One of the major comic book conventions of the beginning of the year has since suffered major setbacks due to the growing fear around the outbreak of coronavirus, with COVID-19 causing major concerns among many companies. After news that multiple major comic book publishers would be abandoning their plans for Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, the organizers of the convention made it clear that they are offering refunds to anyone who has already made ticket purchases, including staff and volunteers who made plans to attend the convention. The organizers at ReedPOP addressed recent events for PAX East in Boston and C2E2 in Chicago, citing growing concerns about coronavirus as reasoning for refunds.
"We are committed to following the enhanced cleaning guidelines, precautions and procedures that we recently deployed at our PAX East event in Boston and C2E2 in Chicago," Reedpop said in a statement. "We also insist that all fans, guests and exhibitors adhere to good sense and all protocols as suggested by the CDC. We are fully prepared to adjust our plans as the situation in and around Seattle develops. We are following – and will remain in compliance with – all city, state and federal guidelines. If the direction from federal, state or local official public health authorities does change between now and the show, we will adhere to that guidance, act upon it immediately, and update you."
In citing their reasons for continuing with the event, Reedpop made it clear that they're hoping to give artists and vendors an opportunity to make money in spite of concerns of public safety.0comments
"We recognize that not everyone will agree with our decision: it is our feeling that this community values coming together and building connections, even in difficult times; that artists depend on fan relations to keep their work and careers growing; and that the very vibrancy of what makes our community special is just the type of energy and optimism that can buoy us as a broader community through these challenging and anxious time," Reepop said in their statement. "In short, we feel we owe it to the customer to grant you the personal choice of whether or not to attend."
Emerald City Comic Con is currently scheduled to take place March 12th through the 15th at the Washington State Convention Center in Downtown Seattle. Nine people have passed away due to the disease caused by coronavirus, all of them residents of Washington.