Arisia 2022 Is Cancelled

Arisia 2022 has been cancelled due to the impact of Covid announced Chair Vivian Abraham today. The event had been planned for the January 14-17 weekend in Boston. The hotel has agreed to slide Arisia’s contractual obligations to later years.

At the end of 2021, the Con Chair team met and determined how we would move forward.  We decided that we would look at the COVID numbers in the new year (they are higher than ever), we would look at the health of our team (several of whom now have COVID or have family members with COVID), we would look at the number of folks planning to attend and/or be on program (which is currently too small to sustain us financially), and we would look at the advice of our COVID advisory team.  Together, these things portray only one responsible decision that we can make:  We need to cancel the in-person Arisia 2022.  Fortunately, the hotel has agreed to reschedule the 2022 and 2023 contracts and, instead, host Arisia 2023 and 2024 in the Westin.

More information about how memberships will be rolled over, and the deadline for cancelling current year room reservations is in the Final Progress Report.

They will not pivot to a virtual convention. However, on the weekend Arisia would have been held they will still have an online Minecraft server and an official Discord. People will not need a badge to participate. The Arisia code of conduct will apply in both of these spaces. Check the website for updates about how to connect.

[Thanks to Daniel Dern for the story.]

20 thoughts on “Arisia 2022 Is Cancelled

  1. I’m relieved, but still disappointed.

    I had put in quite a bit of time preparing to staff tech at Arisia, even while a number of my colleagues decided they weren’t going to be taking the risk of attending. We’re just fortunate that the hotel was willing and able to renegotiate the contracts so that the con has a chance of coming back in the future.

  2. Relieved and disappointed seems the only possible reaction.

    We’re entering the third year of the pandemic, and that’s scary.

  3. Lis Carey says
    Relieved and disappointed seems the only possible reaction.

    We’re entering the third year of the pandemic, and that’s scary.

    Yes we are and it is indeed bloody scary.

    And the Covidiots are using the length of the Pandemic as proof that neither the vaccines or masks are working. Mind you we might well be past this if the unholy number of unvaccinated had done the right thing and got their damn jab by now.

  4. Right now, emergency rooms at our hospitals in Stockholm are overburdened. There’s not even chairs enough in the waiting rooms, so sick people have to wait standing. Wait times can be more than 24 hours. Doctors and nurses are requested to work overtime as there aren’t enough of them, but most of them are too tired after two years of pandemic.

    About 11 of 12 covid patients are unvaccinated, being the main reason for this unbeatable situation (the other being 30 years of cutdowns and politicians with the main goal of dismantling public health care to force forward privatisations).

  5. They did what they had to do.

    I personally don’t see any way they could have kept that space even Covid-limited, and Boskone, which uses the same hotel, has a serious decision to make now.

  6. A week before the event this announcement is made?

    Isn’t that a bit of short notice, or did I miss prior announcements/warnings?

    Also: Boskone is already a hybrid convention, so could easily switch to virtual only, on already scheduled dates, with already scheduled panelists and programming, with little disruption to existing plans.

  7. @Steve Davidson–Yes, but it’s still a big decision, and will be painful to make. Not as big as Arisia’s, but not one that will be made lightly. 🙁

  8. Starting to think that conventions winter time is a bad idea during the pandemic. Everything points to a strong seasonal effect on the virus. Best is most likely to check out the curve for when the spread has been the lowest during the last year and avoid large gatherings outside of that.

  9. @Lis,

    you’re ruining my “Praise Boskone at the expense of Arisia” (which has nothing to do whatsoever at all to do with the way I have been treated by those respective conventions) thread.

    For me, very personally, Boskone represents a convention held in the finest Fannish tradition, while Arisia is a Northeast DragonCon wannabe in the making.

    Sorry to those folks who enjoy both; obviously, I have not.

  10. @Steve Davidson:

    For me, very personally, Boskone represents a convention held in the finest Fannish tradition, while Arisia is a Northeast DragonCon wannabe in the making

    Disagree (but amenable to agreeing to disagree).

    For starters, per D’con’s Wikipedia page,

    It is owned and operated by a private for-profit corporation


    I haven’t been to any DragonCons, but I’ve been to, if not all, near-all Arisias, and to probably a dozen more Boskones than that. IMHO both Boskone and Arisia are held in and are carrying one Fannish traditions finely. The Venn diagram of volunteers at all levels is non-trivial (with Arisia being IIRC ~1.5-2x larger than Boskone, on the average, at least for the past half dozen years – statististician clarificationers welcome.) (And I’ve been a regular and DragonsLair program participant at many.) While not privy to their internal discussions or planning, it feels to me like Arisia in particular strives and continues to adapt and evolve, and be fun. Like an anthology, there’s something at Arisia for almost anybody who wants to be there — and not everything is of interest or intended for everybody.

    YPMV (Your Parsecage May Vary)

  11. @Steve Davidson

    you’re ruining my “Praise Boskone at the expense of Arisia”

    Any Arisia vs. Boskone/Boskone vs. Arisia polemics are pretty blatant attempts at beating an archaic horse that is not only dead, but by this point in fannish history merely dust. For years the con comms of both have had no interest in one con bashing the other, and have a long-established working and supporting relationship with one another, as well as other cons in the Northeast corridor. Which is as it should be.

    For me, very personally, Boskone represents a convention held in the finest Fannish tradition, while Arisia is a Northeast DragonCon wannabe in the making.

    Arisia is a 501(c)3 who’s Mission Statement reads:

    Arisia’s core mission is to promote the celebration of science fiction, fantasy and speculative fiction, and to foster a diverse and actively inclusive community of fans.

    Arisia’s last in person attendance (2020) 3,000
    DragonCon’s last in person attendance (2019): 85,000

    The largest Arisia has even been came close to about 5000 people attending.
    When they’ve done surveys and had discussions about “how big do we want to grow?” the majority of those responding lean heavily towards 3,000-5,000 size.

    Arisia keeps some fannish traditions, creates new ones, and adapts to the needs of the fan community it supports. I’ve been to every Arisia so far and look forward with hope and cautious optimism to attending Arisia 2023.

  12. @Steve Davidson,

    Reading the announcement, it sounds like they were hoping, through late December, that they wouldn’t have to cancel/postpone the con.

    A lot of people were surprised by the omicron variant, in terms of things like how quickly hospitals have filled up in the last few weeks. Anyone who can honestly say they’ve been expecting this since October or even November has already cancelled their plans, and probably wasn’t planning leisure travel after Christmas, maybe not after Thanksgiving.

    People with hotel reservations have been given more than enough time to call the hotel and cancel. Most airline tickets won’t be refundable, certainly not for “yes, planes are still flying, and Boston is still welcoming leisure travelers, but the event I was planning to attend isn’t happening.

  13. For what it’s worth, the hotel automatically cancelled room reservations that had been made through Arisia. I thought that was a refreshing bit of competence.

  14. Not interested in Arisia-bashing.

    Arisia is not my type of con, I have issues with it that are sensory and people-density based. But the old conflict is long dead, and there’s significant overlap in committee and volunteers.

    And one of the last few times I spent enough time at Arisia to get into casual conversations with semi-random fannish strangers, I and an Arisia person were explaining that conflict to a relative newcomer–with me explaining the Arisia side of the conflict, and the Arisian explaining the Boskone/NESFA side of the conflict.

    Which was funny, but seemed quite natural at the time.

  15. I’ve enjoyed the Boskones I’ve been to. I haven’t attended Arisia, but I have friends who’ve enjoyed it.

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