Convention Update

Metrocon Cancellation 2020

WE HAVE MADE THE OFFICIAL DECISION TO CANCEL METROCON 2020, SCHEDULED FOR JULY 23-26, 2020. READ ON FOR MORE INFORMATION.

A MESSAGE FROM ALEX CRADDOCK, METROCON CEO

To say that I never, ever thought I would write a message like this is an understatement.

To say these are “unprecedented times” is a cliche.

To say that this will be our “new normal” is untrue.

But we do have to say something.

It is with a heavy but compassionate heart that we have made the decision to cancel METROCON 2020, scheduled previously for July 23-26, 2020, due to the continued concerns around COVID-19 and the impact the pandemic has had and will continue to have on the viability of large public events like ours. No worries, though – this isn’t the end by any means – METROCON 2021 is already booked and confirmed – more information on that below.

I have tried to be nothing if not transparent over the years, and I feel that is the best I can offer you in this situation. At the forefront of the decision process was what would be best for fans and the local community, as well as the event – from a health and safety perspective, a financial perspective, and a “METROCON is something really important to a lot of people” perspective. If you’ve been following our continuing updates, you’ve been following the story as quickly as I’ve written it (or in some cases, received it from the powers that be).

At this time COVID-19 continues to be a public health risk of gross proportions, and it is irresponsible for us to encourage not only patrons, but merchants, performers, voice actors, volunteers, and staff to put their health and safety on the line to make this event happen. Additionally, with attendance/capacity restrictions, a lack of confidence in the travel and public event industries in general from attendees, hesitation from merchants and celebrity guests alike – not only do we feel that there’s no way we could bring you the quality you deserve from a METROCON event, but we could be in a position if we do move forward that we dig ourselves into a hole we can’t climb out of, and METROCON goes away forever.

To avoid ALL of these risks, I have made this decision with input from fans, vendors, artists, cast members, volunteers, city officials, medical professionals, department heads, and anyone else who was willing to share their voice with me. I take the ultimate responsibility for a decision like this, but I hope you know that I’ve weighed this decision based on the needs and voices of a community – our community. These voices run as diverse a spectrum as the fandoms that bring us together – those who are new to conventions, those who were around at the first METROCON, people who are immunocompromised or high risk, folks that make their living at conventions or moonlight as voice actors, people who care for family members that could be significantly affected by the virus, those who work their day jobs as healthcare workers, the people who publish the anime and games we lovingly consume – these are the voices that deserve to be considered and heard in a situation like this, and I’ve done my best to listen when they spoke.

Ultimately, there is no decision in a situation like this that can please everyone, but I’m hopeful – confident, even – that even if this is devastating, or isn’t what you think we should do, you understand where our decision comes from and will continue to be a part of the METROCON family when we return in 2021.

My thanks to you as always for your patience as we worked through this process – it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster on our end, so I’m sure it has been on yours as well. We have a lot of information to convey, and we’ve tried to cover as much of it as we can below, as organized as we can make it.

Thank you, again, truly, for bringing this idea to life with me every year. We all know it from closing ceremonies – the spirit of METROCON never dies – this year, for the good of everyone, it just needs a brief rest.

Stay safe, healthy, and loved.

“Yet, even amidst the hatred and carnage, life is still worth living. It is possible for wonderful encounters and beautiful things to exist.”
― Hayao Miyazaki

For more information about refunds, logistics, METROCON 2021, and more – continue reading below.

METROCON 2021

Looking to the future, METROCON 2021 is scheduled for July 23-25, 2021. Long before COVID-19 was a blip on the radar, we had made the decision to return to a 3-day format event. We’re confident now more than ever it’s the right decision, after the struggles this year has imposed on all of us. We made this decision with several factors in mind:

  • we want to transition to a focus on quality over quantity; this will allow us to be more selective and invest more in the events, panels, shows, guests, and other things that make METROCON such an awesome hub of entertainment and participation;
  • it is our hope that this will ease the burden of attending for some patrons – over the years, we’ve noticed that we always sell SIGNIFICANTLY more three day passes than full weekend passes – in addition, as you’d likely assume our highest attended day is Saturday – did you know our second-highest attended day is Sunday? While more folks are telling us they’d rather attend on weekend days, we keep trying to convince them to come on Thursday – this has lead to a lot of FOMO and a lot of folks who feel like they’re missing out on part of the “full event” experience since they can’t commit to a hotel and time off of work for the full four days. I’m a firm believer in letting the data guide the decision making, and this is what our data says the fans will benefit most from;
  • Guests increasingly do not want to commit to a four-day event of our size, along with many other changes going on in the world of convention guests – our hope is to consistently be able to bring guests who can attend for the whole convention, and so no single day ever feels shorted or reduced;

So, that all being said – we’re excited to bring you a full weekend experience of an even bigger and better scale than you’ve come to expect. Friday will be a FULL day, the schedule will be packed out throughout the weekend, and we want you to know our focus is now more than ever on making sure 2021 is the most killer METROCON so far.

