Covid 19 and the Convention Calendar

The world is a very scary place right now, countries closing borders, and people confused as what on earth is going to happen down the road.  The last thing that anyone really wants to do is make someone else sick or run the risk of making a loved one ill and as such many countries have adopted a policy of no large gatherings.

This, of course, will affect everyone in some way or another and most sports events will not take place or take place closed off to the public, and likewise, concerts, gigs and other music events have been either cancelled or pushed back to a later date in the year when hopefully all of this will have burnt itself out or a vaccine is available.

Of course, the gaming and comic conventions are not immune to being cancelled and several large events so far have been called off to a later date or just held back while organisers work out what is best in the interest of public safety for themselves and the con goers in general.

Organising a convention is not an easy thing and can be very costly with venues often having to be block booked many years in advance to get a secured deal with venue hosts.  Many thousands of man-hours are put into running events, by hundreds of often faceless people who give up their time and make sure everything runs smoothly.

So with Covid-19 running amok around the globe, this post will give details on all the conventions and events that are planned for 2020 and that have been cancelled or postponed till a further date.  I will try to keep this updated and if you know of a con or event that is affected and isn’t listed then please let me know at marcfarrimond@gmail.com so I can add it to the list.

Latest update March 18th 1.36pm

Adepticon

Location: Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel, Illinois, USA

Status: Cancelled

Message from the Adepticon Organisers

Since the very first AdeptiCon, held eighteen years ago, we’ve made it clear that the highest priority, in any consideration, would always be the attendees. Over the years, we have done our best to be loyal to this principle. With our incredible staff, volunteers, organizers, and instructors, AdeptiCon has been proud to host our annual hobby celebration with a continued emphasis on creating an amazing experience for our attendees. It is with that priority in mind that we have decided, after many hours of internal conversation and consultation with the venue, hotels, and various local authorities, that the health and well-being of our attendees and the public must come first. While we continued planning and did everything in our power to see AdeptiCon run as normal, we are now following both government guidance and our own judgement concerning the COVID-19 virus in cancelling the 2020 convention scheduled for March 25th-29th.

We understand that this will impact all of you. It also impacts our exhibitors, staff, the venue, and the local community. It is not a decision we have made lightly; it is a decision based entirely on keeping people safe and healthy. It goes without saying that no one is more heartbroken about this situation than the AdeptiCon team. We look forward to seeing all of you every year, sharing our love of the hobby and revisiting friendships cultivated over years of the convention.

The AdeptiCon staff is already vigorously working on details around issuing requests for credits/refunds, the handling of prepaid merchandise, badge upgrades and other related items. We will provide to our attendees and exhibitors final plans to address the unprecedented circumstances that the COVID-19 virus has thrust upon us by April 15th or sooner. Your patience is appreciated during this time as we finalize the necessary details and logistics.

It is important to understand that the AdeptiCon team remains committed to this event. With your help, we will be able to return to providing you with the greatest tabletop gaming event experience around. We are very determined to see AdeptiCon return, thrive, and run long into the future. And we will remain focused, as always, on our most important priority, the attendees.

Sincerely,
AdeptiCon Staff
“For Gamers, By Gamers”

UK Games Expo

Location: NEC Birmingham, England

Status:  Postponed

Message from the Organisers:.

17 March, 2020

UK Games Expo Postponed to August 2020

Official Announcement 17th March 2020

In view of the current Covid-19 virus pandemic, the directors of UK Games Expo have decided to postpone the 2020 UK Games Expo until Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd August.

However because of other shows, the halls will not be 1,2 and 3 but will be halls 9, 10, 11 and 12. You may insert whatever expletive feels appropriate at this point ________. We did!

This decision has been made after considering national advice and government directives with regard to the Covid-19 virus pandemic, the expected closure of large venues and the probable duration of the infection. This decision has been made following consultation with sponsors, show partners and our venues.

We consider that a postponement at this stage maximises the chances to both protect the health and well-being of all our attendees and hold a successful show in 2020 so that participant exhibitors sustain the least disruption and financial difficulty.

We understand that this decision will impact everyone in different ways and will have a financial impact on some. We can only apologise for this and assure you that we are working with all our providers and hotels to help with these costs.

ALL VISITORS AND EXHIBITORS WHO CANNOT ATTEND THE NEW DATES FOR ANY REASON WILL RECEIVE A FULL REFUND OF TICKETS AND STAND FEES.

Both of us and the rest of the team would personally like to thank those individuals who have offered advice and support in recent days and the wider community whose engagement and enthusiasm mean so much to us.

