San Diego Comic-Con is facing a backlash over Thanksgiving weekend dates

The coronavirus pandemic has paralyzed the live events business, especially the lucrative comic convention industry. To raise much-needed funding, San Diego Comic-Con will host a smaller version of its annual summer event this fall.

Called the “Comic-Con Special Edition,” this event will take place November 26-28 at the San Diego Convention Center.

The organization’s decision to hold this in-person event over Thanksgiving weekend, an announcement made late Saturday night, has been heavily criticized by fans, talent and the press.

“So they planned #SDCC for the same weekend as the first chance most families can (hopefully) celebrate Thanksgiving in two years. See you in 2022!” wrote Charles Soule, author of the comics “Light of the Jedi” and Daredevil, after the announcement on Twitter.

As with Soule, the majority of the votes against asked why the organization would host this event during a major US holiday. Especially one that many people were unable to celebrate with their families over the past year due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

These voices range from fans who travel a lot to attend the show to talent who perform on panels or at signings. Not to mention journalists and other industry professionals hired to cover the event.

While past conventions coincided with holidays – WonderCon was held on the Easter weekend and Anime Expo usually takes place on July 4th – hosting San Diego Comic-Con raised eyebrows during this special Thanksgiving holiday.

“My family missed Thanksgiving last year because of the pandemic,” wrote Dan Slott, an Eisner award-winning comic book writer, on Twitter. “This year we will all be vaccinated. There is no way I would go to an event instead of spending that time with them. Even if everything were magically back to normal. I can’t imagine anyone else feeling any different.”

It appears that much of the organization’s decision to hold a face-to-face meeting in 2021 was due to the cancellation of previous events, which resulted in significant financial success.

“While we have been able to move from face-to-face meetings to limited online events, like many small businesses, the loss of revenue has had an acute impact on the company, including shorter hours and lower wages for employees.” other issues, “said David Glanzer, spokesman for the nonprofit, in a statement on Saturday.” Hopefully this event will sustain our financial reserves and mark a slow return to larger face-to-face gatherings in 2022. “

San Diego Comic-Con officials did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

San Diego Comic-Con has become a huge event for the entertainment industry. It’s a place where the studios add excitement for upcoming blockbuster projects and serve as a platform for disseminating new details to the most passionate fans.

It is also a major sales driver, not only for the organization that operates it, but also for the local economy. The San Diego Tourism Group estimates $ 88 million will be spent directly by attendees during the convention and $ 149 million will go to the region’s economy.

Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world come to this event every year, and that does not apply to the staff on site, the security forces and the supervisory staff who walk through the halls over the four-day weekend.

The November conference only lasts three days and takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The number of participants is likely to be limited due to local guidelines. The organization plans to offer more information on ticket prices, capacity restrictions and other details closer to the date of the show.

“So, sure, I can see the #SDCC telling thousands of fans to skip the first post-pandemic Thanksgiving Day in order to stand in line in Hall H, but they’re also calling on great Hollywood actors and directors to do this too. ” “Rus McLaughlin, Senior Content Strategist at Oculus, wrote on Twitter.” I suspect there might be a pushback there. “

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