San Diego Comic-Con has been officially canceled. The unsurprising news broke after numerous other pop culture events have been removed from the entertainment calendar over the last few weeks as the coronavirus pandemic continues to run virtually unchecked around the world. This marks the first time in SDCC’s 50 year history that it has been canceled.
“Recognizing that countless attendees save and plan for its conventions each year, and how many exhibitors and stakeholders rely upon its events for a major portion of their livelihood, they had hoped to delay this decision in anticipation that COVID-19 concerns might lessen by summer,” reads a statement on the CCI website. “Continuous monitoring of health advisories and recent statements by the Governor of California have made it clear that it would not be safe to move forward with plans for this year.”
If you’ve already purchased badges, SDCC assures everyone that “individuals who purchased badges for Comic-Con 2020 will have the option to request a refund or transfer their badges to Comic-Con 2021. All 2020 badge holders will receive an email within the next week with instructions on how to request a refund.” Similarly, any hotel reservations made for SDCC 2020 will be canceled and refunded automatically.
“Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures and while we are saddened to take this action, we know it is the right decision,” said David Glanzer, spokesperson for the organization in a statement. “We eagerly look forward to the time when we can all meet again and share in the community we all love and enjoy.”
An email sent to exhibitors promises that there will be some kind of online presence for SDCC 2020, however.
“Information will be forthcoming in the next few weeks regarding the Comic-Con@Home initiatives we have planned for 2020. Currently, we are in the planning stages of our Online Exhibit Hall, our Invited Guest Online Interviews and Panels and some special projects and options that we can’t yet discuss.”
Far more hopefully, they’ve already set the dates for SDCC 2021, which will be held at the San Diego Convention Center from July 22-25, 2021. SDCC parent company CCI also runs Los Angeles’ WonderCon, which would have taken place over Easter Weekend, but was also wisely canceled. WonderCon has similarly been rescheduled for March 26-28, 2021 at the Anaheim Convention Center.
It’s an unfortunate but unavoidable and wise move. The novel coronavirus still hasn’t been contained despite unprecedented social distancing measures that have swept the country over the last 6 weeks. While there are some early and encouraging results in some of the hardest hit regions that social distancing measures are starting to work, the idea of gathering hundreds of thousands of people together for an event on the scale of San Diego Comic-Con remains unthinkable at this time, and may remain so until a vaccine is found.
Stay home, stay safe, and look after each other, and we’ll all be able to enjoy SDCC 2021 together.