METROCON 2021 will maintain the Mortals vs Machines theme, and the same show themes – we have been hard at work prepping for this show, and we know you have too with themed cosplays and exciting meetups, so we want to ensure that this show sees the light of day.

TICKETHOLDERS / ATTENDEES

All ticket holders have several options regarding their ticket purchase for METROCON 2020. We know that around the country, people have lost jobs, encountered financial hardships, and more – and we know sometimes, every little bit counts.

To communicate your choice to us, we’ve set up an Attendee Cancellation Survey. Please submit your Attendee Cancellation Survey by clicking here: https://forms.gle/ZaPmnTj4VteG4J537

Please have the first and last name of the ticket purchaser, the order confirmation number from your email, and the total purchase amount available to complete the survey. All surveys must be submitted by June 1st, 2020.

Anyone who purchased a ticket of any kind to METROCON 2020 has three options to proceed regarding their ticket(s):

  • Rollover your tickets to METROCON 2021
    • While final pricing and tiers for 2021 have not been locked in and published yet, full weekend passes will be comparable in price in 2021. “4-Day” and “3-Day” passes will be converted to “Weekend Passes” for 2021; day passes will be converted to the equivalent day;  VIP upgrades, Masquerade tickets, and packages all will rollover as well;
    • Thursday single-day tickets do not have this option, and will automatically be refunded;
    • Any ticket holders who roll over their 2020 tickets to 2021 will receive a 5% discount code for ticket purchase in 2022 as a thank you for your confidence and supporting the longevity of our event;
  • Request a refund
    • Refunds will be processed as soon as possible, in the order they were received; refunds may take up to 4 weeks (or longer, in some cases) to process completely, depending on volume and availability, but all refund requests WILL be processed and honored;
    • All refunds will return funds to the original payment method; we CANNOT offer refunds via alternative means for the sake of security; if the card you used to make your original purchase is no longer active/available, ask your bank how refunds to that card will be handled;
  • Cancel your tickets, but decline a refund, and convert your purchase into a donation
    • METROCON is a small, local company – even with the event canceled, we have significant expenses already incurred that are non-refundable, and will continue to have expenses accrue over the rest of 2020; if you are interested in supporting the sustainability of this convention, please consider converting your ticket purchase to a donation; any donations that accrue beyond the amount of incurred expenses that need to be paid to ensure we have a METROCON 2021 will be rolled into a separate fund, and then donated to a not-for-profit that is aiding directly in combating the effects of COVID-19 in Florida, such as Feeding Tampa Bay, OneBlood, or No Kid Hungry; please do not under any circumstance feel obligated to make this choice – your personal well being and security always come first, but if you have the potential to support an event that has ever made a difference in your life, now is the time we could use it most;

All survey responses are due by June 1, 2020. Any attendees who have not completed the survey by this deadline will automatically have their tickets rolled over to METROCON 2021 – no refunds for METROCON 2020 tickets will be offered after this date. We know that circumstances vary for all attendees, and we hope these options will give you the most flexibility possible.

HOTEL RESERVATIONS

All hotel reservations must be canceled directly with the hotel where your reservation exists.

We cannot cancel these in bulk – we tried to just cancel the block, trust me, because I thought it would be a LOT easier, but because the reservations are made individually we don’t have the authority to do so. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this causes.

Hotel reservations for METROCON 2021 will open later this year, as normal.

MERCHANTS (VENDORS & ARTISTS)

Merchants for METROCON 2020 have two options for their purchased booths/tables.

To communicate your choice to us, we’ve set up a separate Merchant Cancellation Survey. Please submit your Merchant Cancellation Survey by clicking here: https://forms.gle/u2eLudyaJjao1Jwx8

Please have the first and last name of the person who made the original purchase, the order confirmation number from your email, and the total purchase amount available to complete the survey. All surveys must be submitted by June 1st, 2020.

