By Patrick Aguda / March 14th, 2020
Anime Boston has announced that they are cancelling its 2020 convention which was scheduled to take place on April 10-12, 2020 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA. On March 13, 2020, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced a ban on all gatherings of 250+ people in order to stem the spread of COVID-19. The ban has no end date at this time, and due to the uncertainty of the restrictions, Anime Boston has decided to cancel its 2020 event.
Convention Chair Kristen Leiding posted the following about the situation:
As you may be aware, Governor Charlie Baker recently announced a ban on all gatherings of 250 people or more in Massachusetts. This ban is set with no current end date, until the governor announces otherwise. With Anime Boston 2020 scheduled for less than four weeks from now, it is highly likely this ban will still be in place. Given the uncertainty around these new circumstances, we have no choice but to cancel Anime Boston 2020.
Our executive board has reviewed the possibilities of postponing the 2020 convention for later in the year. After careful consideration, we have decided it would not be feasible to reschedule Anime Boston 2020 and meet the same high standards you have come to expect from us. We are a completely volunteer organization and all of the preparation is done in our personal time. Retooling the convention for later this year would be extremely difficult to achieve, given the need to coordinate the availability of the Hynes Convention Center, Sheraton Boston hotel, other hotels, guests, and exhibitors. One of the possible options we were given was in December, which would take away preparation time for Anime Boston 2021 and cause it to suffer in quality as well.
For our pre-registered members, by default we will be transitioning your memberships to Anime Boston 2021, set for April 2–4, 2021. Anime Boston is operated by the non-profit New England Anime Society (NEAS) and all revenue goes back into the operational costs of our convention and NEAS. Members who allow us to transition their membership to 2021 help us remain financially stable and cover expenses we already incurred for 2020.
We are aware some members who transition to 2021 will have paid more for their 2020 membership than the early bird rate for 2021. To compensate, we will be offering a coupon for the Anime Boston 2021 Merch Booth, located in the Dealers’ Room. The coupon will be valued at $5, $10, or $15, depending on the difference between what the member paid for 2020 and our starting rate for 2021 memberships. It will be usable toward any purchase at the Anime Boston merch booth, including T-shirts, pins, hoodies, and more.
We understand that not everyone is certain they will be able to attend Anime Boston 2021. Anyone who would prefer to be refunded for their Anime Boston 2020 membership, please contact Registration Customer Service. Please include your full name and the email address used when registering. Please allow at least three to four weeks for processing of refund requests, based on the volume of requests.
Our partner hotels have been made aware of the cancellation. Rooms reserved through the booking portal on the animeboston.com website can be canceled by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 800-967-8852 (847-996-5832 internationally). Reservations in these official room blocks can be cancelled for a full refund if done by 48 to 72 hours before the start of the reservation, depending on the hotel.
Reservations made directly through a hotel must be cancelled through the hotel’s website or at their phone number. Reservations made via a third party vendor should be cancelled through the same vendor. Please refer to your reservation confirmation for refund information for direct hotel or third party bookings; Anime Boston is unable to intervene in these circumstances.
Participants of the 2020 Artists’ Alley who have already been confirmed and completed their registration will be migrated to the 2021 Artists’ Alley. Artists who have canceled their confirmed space for 2020 on March 1, 2020 or later will be added back to the Artists’ Alley list for 2021. Some wait-listed artists who were recently added to the Artists’ Alley to fill canceled spaces may be put back at the top of the waitlist. Artists who already paid for their Artists’ Alley space and memberships will be refunded.
Similarly, for our exhibitors in the 2020 Dealers’ Room, we will be migrating all who completed their registration to the 2021 Dealers’ Room. Any exhibitor who canceled their confirmed space for 2020 on March 1, 2020 or later will be added back to the Dealers’ Room list for 2021. Some wait-listed exhibitors who were recently added to the Dealers’ Room to fill canceled spaces may be put back at the top of the waitlist. Payments already made for the 2020 Dealers’ Room will be refunded.
Participants of Anime Boston 2020 programming, such as the Masquerade, Cosplay Games, Idol Showcase, AMV Contest, panels, contests, Community Row, and other events will be contacted in the upcoming weeks by their event coordinators. All cosplay gatherings and photo shoot reservations will be canceled and require rescheduling for 2021.
We know that the last few weeks have been a trying time for all of us. We sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding while we worked to figure out a new path for Anime Boston 2020. Although we had considered cancellation earlier, as it stood, we had certain contractual and financial obligations that made it difficult for us to cancel this event on our own without bankrupting and jeopardizing the convention long term. The governor’s most recent declaration has nullified these contractual obligations.
Anime Boston is a labor of love for all involved. This convention was started by people who love anime and love Boston. We are a local event and we owe our success to all of you and to our dedicated volunteer staff.
We hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy. And we certainly hope to see you at the next Anime Boston, April 2–4, 2021.
Anime Boston 2021 is scheduled to take place on April 2-4, 2021.
SOURCE: Press Release
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