Anime Expo has announced, via twitter, that Anime Expo 2020 has been cancelled amid concerns about health and safety of attendees during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Earlier, San Diego Comic Con announced a similar cancellation. Fans and industry professionals alike have been concerned over the possible spread of the virus, as well as other complications.
This move comes as the City of Los Angeles, home of the convention, has expressed broader concern over residents disregarding stay at home orders in an attempt to regain some of their normal lives. Presently, over 29,000 people in California are known to have the Coronavirus*, and the USA overall leads the world in Coronavirus deaths.
As more and more in-person conventions close, many fans have been floating the idea of virtual conventions. Anime Lockdown is one such project, having began as a grassroots effort on Twitter and including panel discussions, a live DJ, virtual “private rooms” to capture the hotel room side of the experience, and potentially a virtual rave. As of writing, the Coronavirus lockdown is expected to continue in most states through late May or June, but the window is open to extending it. It remains to be seen just how long the ultimate process will take, and how popular virtual efforts to replace conventions will prove to be.