San Diego Comic-Con has been canceled as the coronavirus pandemic continues to reshape how the world views large public gatherings. This is the first time in 50 years that it has been canceled. The annual entertainment and comic book convention was scheduled to run July 23-26 in San Diego, California. It will now be another year before devoted fans can reconvene in San Diego in July of 2021.
Comic-Con spokesperson David Glanzer was heartbroken to make the announcement, but conceded that it needed to be done for the safety of fans and all the many vendors and guest who participate in the pop culture phenomenon every summer. "Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures and while we are saddened to take this action, we know it is the right decision." Needless to say, everyone had hoped for a different outcome, that somehow the pandemic would be under control in time to proceed with business as usual, but that is simply unreasonable to consider as things stand at this time. Everyone agrees, it's best to be cautious.
The cancellation follows California Governor Gavin Newsom issuing a recommendation that gatherings of 250 people or more be canceled or postponed to prevent further spreading of the viral infection. This comes in the wake of both California and Los Angeles County, in addition to Orange County and San Francisco, declaring states of emergency.
The coronavirus pandemic has already produced big shifts in numerous events including SXSW, Coachella, E3, CinemaCon and the Tribeca Film Festival. All of these large capacity festivals have been rescheduled if not canceled all together in the wake of the virus. For example, WonderCon, the Anaheim convention run by the organizers of San Diego Comic-Con, has been postponed from its April date and is now scheduled for March 26-28, 2021.
Comic-Con is the most important geek event of the year. Last year it is estimated that 135,000 people descending upon the San Diego Convention Center for the 2019 convention. Although it launched in 1970 as a relatively small, comics-focused event it has grown over the past decades to encompass television and film as well. It has become a must a go-to place for major players such as Marvel Studios to unveil the latest news for upcoming fantasy focused releases, as well as a place to reveal secrets regarding already established TV shows. Naturally, people who purchased badges for the 2020 convention will be able to request a refund or transfer their badges to next year's Comic-Con. And it's safe to safe that virtually every hotel set to accommodate attendees are offering refunds, some even automatically. For instance, anyone who has booked through onPeak does not need to take action and will automatically receive refunds, according to Comic-Con organizers. That should help take some of sting out of the overall disappointment. But one things for sure; things are never going to be same for this large attendee events. Just wait and see next July.