Statement on Coronavirus

Image source: Sailor Moon Crystal, Season 2 Episode 18. © Toei.

To the Anime Fusion community and beyond,

These are trying times, and our thoughts are with all those who are affected by the coronavirus outbreak as the situation continues to develop. Our hearts go out to our fellow conventions that are finding themselves in the midst of an unprecedented emergency. With all the guests, vendors, artists, performers, attendees, and others who make fan conventions a part of their lives, the effects of this crisis will ripple through our community for a long time to come.

We urge you to be patient with your local conventions as they struggle with what is most likely the most difficult decision they have ever had to make. For volunteer-run non-profit conventions like Anime Fusion, cancelling or postponing the event is not a simple matter. In many cases, cancellation fees and a lack of rescheduling options may be enough to shut down an event for good. And that’s before refunds for attendees and vendors have even entered the picture.

Please believe that the volunteer staff of your local conventions have the best interests of the community at heart. We are all ordinary fans like you are. No one wants to contribute to the spread of disease and suffering. At the same time, the efforts of hundreds of people are wasted when an event is cancelled, thousands of hearts are broken, and the loss of income can be devastating to the vendors and artists who rely on the convention circuit for their business. These choices are never easy, and they are always expensive.

If your local convention is affected by the coronavirus outbreak, consider rolling your membership over to the following year instead of requesting a refund. Seek out the vendors and artists that normally appear at the convention and buy from them online. Your convention may also have an online store, as they might be stuck with dated merchandise they now cannot sell. Above all, let’s all pull together as a community and support each other. In our time running Anime Fusion and promoting at other conventions in the area we have seen countless examples of the goodness of our fellow anime fans, particularly in times of crisis. With patience and heart, we can make it through the months ahead.

As for our own event, Anime Fusion is an October convention and the coronavirus is predicted to be well under control by then. At this time we have no plans to cancel or reschedule Anime Fusion. We will continue monitoring the situation. In the meantime, we’re moving forward with our planning cycle as normal.

Stay safe and healthy, and we hope to see you at a midwest convention soon.

Heather Bufkin
Convention Chair
Anime Fusion 2020