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[Otakon News]The Cancellation of Otakon 2020

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We are very sad to announce that we must join the countless other events around the world and announce the cancelation of Otakon 2020. While we had been clinging to the last bits of hope that our later dates would allow us the potential to hold an event, on April 17th it was announced that our venue, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, would be converted into an Alternate Care Facility. After discussing the timelines with the Convention Center staff and Destination DC, even in the most optimistic scenario that the facility is not needed to be used they would still be in the move-out/clean up process by the dates of our event.

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I’ve come to terms with the fact that this announcement was a matter of when, not if. I will miss Otakon. I will miss all the cons that aren’t happening this year (which may well be all the ones that were scheduled to happen this year). Not so much because I’ll miss the concerts or the panels or the guests but because I’ll miss my friends who come from all over, the people I only see at events like these.

 

And there are more important things going on. My heart breaks for everyone touched by this crisis. If you are able—only if you are able—consider donating some of what you would have spent on conventions this summer. Your city, county or state may have funds going. I know Baltimore County has a fund for residents facing food insecurity and other issues right now. Your local food bank and groups like World Central Kitchen are also doing important work. And with all these closures, there are less people giving blood, so hit up the Red Cross and do that, if you can.

 

Edit: Will Otakon do as other events like AB have and publish a list of the artists who would have been there?

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Knew for a fact that it was coming, but its still sad to hear it.

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On the one hand, it's disappointing that it had to happen. On the other hand, it's good that this particular Sword of Damocles is no longer hanging over our collective heads.

That being said, will there be any way to pick up Otakon 2020 merchandise (I'm presuming it's already been made.), or a way to kick in to support the con? Since I'm not getting hit with a hotel bill or Amtrak ticket, I have a couple hundred dollars available to spend.

 

Edited by Revan
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So DC is planning on using the WWCC as an alternate care facility into August? If it gets to the point where they're actually using it that late into the summer, we'll have more problems than just cancelled anime cons.

Personally I feel that Otakon and Events DC is playing it on the safe side. I'm going to be in DC the first week in August. I'll be curious to see if the convention center is actually being used or will be standing empty. 

Hopefully Otakon can recoup some of the financial losses such as facility expenses etc. 

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Currently they plan on using it till the end of June. Then, even if they close on the day they say, there is a required 30 day takedown of the setup, which unfortunately makes it impossible for Otakon to function, as it would cut into most of the weekend. 
 

Thats if they close on time. Open any later and it will start cutting Into other events as well 

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Am I bummed about this?  You bet.  Do I hold any grudges for this?  Absolutely not; 'cos this was definitely the right call to make.  The fact that my membership rolls over to next year certainly does cushion the blow.

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Currently they plan on using it till the end of June. Then, even if they close on the day they say, there is a required 30 day takedown of the setup, which unfortunately makes it impossible for Otakon to function, as it would cut into most of the weekend. 
 
Thats if they close on time. Open any later and it will start cutting Into other events as well 

Ah, that makes perfect sense.

I’m supposed to be going to a con Labor Day weekend out west and their venue just got taken over as a field hospital. This is instructive.

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13 hours ago, KellyMae said:

Currently they plan on using it till the end of June. Then, even if they close on the day they say, there is a required 30 day takedown of the setup, which unfortunately makes it impossible for Otakon to function, as it would cut into most of the weekend. 
 

Thats if they close on time. Open any later and it will start cutting Into other events as well 

Here in New York, Gov Cuomo had a great counter to a reporter who was asking why we were still occupying convention centers as field hospitals even though the hospitalization rate was going down.  He reminded everyone that the hospital situation stabilized because of the state mandate to shut businesses down.  Until the hospital system can remain stable when businesses and travel are reopened, the state needs the additional COVID treatment capacity available.

Using that logic I highly doubt that the WEWCC is only going to used as a hospital until the end of June.

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On 4/27/2020 at 6:26 PM, Revan said:

That being said, will there be any way to pick up Otakon 2020 merchandise (I'm presuming it's already been made.), or a way to kick in to support the con? Since I'm not getting hit with a hotel bill or Amtrak ticket, I have a couple hundred dollars available to spend.

 

I'm really sad to see the con not happening this year but it was bound to happen and I think it was a hard but good choice to make! I do second this ( ^^^^^ )! I would love to buy some 2020 merchandise if that's something that can be made available!

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We do have people exploring various options for ways to get you opportunities to help support us with things like limited edition 2020 merch.  We'll also be looking into re-opening member registration so if you missed the early bird rate, you'd be able to lock in 2019's rate for 2020.  Nothing official to announce yet, but keep your eyes out.

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10 hours ago, .taro. said:

We do have people exploring various options for ways to get you opportunities to help support us with things like limited edition 2020 merch.  We'll also be looking into re-opening member registration so if you missed the early bird rate, you'd be able to lock in 2019's rate for 2020.  Nothing official to announce yet, but keep your eyes out.

It would be cool if you guys had some limited 2020 merch available at other cons later in the year or into next year at the booths you usually set up.

I typically attend Nekocon in the beginning of November and you guys typically have a booth there. I'm saving all my "lost 2020" merchandise.

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Wild Bill's is selling the tumbler they would've had at AB with a coupon you can use for a fill-up at next year's event. Maybe Otakon can get a jump on selling the bottomless mugs, if those are going to be a thing next year. OTOH, when Otakon last had those, I don't recall them being stamped with a year or anything.

Edited by Aresef

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I do have  2 large mugs that I bought from them at New York Comic Con last year. It does have New York Con etched on them, but not the year.

 

2 hours ago, Aresef said:

Wild Bill's is selling the tumbler they would've had at AB with a coupon you can use for a fill-up at next year's event. Maybe Otakon can get a jump on selling the bottomless mugs, if those are going to be a thing next year. OTOH, when Otakon last had those, I don't recall them being stamped with a year or anything.

 

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