Following two years of setbacks due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, Anime Expo has announced that the convention will return as a live, in-person event in 2022.
Anime Expo announced via press release that the event will return to its traditional venue of the Los Angeles Convention Center in 2022 for in-person festivities. The convention was cancelled in 2020 shortly after quarantine and stay-at-home orders were mandated, marking the first time that the convention missed a year in its almost three decade history. The expo returned as an online-only streaming event in 2021, with ticket sales being donated to the Hate Is A Virus community action fund, a non-profit organization that provides resources for Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities and fights against the rise in Anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination across the country. Anime Expo says that it was able to donate over $77,000 to the group thanks to 2021's ticket sales, as the online convention drew over 375,000 viewers across the world.
Anime Expo began in 1992, and for the first two years the event was held at venues in northern California. The convention moved to the Anaheim Convention Center in 1994, and has since grown to be the largest anime-focused convention in North America. The convention then moved to the larger Los Angeles Convention Center, which is also the venue that hosts the yearly E3 gaming convention, in 2009 and has been held there on most years ever since. The 2021 online-only convention featured the first look at Lucasfilm's Star Wars Visions anthology, which is being produced by some of the top animation studios in Japan, and the premiere of the Shikizakura CG animated movie.
While public health mandates related to the pandemic have not been completely lifted, many conventions in the United States have already started hold in-person events. The Anime Matsuri convention was held earlier in July in Houston, Texas, and the PAX gaming convention will also return this year, though officials for the event have announced that attendees will need to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test in order to be admitted.
Fans interested in attending Anime Expo 2022 can sign up for updates for the event through the convention's official website.
Source: Anime Expo
Image Credit: Alan Dean