An "Air Comiket" will be held in place of the now-canceled event
The official website of Comic Market, known as Comiket, the largest fan gathering in the world, announced on July 12 that the winter event, Comiket 99, will be canceled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the difficultly of holding an event in wake of the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
On the website, the Comic Market Preparations Committee explains that they were going forward with the winter event before Tokyo Big Sight, where Comiket is held twice a year, released their 'Response Guidelines' to the coronavirus. The guidelines lay out how events can be run during the pandemic, including distancing guidelines and how many people can be inside the halls at one time. In response, the committee held a study to see if it was possible to hold the event under the new guidelines and came to the conclusion that it wasn't, so they went forward in canceling the event.
Furthermore, because the East Halls at Tokyo Big Sight is currently fitted out for the Olympic games, Comiket 99 was going to be held over four days, just like Comiket 97 was. But the event couldn't be guaranteed the event space needed as they had only booked for a three-day event before the pandemic occurred. The committee noted that even Makuhari Messe, which is in Chiba and the second biggest event space in Tokyo, isn't able to accommodate Comiket for the usual days it's held in December.
Because of this, an 'Air Comiket' is planned to be held during the end-of-year holidays in the place of the real-life event, and the next scheduled Comiket is aiming for an event during Golden Week in 2021. More information on the next event will be released in fall 2020.
Tokyo Big Sight for Comiket 96 (photo: Daryl Harding)
In the statement, the organizers of Comiket have also asked the governments of Japan for their support for events, venues, and organizers during this time to alleviate the burden of cancellation fees, change of venue fees, and any other fees that might arise so that events like Comiket will still be around once the pandemic is over.
Source: Comiket on Twitter
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.