Organisers of Comic Market 99 — scheduled for Winter 2020, have announced via their official website and Twitter account that the upcoming event has been cancelled due to a number of factors.
A full official translation of the announcement follows:
Comic Market 99 will not be held in Winter 2020, but we are aiming to hold Comic Market 99 in May 2021 instead. For Winter 2020, we are planning to build on the “Air Comiket” concept from this May, also including projects to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the very first Comic Market in December 1975. We will be making further announcements here as soon the details have been worked out.
Originally, at the announcement of the cancellation of Comic Market 98 on March 27 due to COVID-19, we had communicated that the schedule of Comic Market 99 (Winter 2020) would be made public at a later day.
Based on guidance by the national and local governments, event venues have been providing concrete “guidelines” for event organizers to follow when organizing events. Various doujinshi marketplace’s organizers are now preparing to restart their events in compliance with such guidelines, closely coordinating with the venues. The Tokyo Big Sight, which Comic Market uses, has also issued such a guideline, mandating various prevention measures that organizers must follow and severely limiting the number of people allowed in each hall.
Furthermore, following the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, the East Halls of Tokyo Big Sight, where the International Broadcasting Center and Main Press Center are to be located, are not available for use in Winter 2020. The original plans for Comic Market 99 in Winter 2020 had been to use the entire Tokyo Big Sight, including East Halls, over 3 days. Extending the event to 4 days, to cover for the missing East Halls, is unfortunately not realistic considering the weekdays of 2020’s year-end calendar.
In the last months, we have been considering a multitude of highly different scenarios, in what form we could possibly have a Comic Market, given the restrictions in number of participants, schedule and other limitations given by the guidelines and the on-going spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. However, even if we would fulfill all precautions that are requested as of today, there would still remain significant risks and problems, and it would be highly difficult to have a Comic Market that is satisfactory to our participants. Therefore, it is with great regret that we have come to the difficult decision not to hold Comic Market 99 in Winter 2020.
For the new schedule of Comic Market 99, we have set our sights to May (Golden Week) 2021 and have started coordinating with the various involved parties, with the understanding and agreement of organizers of other doujinshi marketplaces and character-related events held at Tokyo Big Sight. Details shall be announced in Autumn 2020, so we ask for your patience.
Winter 2020 also marks the 45th anniversary of Comic Market, first held in December 1975. We are considering having an event expanding on the “Air Comiket” concept we did this May, including projects to commemorate the anniversary. Hopefully also in a way that enables international participation. Details will be announced as soon as they are ready.
Comic Market defines itself as a “space” that functions to expand the possibilities of self-expression, where the aim is to accept creators of doujinshi and all other types of creative endeavors and maintain continuity. Not being able to have a real “space” for the entire year 2020 breaks our hearts as Comic Market Committee. Still, in order to ensure continuity, we must keep in mind our responsibility to society, our impact due to our size and must act prudently. We will continue to do our best to continue the event and ask for the understanding and cooperation of all participants and related parties.
Currently, thankfully to the support by purchases of the Comic Market 98 catalog, circles opting to carry-over or donating their participating fees from Comic Market 98, and special loans from financial institutions, the organization of Comic Market is not in immediate financial danger. However, depending on the continued outbreak of COVID-19, there might come a situation where we need to again ask for your support.
As said before at the cancellation of the Comic Market 98, each event, including doujinshi marketplaces and any other types of events, exhibitions, fairs etc, is unique in its scale, timing, location and specifics. Each organizer is basing their own decisions on their unique circumstances. The change of schedule of Comic Market 99 should not be used as a “precedent” for other events. We kindly ask you again to refrain from making inquiries to other events in relation to our decision.
Finally, due to the postponing of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, restrictions on the use of Tokyo Big Sight and Makuhari Messe will continue for another year. For over a year now many events have already been forced into cancellation, change of venue or downsizing, effecting event venues throughout the country. Given that the situation will continue for another full year, and capacities of venues are severely limited, at least the related venue fees could be reduced according to the smaller capacity. Nevertheless, venue fees are mostly unchanged, other than some very rare exceptions such as in Osaka.
Luckily, the cancellation fees for the venue of Comic Market 98 have been waived. Given the uncertainty of the further development of the outbreak, we request that similar measures will continue. Additionally, the burden of implementing the “guidelines”, both in hardware and procedures, falls on individual event organizers. In light of how preventive measures will become implemented on a long term basis, we strongly hope that the venue facilities and their functionality themselves can be upgraded to meet these challenges. We again ask the government, Tokyo city, and all other related parties to support events and event organizers, in their need of adequately sized and equipped venues.
July 12, 2020
Comic Market Committee Co-Representatives
Kaoru Yasuda, Yoshiyuki Fudetani, Koichi Ichikawa
Addendum: The partial and unofficial translation by SO Japan has been replaced with the full and official translation from Comic Market Committee.