The fan convention dominoes continue to fall.
As it becomes clear that the first wave of COVID-19 has not run its course, organizers of fan events continue to reevaluate their plans and make tough, but necessary choices. On Tuesday, the organizers of Emerald City Comic Con and PAX West took the decision to cancel their 2020 shows.
ECCC was previously postponed from March to August, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, the event has been cancelled entirely after organizer ReedPOP engaged in “many discussions with the convention center, exhibitors, artists and fans.” Tickets will be refunded while a digital event will take place in August to help some of the exhibitors hard hit by the cancellation of conventions like ECCC and ReedPOP expects the show will return to Seattle for its March 4-7th, 2021 dates.
Similarly, ReedPOP has also cancelled the Seattle-based gaming show PAX West for the same reasons. Scheduled for September 12-20th, the company made the choice to stop planning for a physical show because “the more we worked on a solution, the more it became clear that if we really wanted to welcome everybody home, we’d have to remove the physical barriers entirely, and simply take PAX Online.”
The online event will offer “a steady 24/7 stream of content, events, discussions, and gameplay” in an attempt to mirror the feel of a real life PAX. It will also take the place of PAX Australia, which is been cancelled. Tickets will be refunded and the digital events will be free of charge.
Since ReedPop has cancelled four events in the last two days — it pulled the plug on Star Wars Celebration yesterday — it seems like New York Comic-Con, ReedPOP’s crown jewel, will also be cancelled. Like PAX West and ECCC, it is held in one of the early hot spot cities and, really, it is impossible to hold fan events with the sort of social distancing protocols required to offer even a modicum of protection from the coronavirus.
As fans of these shows, we are definitely sad to see them paused for the year, but we certainly hope they will be able to resume safely as soon as possible.
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