With heavy hearts, Otakorp leadership announces the cancellation of the Otakon® convention for 2020 and looks ahead to 2021.
On April 27, 2020, Otakorp, Inc. (the nonprofit that runs the Otakon® convention) announced their difficult decision to cancel their event, as so many other events have had to do this year. The announcement came via several social media channels and emphasized how hard this decision has been on all of the staff.
We are beyond pained to announce the cancellation of Otakon 2020. We know this isn't the news you wanted to hear. This isn't the announcement we were hoping to make today. For a message from Otakorp's president, membership rollover and refund information, and answers to other pressing questions, hit the link: https://www.otakon.com/info/2020-event-cancellation/ Since 1994, Otakon has been a weekend haven where our fan community could come together and revel in our shared love for Japanese animation and culture. We look forward to returning August 6-8, 2021, with all the celebrations, amazing voice actors, musicians, guests, artists, dealers, and industry events you've come to know and love. Otakon is more than a convention. Otakon is a community. A place where we can come together to laugh, share, enjoy, and be among "our people." We can't wait to see you all again for Otakon 2021!
The Otakon® website includes a letter from the Otakorp President, Nick Avgerinos, and the Convention Chairman, Andy Zerrlaut, where they explain that the final decision was made after discussions with Destination DC and the convention center about plans to turn the building into an alternate care facility to deal with COVID-19. Even though the dates for the convention this year (July 31–August 2) were late in the summer, convention center staff confirmed that the building would still be in use (or being loaned out) even if the medical facilities set up there never get used.
If you've already registered for this year's event, that registration will automatically roll over to next year without any action needed. The dates for 2021 have also been confirmed as part of this announcement. Next year, the convention will be held on August 6–8, 2021. If you already know you won't be able to make it to the convention in 2021, you have an opportunity to request a refund through the end of May (refunds are not usually offered for Otakorp memberships).
Dealers and artists who have registered and paid for their spots at this year's convention will also be offered the option to request a refund or have their registration rolled over to the 2021 convention. As for hotel bookings, if you booked through Experient (their hotel reservation partner), your reservation will automatically be canceled. If you booked outside of the room block, you will need to contact your hotel directly.
Otakorp and the Otakon® convention have been a staple in the lives of countless anime fans since the first convention in 1994. The corporation is staffed entirely by volunteers, who donate hundreds of hours of work every year planning and staffing the summer convention. They truly put their hearts into the event, so when they say this decision breaks their hearts, you know that it is true.
Were you planning on attending Otakon this year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!