As the pandemic continues to impact conventions and expos, San Diego Comic-Con is the latest to step away from plans for an in-person event in 2021. The San Diego Comic-Con physical event has been canceled, with plans now in place for a shortened [email protected] digital event this summer, as well as tentative plans for an in-person show in November.
San Diego Comic-Con announced the cancellation in a tweet, saying that July 2021 still appears to be too early to hold gatherings of this magnitude, and the in-person event is being postponed until the 2022 dates, and those with rollover tickets from 2020 would be further pushed to 2022. Ticketholders can also request refunds if they wish.
— San Diego Comic-Con (@Comic_Con) March 1, 2021
As with last year, organizers will hold the event as the free [email protected] online digital show, but this year’s event will be a shorter three-day event due to “limited financial resources” stemming from the difficulties of the past year. [email protected] 2021 will take place from July 23-25.
To continue with the spirit and passion of the in-person events that make Comic-Con, they are planning to hold a smaller three-day physical event sometime in November 2021, though at this time, full details around the event still have not been worked out. The November event doesn’t seem to be a full replacement for the canceled Comic-Con, but rather a smaller interstitial show to carry organizer, exhibitors, and fans through to the full return of San Diego Comic-Con as a physical event in 2022.
The official announcement of San Diego Comic-Con 2021 being cancelled comes just after reports of E3 2021’s own cancellation of its physical event, thanks to a schedule for an upcoming meeting from the Board of Los Angeles Convention and Tourism Development. E3 and The ESA have yet to officially comment on the cancellation, but reports last month said the show was already being planned as a fully digital showcase this year anyway. Former Nintendo boss Reggie Fils-Aime expressed his skepticism, saying that the plans for E3 2021 don’t sound all that compelling.
2021 marks the second year in a row that major industry tentpole events have been canceled in light of the ongoing pandemic that makes gatherings in large numbers impossible to do responsibly. Last year featured a number of delays, pushes, and cancellations with hopes that things would return to normal soon, but it looks like 2021 is set to be a rerun of 2020 as far as physical conventions and expos are concerned.