As a special note we are aware that the new dates for the show will coincide with the dates for Tabletop Scotland. The choice of available dates for all the contracted services we need to run the show were very limited and in fact this date was the only viable option. We have spoken to Duncan and Dave from Tabletop Scotland and apologised to them. They were amazingly gracious and we are working with them to ensure they suffer no financial loss and that their revised plans for Tabletop Scotland later in 2020 meet with success.

We have created postponement documentation to help with any questions. Please make sure you read the section of the postponement documentation that is relevant to you as it will give you the best answer. The sections are: General Questions, Visitor, Exhibitor, Volunteer, Tournament Organiser, Live Event Act or Workshop/Seminar Host.

Sincerely,

Richard and Tony

.Beltane Fire Festival

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Status: Cancelled

Message from the Organisers:

It is with a heavy heart that the Board of Trustees for Beltane Fire Society have decided the Beltane Fire Festival will not be going ahead this year.

We are committed to ensuring our events are a safe space for all attendees to celebrate the changing seasons.  With the recent statements from the First Minister of Scotland concerning large public gatherings over 500 people and the continued spread of the coronavirus, it was felt irresponsible to allow the event to go ahead as usual.

We are deeply saddened to make this call, but we can not ignore the potential risks for transmission that could arise from facilitating this public event.  We hope you can understand our reasoning and we express our deepest gratitude to everyone who has been so excited to witness our event.

We know this will be disappointing news for those who had specifically planned to travel here to celebrate Beltane with us.  The board is offering to transfer any ticket previously purchased to our next festival or refunds are available on request. To request a refund of your ticket, please contact coordinator@beltane.org 

The board would like to specially thank all of those who applied to be group organisers and volunteers for this festival and were dedicated enough to give up their time to help us celebrate Beltane.  We know this news will be deeply hard for them as well.

Bradley Mcarthur,
Chair of Beltane Fire Society

Salute

Location: EXCel London, England

Status: Postponed

Message from the Organisers:

Salute 2020 Postponed

It is with deep regret that we must announce that Salute 2020, due to be hosted by the South London Warlords wargames club at London Excel on Saturday 18th April 2020, is being postponed.

The Club committee has taken this decision following the recent change in Government advice and with the likely ongoing uncertainty in mind. We understand that this will impact on many people, and therefore, as you can imagine, this decision has not been taken lightly or easily: we have balanced all the great things about Salute with the health risks to traders, gamers and attendees.

Salute will now take place on Saturday 17th April 2021.

We are in the process of contacting affected traders and gamers directly to discuss next steps.

All tickets purchased so far will remain valid and we will reopen ticket sales nearer the time.

The South London Warlords remain committed to Salute, having hosted the show for over 45 years. With the support of our traders and attendees, Salute has become the biggest one-day independent wargame show in Europe and an important event within the wargames calendar: we are working hard to ensure in continues as such.

Most importantly we hope all you and yours remain safe in these challenging times.

South London Warlords

Q-Con

Location: Queens University Belfast, Northern Ireland

Status: Postponed

Message from the Organisers:

This isn’t quite the announcement we expected to be making… We’d hoped to announce dates and open registration weeks ago, however events beyond our control have overtaken us all.

The provisional date for Q-Con is the weekend of the 20th & 21st June 2020… Whilst we had intended to open registration when we announced dates, we’ll be postponing that until the situation becomes clearer and we don’t risk anybody consequentially losing out on things like travel and accommodation costs if we can’t go ahead because of Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

It’s already changed some things (E.g. can’t get tee-shirts, wrist bands from our international suppliers), it’s likely to change others (E.g. many traders rely on Japanese stock, and some local suppliers are only taking provisional bookings), and it could mean forced cancellation by the government (E.g. France and Switzerland cancelled similar events).

We are working hard on the event, but proceeding with extreme caution because nothing like this has happened to Q-Con before and we absolutely can’t afford to leave attendees, traders, artists, or other partners with an unrecoverable bill for travel and expenses if the worst happens.

We will continue to listen to the advice of the relevant government departments… but we are committed to running Q-Con as best as possible under the circumstances.

Thanks for everyone’s patience and understanding.

MCM Birmingham

Location: NEC Birmingham, England

Status: Postponed

Message from the Organisers:

We are passionate and dedicated to delivering the best possible experiences for everyone who attends our shows, we know that MCM Comic Con means a great deal to a lot of people, and we care deeply about the MCM community that we love so much.  We always want the best for our fans.

Having monitored the situation around COVID-19 constantly over these last few weeks and taking on board the feedback from the MCM community, we have taken the difficult decision to postpone MCM Comic Con Birmingham.  The show is now scheduled to run from 27-28th June 2020 at the NEC, Birmingham.  

