SDCC 2021: San Diego Comic-Con postpones in-person event for July; Comic-Con@Home becomes three-day virtual event

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The news that fans have been dreading has now become official: Comic-Con International has made the decision to postpone July’s San Diego Comic-Con for a second year, making SDCC 2022 the must-attend event for fandom.

The global Coronavirus pandemic has loomed large for all walks of life but for mass gathering events and conferences, it’s been especially challenging. New strains and variants of the novel covid virus, along with infection numbers not decreasing as hoped, has meant that venues such as the San Diego Convention Center have seen cancellations and date changes across its calendar.

There will be much debate in the coming days, weeks and months about who exactly has made the final decision to pull the pin on San Diego Comic-Con this July – whether it’s the organisation itself, the Convention Center which is still finding itself made a home for the many vulnerable homeless in the city, or the City Council concerned about thousands of people gathering in Downtown SD – but, for today, the announcement comes from CCI who have made big strides to accommodate fans as best they can.

  • Smaller Three Day Event in November

Possibly in line with their SAM event or, if held at the San Diego Convention Center, in the same tone as a subdued WonderCon, CCI are planning a three-day in-person event in November. Now, it’s possible that they may be thinking of utilizing the Comic-Con Museum space in Balboa Park or perhaps working with the Convention Center for a more spaced out, safety conscious affair with a much reduced available badge sale. A way to blow the cobwebs out of the engine and start things back up, conservatively. More on this as details become available.

EDIT: …that being said, our eagle-eyed Senior Editor Dan Berry has been doing his usual digging on the SD Convention Center Events listing page – and look what he’s found in November. 7,000 people? Could be us. Comic-Con Lite? [curious emoji]

  • Badge Transfer

First up, and this is especially good news for those who had badges purchased for 2020 and had them rolled over to this year, badges will be automatically transferred to the July 2022 event (unless you’d like to opt out and get a refund). This will apply to not only badge holders but to exhibitors with deposits or partial payments which will be a huge comfort for those finding themselves under financial strain.

  • Three Day Virtual Comic-Con

Last years Comic-Con Online was… a lot! It was ambitious, it was wide-ranging, and it was a lot for Comic-Con International to take on with a skeleton crew and reduced resources. But what CCI achieved with those ingredients pretty much set the template for virtual conventions in 2020, it’s safe to say that CCO was a huge success and, regardless of whether the event was going to be postponed or not, fans hoped that a virtual element would be an aspect of SDCC going forward.

Well, it will be – but Comic-Con Online will just not be as hardcore as it was last year. Instead of the full date package, CCI are scaling things back a touch and making the virtual con a three-day show, running from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th July (possibly a good idea as, for many of us, keeping a track on all of that content over the four days was hard!).


Here’s the full statement from Comic-Con International, realeased today (Tuesday 1st March 2021):

STATEMENT REGARDING COMIC-CON 2021

As you may be aware, due to concern for public health and safety, San Diego Comic Convention had to cancel both of its in-person events in 2020 and recently announced that our spring 2021 show, WonderCon in Anaheim, will also be cancelled. In its place, WonderCon@Home will once again be held as a free online event on March 26 and 27, 2021.

It’s the policy of the organization to continue to closely monitor information from local and national healthcare officials as it pertains to the COVID-19 pandemic. Never could we have imagined what the world experienced in 2020 and continues to experience today. While we are buoyed by the rollout of the vaccine and the growing number of individuals baing inoculated, it appears that July will still be too early to safely hold an in-person event of the magnitude of Comic-Con. For this reason, we have made the challenging decision to postpone Comic-Con 2021 as an in-person gathering until our 2022 dates, and once again hold this year’s celebration
as the free online Comic-Con@Home. Unfortunately, the challenges of this past year and the multiple postponements of our two largest events have left us with limited financial resources, so this year the online experience will be reduced to a three-day event, spanning July 23-25, 2021.

While we lament the postponement of the in-person Comic-Con, our commitment to this community of fans and our celebration of comics and the related popular arts endures as an important part of who we are. As the timing and scope of our larger event factored greatly into our decision to postpone, we believe that launching a smaller in-person event at a later time may be a safe alternative. For this reason, we are happy to announce that San Diego Comic Convention is planning to present a three-day in-person convention in San Diego in November.

At this time, we are still working on specific details as to attendance capacity, badge cost, and related information, and those details will be forthcoming. Please continue to visit our website, www.comic-con.org, for official updated information as it becomes available.

At this time, individuals who have purchased badges that were rolled over to the 2021 show will have those badges automatically transferred to the 2022 event unless a refund is requested, To submit a badge refund request, visit www.comic-con.org/cci/comic-con-cancellationrefund-policy. All confirmed exhibitors with a rollover payment from Comic-Con 2020 will receive a separate email with instructions and deadlines for continuing to forward your payment on to Comic-Con 2022, or for requesting a refund, In addition, we are currently working on an option for those wishing to transfer their badge or exhibitor deposits/payments as full or
partial payment towards our 2021 November event. Information will be forthcoming, so please watch your email inbox and the Comic-Con website for further details.

The past several months have taken a great toll on both families and friends, and we hope this effort is a small move toward a return to gathering as a community to not only celebrate popular art, but also friendship, education, and the enduring spirit of the fandom that is much a part of Comic-Con. We thank you all for your continued and unwavering support during these most challenging times.

We look forward to seeing you in November!
~San Diego Comic Convention

As always, we at The Convention Collective will keep a close eye on further announcements and do our best to cover SDCC in all of its in-person and digital forms. Watch our social medias for the latest updates: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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