The cancellation was inevitable with the continued rise in COVID cases around the country and the fact that a mass gathering like Dragon Con just isn’t smart right now. Many have been asking DC for months about why they had not canceled yet. The private Facebook group for Dragon Con has been scrambling to shut down and moderate any topics around cancellation for weeks. This led to the trending meme of “In before the lock”. This was in reference to moderators locking comments on posts to prevent people from tagging on to the post to push for answers on the status of the convention.
Even as the cancellation news came out today, moderators found themselves scrambling to keep up with the flood of posts, while attempting to maintain some level of organization within the Facebook group. Their frustration was apparent in this post today as the news dropped of the cancellation.
The long delay in making a decision has also left some without any recourse to get a refund for deposits made with hotels. Several fans posted pictures of emails from hotels indicating they could no longer get a refund of their deposit, but the hotels were quick to allow rolling over of the deposit to 2021 for next year’s convention. There has not been a consistent policy between each of the host hotels as each is coming up with their own way of handling cancellations. The Westin sent an email out on July 1st stating “We are no longer refunding the non-refundable advance deposits. If you cannot attend the conference for 2020, you can transfer your reservation to Dragon Con 2021 by 5 PM on August 14, 2020.” This indicated that they were allowing full refunds up until that point but Dragon Con didn’t make the decision to cancel until July 6th.
This is the first time in 34 years that the convention has canceled. Below is the press release from Dragon Con, indicating that they will go virtual this year, but no specifics yet on what that will look like. However, stay tuned for updates once we learn more.
DRAGON CON CANCELS 2020 CONVENTION AMID PANDEMIC
In Its Place, Organizers Launch a Virtual Convention That Will Be Free to The Universe
ATLANTA – July 6, 2020 – For the first time in 34 years, Dragon Con, the internationally known science fiction, fantasy, and pop culture convention, will not be held, a decision made in response to the ongoing pandemic facing the United States and the world.
In its place, Dragon Con will hold a live-streamed convention free to the universe and featuring classic panels and original programming for 2020. Details will be announced in the upcoming weeks.
Dragon Con will return in 2021 with an epic – and much deserved – five-day event from Thursday, Sept. 2 through Monday, Sept. 6.
This year’s convention, scheduled for Sept. 3 to Sept. 7, was originally projected to attract some 90,000 people to downtown Atlanta.
“After an exhaustive attempt to organize a much smaller, more focused, and socially distanced convention, it became apparent that we could not, in good faith, move forward with our 2020 event,” convention co-chair Rachel Reeves said. “We are heartbroken and did not make this decision lightly. Above all else, we want to thank our fans, our hotel partners, the ACVB, and the City of Atlanta for their support over these past few months.”
Fans who already purchased memberships for the 2020 convention will be able to exchange them for a 2021 membership or seek a refund. Both options are available at www.dragoncon.org.
The Dragon Awards, a fan’s choice awards program to recognize the very best in science fiction and fantasy literature, comics, gaming, and filmed entertainment, will continue as planned. To nominate a property and register for a 2020 ballot, please visit https://www.dragoncon.org/awards/.
About Dragon Con
Dragon Con is the internationally known pop culture convention held each Labor Day Weekend (September 2 – September 6, 2021) in Atlanta. Organized for fans, Dragon Con features more than 3,500 hours of comics, film, television, costuming, art, music, and gaming over five days. For more information, please visit www.dragoncon.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.