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NEWS: Otakon 2020 Cancelled Due to COVID-19




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CorneredAngel



Joined: 17 Jun 2002
Posts: 850
Location: New York, NY
PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:11 am Reply with quote
For the last few days, it looked like maybe we could be optimistic.

See you all there, Otakon 2021.
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CastMember1991



Joined: 06 Feb 2012
Posts: 800
PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:25 am Reply with quote
I saw it coming. Seeing it now, there was no way any event with mass crowds would happen this year, especially Otakon.

Everything starts in phases. I think restaurants will be the first thing to open this year, and movie theatres in July. Theme parks, sporting events, and conventions will have to wait next year, hence why Tokyo 2020ne had to be postponed.
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Aresef



Joined: 22 Jun 2005
Posts: 836
Location: MD
PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:46 am Reply with quote
I feel like I already made peace with it, that it wasn’t if but when this announcement would come down.

I feel like I’m in a good place—it’s not a con I fly to, obviously. And aside from the registration, which I plan to roll over, I hadn’t spent a dime on the con. I feel for the people with flights they can’t get refunded and the artists and such who depended on this and other cons to support their crafts.

And, of course, there are bigger things going on.
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Greed1914



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4082
PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:46 am Reply with quote
I'm expecting more cancellations going forward. Con crud was already a thing, so it's not like convention staffers are unaware of the risks of thousands of people in one building at a time for several days. Personal space could already be an issue under normal circumstances, but maintaining it in the hallways isn't likely. Spacing people out during a panel would also significantly reduce how many could go to what they want and diminish the experience.

Meeting the guests tends to be the main reason I go, but I wouldn't blame them for canceling appearances or declining to accept invitations. Even if they did go, how comfortable would they be signing stuff?
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FireChick



Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 2192
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:03 am Reply with quote
I was really hoping to go this year, but in a way, I kinda saw this coming. Better to prioritize the safety of the citizens than contribute to the virus's spread. Here's hoping things will eventually get back to normal in the coming months.
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Lactobacillus yogurti



Joined: 17 Aug 2011
Posts: 795
Location: Latin America
PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:37 am Reply with quote
About time they cancelled it. Protests notwithstanding, a con is truly a germ convention, to paraphrase Sawaki from Moyashimon
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 5526
Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:53 am Reply with quote
No one seriously thought Otakon would be happening. Even if in the unlikely event Washington DC decided to allow mass gathering conventions, there wouldn't be any international guests, and U.S conventions goers would be lower than normal for obvious reasons. You can't have 6 feet of separation at a convention, unless you want long lines (several blocks) outside the convention center to attend the dealer's room, to attend the Artist's Alley, or to attend popular event rooms. It would be a money loser event.

For liability concerns, Otakon was probably waiting for an official reason to cancel for their timeframe, luckily for them the Convention Center and the Army Corp of Engineers gave them that reason.
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se37



Joined: 08 Dec 2007
Posts: 228
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:14 pm Reply with quote
When Anime Boston was talking about how they cancelled. They had to wait until the governor of Massachusetts issued the order on large events. This was because if they canceled before then, they would then be forced to pay for everything and we wouldn't have an Otakon next year.

Waiting for something outside of their control was the only way they would have cancelled as they were not longer responsible for payments. Most contracts have a clause that it can be voided if an event happens outside of Otakon's control.
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Aresef



Joined: 22 Jun 2005
Posts: 836
Location: MD
PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 1:26 pm Reply with quote
se37 wrote:
When Anime Boston was talking about how they cancelled. They had to wait until the governor of Massachusetts issued the order on large events. This was because if they canceled before then, they would then be forced to pay for everything and we wouldn't have an Otakon next year.

Waiting for something outside of their control was the only way they would have cancelled as they were not longer responsible for payments. Most contracts have a clause that it can be voided if an event happens outside of Otakon's control.


Bingo.
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Kaylee Smerbeck



Joined: 26 Jul 2017
Posts: 134
PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:15 pm Reply with quote
TarsTarkas wrote:
No one seriously thought Otakon would be happening. Even if in the unlikely event Washington DC decided to allow mass gathering conventions, there wouldn't be any international guests, and U.S conventions goers would be lower than normal for obvious reasons. You can't have 6 feet of separation at a convention, unless you want long lines (several blocks) outside the convention center to attend the dealer's room, to attend the Artist's Alley, or to attend popular event rooms. It would be a money loser event.

For liability concerns, Otakon was probably waiting for an official reason to cancel for their timeframe, luckily for them the Convention Center and the Army Corp of Engineers gave them that reason.

Still sucks cause it gives hope
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se37



Joined: 08 Dec 2007
Posts: 228
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:07 am Reply with quote
Kaylee Smerbeck wrote:
TarsTarkas wrote:
No one seriously thought Otakon would be happening. Even if in the unlikely event Washington DC decided to allow mass gathering conventions, there wouldn't be any international guests, and U.S conventions goers would be lower than normal for obvious reasons. You can't have 6 feet of separation at a convention, unless you want long lines (several blocks) outside the convention center to attend the dealer's room, to attend the Artist's Alley, or to attend popular event rooms. It would be a money loser event.

For liability concerns, Otakon was probably waiting for an official reason to cancel for their timeframe, luckily for them the Convention Center and the Army Corp of Engineers gave them that reason.

Still sucks cause it gives hope


True, it does suck due to that but knowing how contracts work as I work on them all the time at my office, they had to keep saying "We will go on as schedule." If they gave even a small hint that they may cancel, then they would be on the hook for all that money and breaking of contracts. As much as we would like them to be more clear, they are a business (non-profit but still) and are bound by contracts.
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Greed1914



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4082
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:34 am Reply with quote
se37 wrote:
Kaylee Smerbeck wrote:
TarsTarkas wrote:
No one seriously thought Otakon would be happening. Even if in the unlikely event Washington DC decided to allow mass gathering conventions, there wouldn't be any international guests, and U.S conventions goers would be lower than normal for obvious reasons. You can't have 6 feet of separation at a convention, unless you want long lines (several blocks) outside the convention center to attend the dealer's room, to attend the Artist's Alley, or to attend popular event rooms. It would be a money loser event.

For liability concerns, Otakon was probably waiting for an official reason to cancel for their timeframe, luckily for them the Convention Center and the Army Corp of Engineers gave them that reason.

Still sucks cause it gives hope


True, it does suck due to that but knowing how contracts work as I work on them all the time at my office, they had to keep saying "We will go on as schedule." If they gave even a small hint that they may cancel, then they would be on the hook for all that money and breaking of contracts. As much as we would like them to be more clear, they are a business (non-profit but still) and are bound by contracts.


I would guess my local convention is in a similar position. Announcements have been along the lines of "too early to call" or getting the hotel to delay room deposits by a month. Our state has been pretty slow and pretty non-committal with how it is handling things, so conceivably, convention staff might be waiting for the right opportunity to cancel.

Personally, I've pretty much made my peace with the prospect of losing out on my registration fee since I don't think I'll go, even if it still goes forward. Ideally, they would at least give an option to cancel attendance this year put it toward next year, but I'm not expecting that would happen.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 14546
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:09 am Reply with quote
If the convention building is gonna be used as a hospital, it'll take awhile afterwards to completely disinfect it and then let it lie fallow for some time
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