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Will Otakon cancel again this year (2021)?


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Hi Guys!

     Like the subject says. Using last year as reference, we're only a little over a month away to find out if Otakon is going to happen or not. I still haven't made any travel arrangements yet (either taking train or bus), but I did put my days aside at work. But the biggest question remains: Will Otakon survive another year of cancelation?

 

  

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Speaking personally here....

Last year was far different from this year, and I don't know if we can use that time-frame to match this year.  The convention center is being used as a vaccine site which is different than the portable hospital it was (which required a mandatory 30day breakdown)  I think it depends how the next few months go with the vaccine, and how DC is doing with their phases. 

I really hope we have it because the US is in a really good spot with vaccines 😷. We'll just have to wait and see how it plays out.  I'll find out when you do 😜

 

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7 hours ago, Daniel Perales said:

Hi Guys!

     Like the subject says. Using last year as reference, we're only a little over a month away to find out if Otakon is going to happen or not. I still haven't made any travel arrangements yet (either taking train or bus), but I did put my days aside at work. But the biggest question remains: Will Otakon survive another year of cancelation?

 

  

I'm not a staffer and can't speak for the con. But I think whether there's a con and whether Otakon survives are two different questions. I mean, you've seen the emails, you know what the situation is and you have a sense of what they face if there's not a con and what they face right now with bills coming due and not a lot of money to pay them.

It's clear the point of no return is coming on whether to plan like there's going to be a con or planning not to have one. In each case, neither of the then-whats are very fun. And I would say, again, as an observer, it would be very hard--perhaps ruinous--to run an event this year.

If they decide there's going to be a con: WEWCC is being used for vaccinations. Even if a mass-vax site is easier to tear down, you have to count on that being torn down in time. And even though vaccinations obviously are a factor in lowered metrics, that isn't necessarily a direct relationship and loosened restrictions on venues and such don't necessarily follow right away.

In a world where Otakon can/has to happen, regardless of what restrictions are imposed by the district/Events DC, I don't think a lot of people would feel comfortable being in that environment. Imagine even the average anime con. Now imagine Otakon. Is that somewhere you want to be during a pandemic, even a waning one? And as down a time this has been for vendors and artists, I imagine they'd be a tough get for similar reasons, not to mention the relative short notice. Speaking of short notice, you'd have to find guests willing to come out this way for a con and some, because of restrictions in their state or in other countries, may not be willing and able to do that.

So if they have to have Otakon, they would end up with a super lean event and a mountain of red ink.

If they decide not to move forward, well, you know from the emails what their fixed costs are. If there's no con this year and presuming insurance and force majeure language hold Otakorp relatively harmless, whether Otakon remains a thing going forward really depends on us. I've given $60 myself. Give what you can. There's another stimmy coming, if you have some cash from that to spare, send it their way. They're in a real tough position because there are a lot of people hurting right now, a lot of causes to give to like food banks and such and they can't really make a public plea.

But if there's an Otakon 2022, I would expect it to be less ambitious than the cons we're used to, not just because of the fiscal realities of these couple of years but because lasting skittishness about large gatherings will necessarily shake up the math of the event.

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Governor Hogan is lifting many if not most of the COVID related capacity restrictions for restaurants and businesses in Maryland. Large venues like convention centers will be allowed back up to 50% capacity effective March 12th. I'm wondering how soon DC will follow suit. With thousands of national guardsmen and steel fences around much of the capitol, I'll be pleasantly surprised if Otakon goes off this year.   Too bad it isn't in the BCC this year...

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Crunchyroll Expo, which is happening the same weekend as Otakon, just announced that it will be an online con.

Thus, the chances of an actual physical Otakon this year have decreased somewhat. 🙁

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It was in mid April last year when it was mentioned about the convention center becoming a field hospital, and conditions this year are not the same as last. President Biden announced that he is working to make vaccines available to the general public in May. There is a good chance that many of us will be vaccinated by the end of June, and the conditions for lifting restrictions will be a lot greater.

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If Otakon or any con for that matter this year can happen safely, even if at reduced capacity, it'd be a miracle. I'd like to attend at least AnimeNYC in November, when it'll be almost "sure" that we'd have reached "herd immunity" by then (the 70-85% needed for that will happen and will be theoretically achieved by late summer or so I've heard analysts predict). I'm not yet giving up hope, but I'm being cautiously optimistically as I have been since we've finally started to suppress this bastardass virus. Hopefully by the summer we'll have a better idea as Kelly said what'll happen. I really hope TX and MS lifting mask mandates so soon doesn't mess with Otakon happening or not, but we'll have to wait and see.

Edited by GasparAKAShiggitay
spelling correction lol
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  • 3 weeks later...

RIP PAX East 2021.  Although they still plan on going forward with PAX West in September.

Otakon is looking more on the borderline now.  On one hand even the conservative projections show 80% vaccination rate by July but its not like Otakorp can wait until the last 30 days to start planning an entire con in earnest.

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3 hours ago, DeathJester said:

RIP PAX East 2021.  Although they still plan on going forward with PAX West in September.

Otakon is looking more on the borderline now.  On one hand even the conservative projections show 80% vaccination rate by July but its not like Otakorp can wait until the last 30 days to start planning an entire con in earnest.

Well, PAX East was on the first week of June (like AnimeNEXT was on the second week of June), so I'm surprised that it took this long to announce it's cancellation of their live con. Otakon falls on the first weekend of August this year, so we still have time.

Otakon announced their 2020 cancellation somewhere on the last week of April last year, so I'm kind of hoping it will happen. I already made a train reservation for the date (Amtrak had a great deal that just expired last Friday), so here's hoping.

 

  

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I'm feeling cautiously optimistic myself, so last week I reserved some train tickets for Otakon weekend.  I'm a bookkeeper for a home construction company, and since housing-related workers are classified as essential, I was fortunate enough to get my first of two scheduled shots a couple of weeks ago with my second shot to come next month.

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