Anime Expo 2021 is following San Diego Comic-Con’s lead and opting for a virtual event in 2021. Ray Chiang, CEO of The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, released a statement on Wednesday to break the news to fans, merchants, and marketers.
“With the continued uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, it is apparent that we will not be able to safely hold a physical show this July for Anime Expo 2021,” Chiang said in an open letter to the community. “We will miss gearing up for a full weekend of parading around the LACC and reuniting with friends just as much as you will, but we take comfort in knowing this separation is only temporary and that it’s the right thing to do. While we’re not able to meet in-person, we still want to celebrate 2021 in honor of our 30th anniversary, and we will continue to share stories, photos, and memories with #AnimeExpo30th!”
On social media, the organization told current ticket holders,”If you previously requested a rollover, you should have already received a refund and you’ll be eligible for priority registration when it’s available in the future.”
All attendee badge holders and Artist Alley table packages have already been refunded. Pass holders will have priority access when registration is available in the future. On the bright side, “Anime Expo Lite” will take place on July 4th weekend, according to the announcement.
Chiang added, “As always, we’re seeking fresh, engaging content for you to enjoy, and we hope you’ll join us! Be sure to sign up for email updates to learn more. We continue to strive towards bringing you new, exciting things and can’t wait to share them with all of you in the future! We thank each and every one of you for being a part of our wonderful community. Anime Expo will be back again in the future thanks to all your love and support.”