Get ready for “amid concerns” and “abundance of caution” to appear alongside in-person event postponements again.
Per the French newspaper Libération (via our friends at The Beat), the Angoulême International Comic Art Festival has postponed its January 2022 show to a provisional Spring 2022 window. Originally planned to occur from January 27th to the 30th, the annual show was poised to take place amidst the fifth wave of COVID-19. The continuing pandemic, fueled by the Omicron variant, cast a shadow over end-of-year festivities as the latest strain has proved to be more communicable and more resistant to the available vaccines. In light of renewed indoor capacity restrictions in France to combat the wave, Angouleme director Franck Bondoux told the paper the current plan is to hold the festival in March, which he hopes is “in a contamination valley rather than in the middle of the peak as it is today.”
Sadly, the festival is also facing a financial crisis as its last two planned shows were outright cancelled in the wake of the initial pandemic onset and the Delta variant-fueled third wave over the summer. Bondoux hopes to seek aid from the French government to keep the organization afloat until it can finally hold an event safely.
The postponement will likely be the first of many as uncertainty about large-scale events returns in the wake of the fifth wave. Although, admittedly, the US response to the wave has been a bit more cavalier so far. Of course, Europe is two weeks ahead in terms of infections and hospitalizations, so it is still possible conventions like WonderCon may have to consider going dark or virtual for another year.