Although state governments are starting to inch toward the possibility of relaxing some restrictions related to the current situation, large-scale gatherings have been deemed to be unfeasible over the coming months. San Diego Comic-Con organizers have now decided, for the first time (since its 1970 inception), to cancel the summer’s annual gathering of cosplayers in the interest of flattening the curve. This development follows a recent declaration by California Governor Gavin Newsom that the continuation of “large-scale events that bring in hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of strangers” should “not be in the cards” for awhile.
This effectively puts summer events within the state on hold, including SDCC, which was scheduled for July 23-26. Variety reports that, in 2021, the event will take place from July 22-25, but you can put away the Stormtrooper costume for now. Given that the event attracts over 130,000 attendees annually, the Comic-Con International organizers cited Newsom’s recent comments:
“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, [organizers] 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.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has likewise declared that concerts and major sporting events aren’t likely to occur until 2021. He and Newsom have been joined in their sentiments by NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio, who went ahead and cancelled all summer gatherings in the Big Apple as well. In doing so, De Blasio stressed that he wants to get people back to jobs and children into schools again, but gathering tens of thousands of people together for events is “like the exact opposite of social distancing.”