Weeks after announcing plans to hold an in-person event in December, Los Angeles Comic Con has officially canceled its 2020 event. On Tuesday, Comikaze Entertainment announced that it would no longer be holding its physical convention - which was initially rescheduled to occur from December 11-13 - amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. L.A. Comic Con organizers cite the decision as being due to the lack of reopening plans for theme parks and events from California governor Gavin Newsom. The convention hopes to return for a new event in 2021, which will occur from September 24-26 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
“Last week on Oct. 7, Gov. Newsom finally gave an update on reopening plans for theme parks, which most people thought would precede event and convention guidelines,” Chris DeMoulin, CEO of Comikaze Entertainment, said in a statement. “In his announcement, the Governor said he had decided NOT to provide reopening guidelines yet for theme parks, and by extension, events. Without guidelines, there is no way for LA County, the City, or event organizers like us to know if the plans and changes we made to be COVID-safe will be right, or enough. So, with that new direction from the State, we are rescheduling.”
“As we look to 2021 with high hopes, our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the doctors and early responders on the frontline, the doctors and researchers working on effective therapies and vaccines, the teachers, Moms and Dads trying to help their kids’ studies stay on track, and the businesses large and small working to adapt what they do to survive and thrive despite the pandemic," DeMoulin continued. "We look to 2021 with empathy for all, knowing we are all struggling – the sick and the healthy, those who have lost loved ones, the employed, the under-employed and the newly unemployed. May we all have each other’s backs and work today for a better tomorrow."
According to Comikaze, almost 70% of "3-Session passes" for the proposed 2020 event - which would allow attendees one 5-hour session in the convention per day, with industrial cleaning in between - were purchased during an Early Bird sale last month. As was promised when the 2020 event was initially announced, ticket buyers will have an opportunity to either roll their tickets over to the 2021 event or request a full refund.
In addition to the cancellation announcement, L.A. Comic Con announced the first wave of guests confirmed for the 2021 event, including Shazam! star Zachary Levi, Smallville star Tom Welling, and comic icon Frank Miller. More guests are expected to be announced over the course of the next year. Additionally, fans will have the opportunity to preorder and reserve the next Hot Topic L.A. Comic Con Exclusive Funko Pop!, Silent Bob, with pick-up at L.A. Comic Con HQ, via mail, or onsite in 2021.
This announcement comes as the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound and ever-evolving impact on the convention industry, with many high-profile events such as San Diego Comic-Con and New York Comic Con going online in an effort to curb the virus' spread. The announcement of L.A. Comic Con's in-person 2020 event was initially met with backlash last month, including from California's Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly, who called the event "inconsistent" with the state's current guidelines.
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