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NEWS: LA Tourism & Convention Board Lists Anime Expo as Having 'Virtual Event' Over July 4 Holid




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invalidname
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Joined: 11 Aug 2004
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Location: Grand Rapids, MI
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 7:21 am Reply with quote
At this point, I wonder which big convention will be the first one back, and under what conditions.

Will it be something where whether or not it’s not actually safe for big indoor events, the local “masks are for cowards” pro-COVID government lifts the ban on indoor events, so the con no longer has force majeure to fall back on, and soldiers on as best they can? If that happens, we might see A-kon or Anime Matsuri make a go of it in late June / early July.

Tell you what, I gotta think it’s going to be really hard to convince Japanese guests to come here until the USA gets its act together, which could be a long ways off.
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senketsumatoi



Joined: 24 May 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 2:05 pm Reply with quote
As much as I miss conventions, I don't know how anyone could have possibly thought AX would happen in a physical sense this year. Yes, we are making progress on getting the pandemic under control and having a third vaccine is going to help, but it's still too soon for large gatherings especially one as massive as AX. Maybe if things keep going in the right direction, we could see cons start to return at the end of the year, but that's a big if.
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azabaro
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 5:24 pm Reply with quote
I expect very small conventions will be viable very late this year. For example, last year Pacific Media Expo was planned for Thanksgiving weekend - I think this year a convention of that size at that time might actually happen ("that size" meaning a very small hotel convention). Maybe even Super Dimension con (a similar size) at the beginning of October, but I wouldn't bet on anything earlier than that unless vaccination rates really ramp up.

As for larger events...maybe Hawaii's Kawaii Con (~13K attendees?) in mid-November? I'm guessing even the anti-mask state governments aren't likely to open everything up much before 4th of July, which means conventions for the next few months beyond that will have probably been able to cancel (though it looks like there's no simple rule on how far in advance you can cancel based on force majeure). I could see DragonCon (beginning of September) or Anime Weekend Atlanta (end of October) being faced with some hard decisions.

The next big anime event in Southern California is Anime Los Angeles, currently scheduled for January 6-9, 2022. I think that has a reasonable chance of happening, since I think we'll be near enough herd immunity to avoid another big holiday spike this year.
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KabaKabaFruit



Joined: 20 Sep 2007
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Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 6:57 pm Reply with quote
invalidname wrote:
Will it be something where whether or not it’s not actually safe for big indoor events, the local “masks are for cowards” pro-COVID government lifts the ban on indoor events, so the con no longer has force majeure to fall back on, and soldiers on as best they can? If that happens, we might see A-kon or Anime Matsuri make a go of it in late June / early July.
Even though you're speaking hypothetically, I'm going to state that courtesy is NOT cowardice and I'm sick and tired of people trying to argue otherwise.
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invalidname
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Joined: 11 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 7:26 pm Reply with quote
KabaKabaFruit wrote:
invalidname wrote:
Will it be something where whether or not it’s not actually safe for big indoor events, the local “masks are for cowards” pro-COVID government lifts the ban on indoor events, so the con no longer has force majeure to fall back on, and soldiers on as best they can? If that happens, we might see A-kon or Anime Matsuri make a go of it in late June / early July.
Even though you're speaking hypothetically, I'm going to state that courtesy is NOT cowardice and I'm sick and tired of people trying to argue otherwise.

Right. I was speaking satirically of those local and state governments that disparage spread-reduction techniques out of a misplaced desire to help business or a toxic sort of bravado. My fear is sooner or later they're going to say "we're not shutting things down anymore", and then cons with contracts signed years ago are either going to have to go on or default on those contracts and immediately go bankrupt.
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Aresef



Joined: 22 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 8:58 pm Reply with quote
I’m not the least bit surprised.
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Cutiebunny



Joined: 18 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 9:33 pm Reply with quote
I'm skeptical that conventions will be returning in the form that they were pre-pandemic and certainly not with the number of attendees that they once had. Several of the new strains of the virus, such as the South African variant, have proven themselves to be unaffected by the vaccine. As long as new strains continue to appear that are immune to whatever vaccine we have (and as long as we allow international travel to spread these new variants all over the globe within a week of their appearance), it won't make sense to have a large event. No convention in their right mind would want to hold a large, physical event and deal with potential lawsuits that can and will be presented to them by attendees who attend and later are found to be infected with Covid.
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Greed1914



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2021 3:25 pm Reply with quote
My friend and I discussed what we would do in the situation of our local convention proceeding since we live in a state that couldn't even be bothered with a mask mandate. While the convention staff is probably level-headed enough to not proceed simply because it's allowed, there is that possibility. We both came to the conclusion that we'd be fine with just giving up our registration fees that were rolled over from last year if there was no refund option.
Ideally, a convention would still offer a refund option as a means of limiting numbers and allowing those who aren't comfortable going to pass on it. But I'm not convinced that will happen the more times this comes up. We've already seen Otakon have to turn to fundraising to stay going since one year funds the next, so it wouldn't surprise me if some decide they have to do something just to keep it going.
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azabaro
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2021 6:12 pm Reply with quote
Cutiebunny wrote:
Several of the new strains of the virus, such as the South African variant, have proven themselves to be unaffected by the vaccine. As long as new strains continue to appear that are immune to whatever vaccine we have (and as long as we allow international travel to spread these new variants all over the globe within a week of their appearance), it won't make sense to have a large event.


To the best of my knowledge, no strain or variant of the virus has been proven to be "unaffected by the vaccine". I believe the South African strain has been shown to result in a much lower concentration of antibodies in the blood of vaccinated individuals, but in the case of at least the Moderna vaccine it appears to be very effective at preventing infections severe enough to require hospitalization or threaten death. I don't know if it's somewhat less effective at preventing any symptoms (that's the 95% efficacy associated with Moderna). I believe similar results have been measured for Pfizer and AstraZeneca - that is, fewer antibodies and maybe an increased chance of experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, but still a HUGE reduction in incidence of severe or life-threatening illness.
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