Anime Expo (AX) has canceled its 2020 edition. The event, which takes place in Los Angeles, had been scheduled to take place from July 2 through 5. The California-based event had grown from around 1,750 attendees in 1992 to 115,000 unique visitors last year.
Ray Chiang, CEO of the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, said in a statement:
This is a day my team and I hoped wouldn’t come, but it is with a heavy heart that I am announcing the cancellation of Anime Expo 2020. Our utmost concern is for the health and safety of our amazing Anime Expo community. We understand your disappointment as we are anime fans first and foremost too. As you can imagine, this was one of the most difficult decisions we have had to make in the 29 years of Anime Expo.
With the COVID-19 situation continually changing, as well as more restrictions in place worldwide and in our host city Los Angeles, we can’t in good faith move forward with this year’s event. We know it will affect all of you differently and we did not come to this decision lightly.
AX badgeholders will have the option to receive a full refund or to have their badges rolled over to AX 2021, which is scheduled for July 2-5, 2021. Organizers say that exhibitors and artists will receive information next week, while hotel reservations made through the organization’s official platform will be automatically canceled.