Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled San Diego Comic-Con canceled for the first time in its 51-year history
Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

It’s finally official: For the first time in its 51-year history, San Diego Comic-Con has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns. Instead, the 51st installment of one of the biggest entertainment gatherings of the year will take place in July 2021.

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Comic-Con announced the cancellation via its website today, three months before the event was scheduled to kick off:

“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. 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.”

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The announcement also confirmed that this year’s badges will be recognized for next year’s event. For those who wish to just get their money back, they are offering refunds for both the badges and hotels reserved under their specialized block:

SDCC also announced that individuals who purchased badges for Comic-Con 2020 will have the option to request a refund or transfer their badges to Comic-Con 2021. All 2020 badge holders will receive an email within the next week with instructions on how to request a refund. Exhibitors for Comic-Con 2020 will also have the option to request a refund or transfer their payments to Comic-Con 2021 and will also receive an email within the next week with instructions on how to process their request.

In the next few days onPeak, Comic-Con’s official hotel affiliate, will be canceling all hotel reservations and refunding all deposits made through them. There is no need for anyone who booked through onPeak to take any action, including trying to cancel their reservations online or contacting the company via phone as the process will be handled automatically. Those who booked rooms through onPeak will be notified when refunds have been completed.

Per Comic-Con, WonderCon Anaheim, which was originally scheduled to take place April 10 - 12, has been rescheduled for March 26-28, 2021. Though the cancellation is not a barometer for where the rest of country will be at that time—after all, some places are planning to be back in some form of business come July 1—it does speak to the uncertainty of what the summer will look like in terms of a “reopened” society. And while some events have the option of pivoting to an online experience, Comic-Con’s major draw is the deluge of previews, trailers, and information regarding new projects that fans receive during that time. With all of production halted, premiere dates and development schedules are far too tentative to count on. See you next year, San Diego.

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