We tried to do everything we could to run the event as planned, at all times following the protocols and advice set by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Public Health England and the relevant local authorities in Birmingham, but ultimately, we have listened to and acted on the feedback from you, our community, and postponing is the responsible and right decision.

We realise this decision is going to impact many of the individual creators who depend on MCM Comic Con.  Please know that we will do as much as we can to shine a light on your work in the days and weeks ahead and ask that our community support you and help lessen any impact this may have on you all. 

To all our fans, your tickets will be valid for the new MCM Comic Con Birmingham dates and no further action is needed on your part.  More information on our guest line-up in June will be communicated as soon as we have it. Should you be unable to attend the new dates or have any additional queries please contact our Customer Services team at MCMBirminghamMarch@reedexpo.co.uk

Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by the COVID-19 virus in what is an incredibly challenging time. We remain dedicated to creating a positive and safe environment to celebrate comics, cosplay and pop culture and look forward to a fun weekend in Birmingham in June. 

Ria Con

Location: The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Scotland

Status: Postponed

Message from the Organisers:

Edinburgh Comic Con

Location: Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland

Status: Postponed

Message from the Organisers:

CORONA VIRUS UPDATE

Given the current climate with the corona virus, there is no way to articulate the weight we currently carry on our shoulders.

Every decision we have ever made, has been for the good of the community we all belong to. It’s a community who has supported us from our humble beginnings, and who’s support proved it possible to run an internationally attended show in the City.

We’ve faced numerous obstacles, taken financial risks and hits, suffered logistical headaches, while year after year, always managing to grow and improve.

ECC is, and will always remain a locally owned and independent show. It is run by the same fans who you know by name, that have been present from the start, and upon who’s shoulders carry the weight of this decision.

Therefore, even though the current ban on mass gatherings of 500 people may not apply to us, as we don’t require police or ambulance services, we have decided to postpone our show until 12 & 13 September 2020.

This is simply the right thing to do, and although we won’t pretend this won’t come without a substantial cost to ourselves…the show must go on!!!

All purchased attendee tickets and exhibitor tables will be immediately transferred to our new dates. Should the transfer not be suitable, please contact us before 31 March 2020 for a refund. Any purchased photo opportunities or watch party tickets will be fully refunded within the next 24 hours.

No doubt we shall receive a number of enquiries regarding this matter, which we have every intention of responding to. However, we would ask that you be patient while we get to work behind the scenes.

Kind Regards,

James

Tabletop Scotland

Location. Dewars Centre, Perth, Scotland

Status: Postponed.

Message from the Organisers:

Tuesday 17th March 2020

As you will be aware the government advice from both Westminster and Holyrood regarding COVID-19 has been updated on Monday to be firmer in regard to large gatherings of people.
We advised via Social Media on Saturday that we would keep you all updated in the event of anything changing. Something has now changed and so here is the promised update.

You may very well have seen the update from the UK Games Expo team earlier this evening where they confirmed that, due to the current situation, UK Games Expo 2020 will not go ahead as planned in late May, but will instead be postponed until the 21st-23rd August 2020. The astute among you will realise that this is the same weekend as Tabletop Scotland is planned to take place.

Firstly let us be really clear that no unilateral decision was taken by the UK Games Expo team to move to these dates without prior discussions with the Tabletop Scotland organisers. As soon as it became clear this was the only workable date change we were brought into discussions.
UK Games Expo have been a fantastic source of support and advice for us since we started considering running Tabletop Scotland many years ago and the amount of good the event has done for the gaming community is hugely significant.

Therefore we have made the difficult decision to postpone Tabletop Scotland 2020 until later in the year.

So what does this mean?

Well, over the coming weeks the Tabletop Scotland organising committee will be looking at various different available options with nothing ruled out at this point.

The UK Games Expo organisers have assured us of their continued, full-throated support with whatever options we choose to take next for which we are extremely grateful.

We will post an update once we have final information on our plans which, as I’m sure you are aware, will involve discussions with a number of different organisations.

This will include details on refunds for anyone who has already purchased tickets but who cannot make the revised dates.

Thanks in advance for your patience as we confirm our final plans.

This is not an exhaustive list by any means, and I will try to keep it updated as much as I can.  Please note that some conventions and events such as Claymore, Colours, MCM Manchester, Glasgow Comic Con, Comic Con Scotland have not yet updated their pages or Twitter feeds with any more information and will hopefully go ahead as scheduled as they take part later in 2020.

On a final note, with a lot of events being cancelled, please if you do normally attend these shows and have favourite traders, support them if they have online stores.

Hopefully this post will be of use to someone.

Everyone please stay safe and remember to think of others at this dificult time.

Marc

March 17th 2020

 

 

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