expo 2020. Our utmost concern is for the health and safety of our amazing Anime Expo community. We understand your disappointment as we are anime fans first and foremost too. As you can imagine, this was one of the most difficult decisions we have had to make in the 29 years of Anime Expo.
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.
For exhibitors, artists, contractors, performers, and more, this impacts you on many levels. Anime Expo is an important source of income as well as inspiration for all of you. We know you have been working tirelessly in preparation for July and we appreciate your dedication to your craft.
For our staff and volunteers, who have been working hard, planning every detail of this year’s event since before AX 2019 ended, we share your sadness – please know we support you every step of the way as we turn our attention to next year, Anime Expo’s 30th anniversary!
For our attendees, AX is a place to see old friends, make new ones, and experience the immersive nature of the larger anime community. We will miss seeing you!
We thank each and every one of you for being a part of a community that makes Anime Expo such a special experience every single year.
Badge holders will have the option to receive a full refund or to have their badges rolled over to AX 2021. As this is a big undertaking, please give us time to get the process solidified and stay tuned for more information in the coming days. Exhibitors and artists can expect to receive information via email sometime next week.
Hotel room reservations booked through ConferenceDirect in the AX official hotel block will be automatically cancelled. If you booked a room outside the AX hotel block, please contact your hotel directly.
It remains our goal to provide fans and industry partners from around the world with a safe space to come together to celebrate and share our love of anime. We are committed to bringing you the best of the best next year as we return to Los Angeles for our 30th anniversary on July 2-5, 2021!
As I have said before, we are in this together. We love and support our community and know Anime Expo is an event like no other. Each summer, Anime Expo allows all of us to connect and share our love of anime and Japanese pop culture.
Be safe, continue to do your part, support your community, and most of all stay well!
We look forward to seeing you at AX 2021!
The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation
Major events planned for the 2020 convention season are falling like dominoes at this point, as the COVID-19 pandemic rips through the United States’ population centers, large and small alike. It’s depressing news, to be sure, especially if you’ve been looking forward to your favorite convention all year long, but given the knowledge that half of coronavirus victims that are in bad enough shape that they need a ventilator don’t survive the experience, it’s arguably better than the alternatives.
Be safe. Practice social distancing, even if it isn’t required in your community (those communities where it is not required are fast becoming coronavirus hot spots). Wear a mask when you go outside. And wash your hands. And of course, to get your regular geek culture fix, SCIFI.radio is always here for you.