Anime Expo 2020 has been officially cancelled, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement came from Ray Chiang,Â CEO of The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, via the official website.Â
“This is a day my team and I hoped wouldnâ€™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.
With the COVID-19 situation continually changing, as well as more restrictions in place worldwide and in our host city Los Angeles, we canâ€™t in good faith move forward with this yearâ€™s event. We know it will affect all of you differently and we did not come to this decision lightly.
For exhibitors, artists, contractors, performers, and more, this impacts you on many levels. Anime Expo is an important source of income as well as inspiration for all of you. We know you have been working tirelessly in preparation for July and we appreciate your dedication to your craft.
For our staff and volunteers, who have been working hard, planning every detail of this yearâ€™s event since before AX 2019 ended, we share your sadness â€“ please know we support you every step of the way as we turn our attention to next year, Anime Expoâ€™s 30th anniversary!
For our attendees, AX is a place to see old friends, make new ones, and experience the immersive nature of the larger anime community. We will miss seeing you!
We thank each and every one of you for being a part of a community that makes Anime Expo such a special experience every single year.”
While badge holders will have the option to be reimbursed, or hold onto their pass for next year’s event. More information shall be released on that “in the coming days.”
Likewise, exhibitors and artists can “can expect to receive information via email sometime next week.” Hotel reservations booked through ConferenceDirect will also be cancelled.
Chiang concluded the announcement with words of encouragement for next year’s event.
“It remains our goal to provide fans and industry partners from around the world with a safe space to come together to celebrate and share our love of anime. We are committed to bringing you the best of the best next year as we return to Los Angeles for our 30th anniversary on July 2-5, 2021!
As I have said before, we are in this together. We love and support our community and know Anime Expo is an event like no other. Each summer, Anime Expo allows all of us to connect and share our love of anime and Japanese pop culture.”
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic (also known as COVID-19 officially, or Chinese Flu to others) has affected many worldwide, from businesses to public gatherings and events [1,Â 2,Â 3,Â 4,Â 5,Â 6,Â 7].
We also recently reported on anÂ employee at Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Tokyo offices contracted the virus, along with voice actor Rick May (Soldier inÂ Team Fortress 2, Peppy Hare and Andross inÂ Star Fox 64)Â passing awayÂ due to the virus. SiliconEra also reports aÂ member of Capcom in Osaka also contracted the virus.
The Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering are mapping the virusâ€™ spread [1,Â 2]. As of this time of writing, there have been over 2.310 million total confirmed cases worldwide, and over 1.562 million active cases. There have been over 158,000 deaths, however over 590,000 people have made a â€śtotal recovery.â€ť
The United States has had over 726,000 cases (over 625,000 active cases), nearly 38,000 deaths, and over 63,000 recoveries. The state of California (where the convention would have taken place) has had over 114,000 hospitalizations.
Image: Anime Exp Official Website