WonderCon Anaheim 2020 Has Been Postponed

Comic-Con International (CCI) announced mid-day on Thursday the 12th that it would be postponing its WonderCon Anaheim 2020 event scheduled for April 10-12 in Anaheim California. CCI issued the following statement:

STATEMENT FROM COMIC-CON RE: COVID-19

March 12, 2020

To protect public health and slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19, the California Department of Public Health announced a recommendation that gatherings and events of more than 250 people should either be postponed or cancelled. Comic-Con (organizer of WonderCon) will abide by this recommendation. Therefore WonderCon Anaheim, scheduled for April 10-12, 2020 in Anaheim, California, will be postponed until a later date.  We will begin processing refunds in the coming days.

We continue to work closely with officials in San Diego and at this time no decision has been made regarding the rescheduling of Comic-Con slated to take place this summer; July 23-26, 2020. We urge everyone to follow the recommendations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionand your local health officials.

This not-unexpected event follows similar postponements / cancellations of Seattle’s Emerald City Comic Con, and the E3 electronic gaming convention scheduled for June in Los Angeles. On late Wednesday and earlier on Thursday, several major sports leagues, including the NBA, NHL, MLB and the NCAA announced that they were suspending their seasons or some games. In the case of the NCAA’s March Madness basketball tournament, it had already been decided that fans would not be allowed in the arenas. Three major concert events, SXSW, Coachella and Stage Coach were also cancelled earlier this week.

In particular, CCI cited the recommendation by California’s Governor, Gavin Newsom, to cancel events drawing more than 250 people. It is thought that this may have been the final bit of impetus needed by CCI to delay or cancel their event, because to have done so without an official directive would likely have meant that their deposit on the Anaheim Convention Center would have been forfeited. Many smaller conventions and events face similar concerns and cancelling out of prudence without such “cover” can be financially devastating.

In addition to pop-culture conventions other areas of fandoms have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Several of the regional “Kingdoms” of the Society for Creative Anachronism have cancelled major events. The Kingdom of An Tir, which covers the states of Washington, Oregon, Northern Idaho, most of the Canadian province of British Columbia and the Yukon and Northwest Territories announced that they would cancel all events through March. Further south, the 53-year-old Kingdom of the West has postponed its Crown Tournament until circumstances have changed.

It should be noted that California Governor’s office issued a special exemption for Disneyland, which is located literally across Katella Avenue from the Anaheim Convention Center. This exemption means that Disney’s two California theme parks will not follow the Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo parks in temporarily closing out of COVID-19 concerns – at least, not for the moment. Disneyland last shut down on 9/11/2001. They have announced closure on Saturdays through the end of the month, however, in an attempt to at least minimize the impact of the virus.

While CCI will no doubt recoup most of their expenses, the ones who will be most adversely affected are the merchants, artists and other vendors who rely upon the conventions to sustain their businesses. If you were planning on attending a convention that has been cancelled or postponed, and if it is financially possible for you to do so, please consider making an online purchase from a vendor whom you had planned to patronize at a convention. Many of the vendors depends on these conventions for their entire livelhihood, and your commerce would be most welcome in these uncertain times.

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