LOS ANGELES, March 1 (Xinhua) -- San Diego Comic-Con, one of the largest annual comic and pop culture festivals in the world, will be held virtually again in 2021 due to concern for public health and safety amid the ongoing pandemic, organizers said on Monday.
The annul in-person event, scheduled to take place in San Diego in the U.S. state of California, had been canceled for the first time in half a century in 2020 and replaced by a virtual event. More than 135,000 people came to the event in the summer of 2019.
"Never could we have imagined what the world experienced in 2020 and continues to experience today. While we are buoyed by the rollout of the vaccine and the growing number of individuals being inoculated, it appears that July will still be too early to safely hold an in-person event of the magnitude of Comic-Con," San Diego Comic Convention said in a statement posted on the official Comic-Con website.
"Unfortunately, the challenges of this past year and the multiple postponements of our two largest events have left us with limited financial resources, so this year the online experience will be reduced to a three-day event, spanning July 23-25, 2021," added the organizers.
The organizers said in the statement that it may be a safe alternative to launch a smaller in-person event at a later time and they are planning to present a three-day in-person convention in November.
Many major events in the United States have been cancelled, postponed or moved online due to the restrictions on large gatherings since the start of the pandemic.