Emerald City Comic Con organizers said Wednesday morning that they will change their policy and allow refunds to fans who choose not to attend this year because of coronavirus concerns.
Organizers are also making the four-day event, on March 12-15 at Washington State Convention Center, optional for employees who are scheduled to work the event.
It’s not clear how the decisions will affect exhibitors and guests (celebs and panelists) who wish to pull out.
Last year’s ECCC drew 98,000 people.
DC, Dark Horse and Oni Press, some of the largest comics houses expected to attend, have pulled out of the event and other vendors, creators and panelists have either decided to pull out or are still making the decision.
Organizers were receiving calls to err on the side of public safety and to let the show go on as fans debated Tuesday and Wednesday whether they would attend the event in light of the 10 deaths that have occurred in Washington since the COVID-19 outbreak.
Ultimately, they’ve decided to let the fans make their own decisions.
“We here at Reedpop remain dedicated to running Emerald City Comic Con but understand that not everyone will be comfortable with that decision,” a statement on the ECCC website said. “If you wish to forgo this year’s edition of Emerald City Comic Con, we absolutely respect your wishes and will refund your ticket purchase.”
Those wishing to seek refunds for tickets already purchased can go here.
Reedpop also said in its statement that it was “fully prepared to adjust our plans as the situation in and around Seattle develops. We are following – and will remain in compliance with – all city, state and federal guidelines. If the direction from federal, state or local official public health authorities does change between now and the show, we will adhere to that guidance, act upon it and immediately, and update you.”