All merchants will have the following options on the survey:

  • Rollover your booth or table reservation to METROCON 2021
    • Any artists or vendors who rollover their reservation to METROCON 2021 will receive a code for a 10% discount on METROCON 2022 merchant reservations
  • Request a refund for your booth/table purchase and have your reservation canceled
    • Refunds will be processed as soon as possible, in the order they were received; refunds may take up to 4 weeks (or longer, in some instances) to process completely, depending on volume and availability, but all refund requests WILL be processed and honored;
    • All refunds will return funds to the original payment method; we CANNOT offer refunds via alternative means for the sake of security; if the card you used to make your original purchase is no longer active/available, ask your bank how refunds to that card will be handled;

All survey responses are due by June 1, 2020. Any merchants who have not completed the survey by this deadline will automatically have their table/booth rolled over to METROCON 2021 – no refunds for METROCON 2020 merchant reservations will be offered after this date. The normal refund periods will apply for merchants who reserve their tables/booths as normal during the 2021 METROCON season.

For merchants who requested a 50% refund prior to the event’s cancellation during the normal refund period: please contact us directly via email so that we can manually refund the remainder of your purchase, with your store name, first and last name, and other relevant info.

For artists CURRENTLY on the Artist Alley Waitlist: if tables become available due to refund requests and cancellations, we will continue to provide you the first opportunity to purchase those tables when they become available. We will reach out via the email on file when you submitted your request to be added to the Waitlist. Just let us know when we reach out if you would like to purchase a table now, or if you would like to pass and be removed from the Waitlist. No further artists will be added to the waitlist at this time.

Any booths or tables that are still available after the survey period and the waitlist reconciliation will be released as normal when merchant sales open up for 2021 (the time frame for merchant sales opening for 2021 is not confirmed, but is traditionally in January of the event year; we may open earlier if necessary).

We know that circumstances vary for all merchants, and that small businesses everywhere are struggling to make ends meet. We hope these options might help ensure that you’ll be right there next year alongside us.

PANELISTS, CONTEST ENTRANTS, VOLUNTEERS, MEDIA PASSES, ETC.

Panelists do NOT need to resubmit panels for 2021. We will transfer panels over from 2020 to 2021, and our panel department will reach out to verify with you individually any scheduling changes, etc. as well as whether you’d like to cancel or withdraw your submission. New panel submissions will re-open in 2021.

Contest entrants will be individually confirmed by the Cosplay Department, to decide if you would like to withdraw your entry or if you would like to roll it over to METROCON 2021. We will open contest submissions later this year to fill out any remaining slots that arise due to this cancellation (or not having enough rollover entrants to fill out the contests in the first place).

Volunteers, media passes, photographer applications, etc. do not NEED to resubmit, but may consider resubmitting if they were declined or missed the application period. Previous applicants will have their application/approval transferred to METROCON 2021 and they will be contacted individually by a representative of METROCON specific to the respective department to confirm their plans to participate.

SPECIAL GUESTS AND OUTSOURCED ENTERTAINMENT

Special guests such as voice actors and industry guests will be greatly missed not just from METROCON, but from the host of other events they would also be attending that have had to cancel. We will be extending offers to currently booked special guests to attend METROCON 2021 in the coming days.

Outsourced entertainment, cosplay guests, panel guests will have their contracts migrated to 2021 on a case-by-case basis after confirmation of invitation and acceptance with the appropriate METROCON staff member. Please reach out to the staff member who initially provided your invitation if you have questions or are interested in returning to METROCON 2021 and haven’t heard from them yet.

RAVES

We have hopes to host a digital streaming version of METROCON: MASSIVE with sets from some of your favorite DJs to bring you some of the high-caliber electronic and hardcore music you rely on the METROCON raves every summer to enjoy. Be sure to follow our Facebook and Instagram for more information in the coming months!

CONTACT US

Our contact information for the staff can be found on our Contact Us page. Feel free to reach out to the appropriate person with questions regarding the cancellation. We know many of you are reaching out through social media, and we’re doing our best to respond there as well as quickly as possible, but for inquiries regarding refunds, tables, and the time-sensitive stuff, it’s really better to email us!

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Leo Nocedo is a cosplay photographer who has been using a camera for the last forty years in many forms , in the military and professional studios in Miami and New York city . He got his start in cosplay photography attending conventions with his brother Juan Nocedo . He keeps on doing what he does to honor his late brother .

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