With at least 200 comic, sff and pop culture conventions having cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, Tampa NBC affiliate WFLA’s report today that “Tampa Bay Comic Con gets green light to go on in July” was an unexpected piece of news.
Tampa Bay Comic Con has received the green light to go on as planned in July, after months of uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Tampa Bay Comic Con will be held from July 10-12.
In a post to their Facebook page on Tuesday, Tampa Bay Comic Con confirmed it has received confirmation from the Tampa Convention Center and Tampa Fire Marshal that TBCC 2020 will move forward with numerous health measures to keep everyone safe.
Those measures include:
- Mandatory temperature screenings for all occupants prior to entering the convention center
- Increased cleaning and disinfection procedures in high-traffic areas of the convention center
- Hand santizing stations through the pre-function space and high traffic areas
- Interior occupancy of the exhibit hall, ballrooms and meeting rooms will be strictly limited, with one-way entrances and one-way exits of all interior spaces
Nevertheless, the trend for now is strong in the other direction, as cancellation announcements continue to mount.
Major gaming convention Gen-Con cancelled on May 19. The event was to be held in Indianapolis, IN on July 30-August 12. Peter Adkison, the event’s co-owner and chairman of the board, began his statement —
This decision will not be surprising to many of you, but due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19, we announced today that we are canceling Gen Con 2020 in Indianapolis and planning an online event in its place.
This will be the first time in the 50+ year history of Gen Con that we will miss the chance to see each other in person, and it hurts, but nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our attendees and the communities they hail from….
Others that went public with a decision this week include events in Mississippi, South Carolina and Missouri.
“2020 Mississippi Comic Con canceled due to COVID-19” was announced May 18.
“Because of the uncertainty surrounding the current state order and the overall lack of certainty surrounding the safety of our patrons, guests, vendors, and staff for Mississippi Comic Con, we are forced to cancel our 2020 event. After speaking extensively with the management at the Trade Mart, and advisement from the Mississippi State Department of Health, we have rescheduled Mississippi Comic Con for June 26-27, 2021. We are in the process of trying to re-book some of this year’s guests for those dates but nothing is certain at this time,” said AVC Conventions co-owner Greg Hanks.
The announcement that South Carolina’s “Soda City Comic Con canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic” also was made May 18.
On Monday, officials announced the cancellation of this year’s Soda City Comic Con.
The popular event, which has been held since 2015, was set to take place at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center on August 22-23.
“Given the current environment and with a heavy heart, we have decided to cancel the 2020 Soda City Comic Con,” event officials wrote in a message posted on the Soda City Comic Con Facebook page. “We do not take this decision lightly, as many hours have been dedicated to planning the 2020 event.”
In Missouri, reports that a “St. Louis comic con event postponed” went public on May 15.
Wizard Entertainment Inc. has postponed its Wizard World St. Louis convention, originally set for June 5-7 at America’s Center. The event will now take place March 12-14, 2021.
Wizard World is a convention for fans of multiple genres, including science fiction and fantasy, comic books, movies and digital media. Fans who purchased general admission or VIP tickets for the original dates may use those same tickets for the rescheduled event, officials said.
The US/Canada Convention Status Sheet (Google docs) tracks almost 300 comic, sff and pop culture cons. Nearly 200 events on their list have already cancelled or postponed. All the events through June (with a single exception) have been shuttered. For the next three months beyond that, the number of events that have yet to be called off amount to 17 in July (vs. 13 cancelled), 15 in August (vs. 5 cancelled), and 18 in September (only 1 cancelled).
The lone September cancellation so far is Rose City Comic Con in Portland, OR, which decided a few days ago:
As a consequence of the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Rose City Comic Con, originally scheduled to take place on September 11-13, 2020, will now be held at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland on September 10-12, 2021.