The spread of the novel coronavirus has impacted several major industries around the world as the greater effort to practice proper social distancing and quarantining practices has forced the delays and cancellations of many major events with large gatherings. This naturally includes several large conventions like San Diego Comic-Con and WonderCon, which recently announced their outright cancellations rather than postponing to a later date. Anime fans have been wondering what this meant for one of the largest conventions for the anime community, Anime Expo, and now it's been confirmed that Anime Expo 2020 has been cancelled.
In a statement from Ray Chiang, CEO for The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, on the convention's official website, Anime Expo 2020 has been cancelled and plans are now being set in place for its 30th Anniversary for Anime Expo 2021 on July 2-5th, 2021 in Los Angeles.
As Chiang noted in the statement, recent developments had unfortunately led to this big decision, "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."
Continuing further, "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."
According to the statement, fans who have already purchased badges for this year's convention will have the option to either refund them or roll them over to the 2021 event. The statement also notes how they will need some time to cement the process, and will reveal more information soon. Exhibitors and artists will also be receiving an email "sometime next week."
Anime Expo 2020 joins a long list of major cancellations, postponements, reschedules amidst the coronavirus pandemic, and unfortunately might not be the last as the weeks roll on. ComicBook.com will be here to update you on any future announcements regarding coronavirus delays as the unfortunate uncertainty of the current situation continues.