Live events became a thing of the recent past on account of the 2020 COVD pandemic that still hangs around most in its most unwelcome fashion to this day. From concerts to conventions, everything either had to skip a year to take refuge online, where spectators are guaranteed to be socially distanced enough. But virtual events simply do not have the impact of in-person ones, and they tend not to make much revenue either. The San Diego Comic-Con may have been forced to cancel two years in a row, but nearly a month after that announcement they suddenly announced that an in-person edition was being scheduled for Thanksgiving in November.
This surprise development, according to CNBC, was announced by the SDCC organizer Comic-Con International this past Saturday, March 27. While Comic-Con@Home, the virtual alternative to the regular live Comic-Con events that have been shuttered because of the pandemic is still on for mid-year, CCI is looking to hold a scaled-down in-person event for a three-day period later this year. They have dubbed this the “San Diego Comic-Con Special Edition,” to be held at the SDCC’s usual stomping grounds (and acronym-alike) the San Diego Convention Center from November 26 to 28.
While CCI is right that many regulars of SDCC would jump at a chance to do the event in-person after the hassle of cancellation last year and this year too, they may have miscalculated at when to schedule their special edition con. Putting it on late November over Thanksgiving weekend, when Thanksgiving 2021 stands the chance of being the first time families in the US (after vaccination) could gather for the occasion (skipped in 2020 for obvious reasons), has caused some criticism for CCI’s perceived callousness regarding the pandemic situation.
Then again, Comic-Con International might not have much choice in trying to do a live event this year. As a non-profit organizer for SDCC, they need revenues generated from the con’s annual schedule to maintain operations and prep for the one next year. Cancelling SDCC 2020 was financially devastating, and having to do it again this year seems potentially ruinous. But if US-based participants and spectators would rather go with Thanksgiving, then the point could remain moot. CCI has not yet responded to the criticism. They have yet to give details on the Special Edition as well, including ticket prices.
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