Organizers of this year’s LA Comic Con are still pushing for an in-person event this December despite global concerns about the spread of COVID-19.
The pandemic caused by the virus has made most of geekdom’s beloved gatherings to cancel or move to a later date. While others have decided not to continue their event, some went on to schedule an online convention to indulge fans as they continue to support the community. The Tokyo Game Show, BlizzCon and the New York Comic-Con are just some of the events that will go virtual in support of social distancing protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
LA Comic Con’s plan to have a live, in-person affair was announced Sunday via their official website. Here, organizers explained that they have been working with the L.A. Convention Center and “taking guidance” from the state, LA County Health and the Mayor’s Office to allow them to host an event that will “be both safe and fun” for visitors and exhibitors.
Organizers, on the other hand, are prepared for postponing or rescheduling the event should officials determine that they “can’t have a safe show.”
The decision is contrary to the guidelines set by the state of California since officials are highly discouraging large gatherings amid the pandemic. Los Angeles Department of Convention and Tourism Development executive director Doane Liu told Los Angeles Times that they were surprised at the announcement and described it to be “premature.”
“Under current state health guidelines, conventions are not allowed. It’s not known when they will be allowed,” Liu said.
The announcement further detailed the “changes” to make LA Comic Con 2020 “CV-19 Safety Compliant.” These include renting the entire L.A. Convention Center, strict implementation of face masks, fewer celebrities and panels and limiting audience capacity, among others. This year’s event will have a max capacity of 13,500 attendees as compared to a staggering 42,000 guests in 2019.
“This is a significant decrease from 2019, which, along with the additional space leased, means attendees in 2020 will be less than one-third as crowded in 2019,” said the announcement.
The LA Comic Con 2020 will be held at the L.A. Convention Center, December 11-13. Session and VIP passes will go on sale Tuesday with special early bird pricing.