Nice in 2023 Worldcon Bid Folds

The Nice in 2023 committee has ended their bid to bring the Worldcon to France for now, with hope of renewing their efforts in the future.

After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to postpone our bid for hosting the 2023 World Science Fiction Convention in Nice, France.

The impacts of COVID-19 are extensive and have far reaching consequences, as various industries and sectors are affected by the aftermath of the pandemic. Our daily lives, employments and businesses are severely disrupted, and we find ourselves unable to keep the 2023 target.

This has been and still is a challenging time for everyone, and we want to thank you all for your support, open discussions, understanding and encouragement.

We’re genuinely upset and disappointed, but we fully intend to host the WSFC later in time. We will be working to finalize the details and will share more information about our plans in the coming months.

In addition to the obstacles raised by the pandemic, the Nice committee’s plan to hold the con in the city’s Acropolis Convention Center if they win had been jeopardized by the city’s newly re-elected mayor who told voters during his campaign he might tear it down as part of his vision to “continue the metamorphosis of Nice into a garden city.”

The remaining active bids for 2023 are Chengdu, China and Memphis, Tennessee, USA. The site selection vote will be held next year.

[Thanks to JJ for the story.]

13 thoughts on “Nice in 2023 Worldcon Bid Folds

  1. I’m surprised they cite COVID-19 as a factor; it would certainly affect planning/bidding for the other bids (at least for Memphis) just as much, and they could have expected less trouble for fellow continentals coming to the convention than Memphis (to the extent that there are serious restrictions on travel 3 years from now — if there are, I suspect we won’t be thinking much about Worldcons). But the potential loss of their meeting space has to concentrated their minds wonderfully. Despite their brave front, I would be surprised if they have a bid any time in the next decade; IIRC (from previous Scrolls), the proposed edge-of-town hall is little more than vaporware, and getting public buildings designed (according to what I’ve read) isn’t much easier in France than it is in the more liberal parts of the US. I’d love to be proven wrong….

  2. I was a Friend of the bid. No, I don’t resent losing the money, I just hope they hang onto the money for a future bid or give it to future Worldcons.

  3. Hoping and wishing this allows Wellington to file. This time I might have a shot at going!

  4. This makes me sad. Worldcon coming to New places seems a good thing and a third con East of the Mississippi in three years strikes be as too many, too close together.
    Though Nice followed by Glasgow would also have been pushing it.

  5. Though Nice followed by Glasgow would also have been pushing it.

    That’s a problem with Europe. Major population centers/plausible Worldcon venues are so close together. The only other place where they’re that close is the eastern seaboard of the US, especially the Northeast.
    And I’m sure that figured into why the French bidders picked Nice. Far enough away from the majority of other prospective and speculative European (mostly UK) bids that the 500 mile/800 km exclusionary rule wouldn’t kick in.

  6. @ Nick Pheas

    I hear you with respect to 3 Worldcons east of the Mississippi in succession being a little much.

    I disagree with respect to the geographical closeness of Nice and Glasgow being an equivalent. That they are in 2 different, culturally distinct countries makes a large difference in my opinion.

  7. This is a shame, the more Worldcons that can be held in non-English-speaking countries the better, and there aren’t that many potential venues in countries that are not English-speaking and also have governments that will treat the diverse crowds that we hope to see at Worlcon with respect.

    But losing their venue did doom the bid. I understand that Paris has the same basic pricing problem as London (Loncon3 in 2014 got a one-off discount from the convention centre, AIUI, but without a similar discount, there’s no way Worldcon can go back to London at an even faintly acceptable membership price) but there are other non-Paris cities with potential venues, notably Lyon and Bordeaux, as well as Cannes (which is probably also out of Worldcon’s price range).

    As someone who can’t fly in economy class and can’t afford to fly in anything else, I obviously favour European locations wherever possible, but it is true that all of the likely venues are in either western Europe or Scandinavia, so if Nice and Glasgow are close, then you’re not likely to see venues that aren’t.

  8. Mark Richards on July 27, 2020 at 12:46 am said:

    And I’m sure that figured into why the French bidders picked Nice. Far enough away from the majority of other prospective and speculative European (mostly UK) bids that the 500 mile/800 km exclusionary rule wouldn’t kick in.

    It wouldn’t have done so anyway. The 800 km exclusion zone is only around the convention conducting the election, not any other seated Worldcon. Technically, you could have the exact same place and committee hold two consecutive Worldcons if they (1) were mad enough to bid it and (2) the members of two consecutive Worldcons voted to let them do it.

    The purpose of the exclusion zone is not to require Worldcon to move around. It’s to reduce the “home field advantage” that any bid within a certain radius has over any other site.

  9. The news is of course not surprising, but I want to mention yet again that — but for the uncertainty about venue — Nice would IMO make a fine Worldcon venue. When I was there, I was very pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get around, courtesy of Nice’s excellent tram system. They were then just about to finish extending it eastwards across the city. The weather is good, and restaurants are just about without peer. In general, I was stoked about this bid, and happily presupported.

    Lyon is definitely an intriguing possibility (but I don’t know about hotels and convention facilities, just that it’s another top non-Paris destination). Cannes would indeed be Right Out, absent a miracle on hotel rates.

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