As the country's leading health experts predicting the United States has yet to reach the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, the organizers behind San Diego Comic-Con have decided to cancel this year's mega-convention. Held annually at the San Diego Convention Center, SDCC is the usual go-to for studios to promote major reveals; in one example, Marvel Studios unveiled its entire Phase 4 slate last summer to a sold-out crowd in the convention center's Hall H. The convention is far from the first event to have to undergo major changes as a response to the pandemic.
"For the first time in its 50-year history San Diego Comic Convention (SDCC), the organizers behind the annual pop culture celebration, announced today with deep regret, that there will be no Comic-Con in 2020," Comic-Con said in a statement. "The event will instead return to the San Diego Convention Center from July 22-25, 2021. Recognizing that countless attendees save and plan for its conventions each year, and how many exhibitors and stakeholders rely upon its events for a major portion of their livelihood, they had hoped to delay this decision in anticipation that COVID-19 concerns might lessen by summer. Continuous monitoring of health advisories and recent statements by the Governor of California have made it clear that it would not be safe to move forward with plans for this year."
ReedPOP postponed Emerald City Comic Con this year and for the first time ever, the Austin-based South by Southwest canceled its weeks-long event, a decision that ended up resulting in dozens of layoffs. Emerald City has since rescheduled for August, though that date would now seem in flux now that SDCC has been cancelled. The San Diego-based convention was previously scheduled to take place between July 23rd and July 26th.
Comic-Con International, the parent company behind San Diego Comic-Con, made the decision in early March to indefinitely postpone WonderCon, a smaller sibling con to San Diego. That Anaheim-based con has yet to receive a new date. Previous reports suggested Comic-Con International could wait until June to make a final decision regarding San Diego, depending on how the pandemic panned out. As recently as March 24th, the company had been dedicated to keeping the convention on its currently scheduled weekend.
"We applaud the actions of the city as they offer additional support to some of our community's most vulnerable in these unprecedented times," Comic-Con said in a statement. "And while we continue to explore WonderCon dates, we are diligently working on Comic-Con. Currently, our hope is that the event will occur July 23-26, 2020, as scheduled."
Cover photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images