Singapore-based event organizer SOZO has announced on Monday that they are cancelling their flagship physical event C3AFA Singapore 2020.
The organizers decided to cancel the physical event due to the current situation and restrictions in the region because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which will be the first time happening in its 12-year history.
Instead, the organizers has launched AFA Singapore 2020 Online, which will be a new online event, set to be held in the first week of December.
The event will be a non-ticketed online event, but participants may need to have a registered account to access some of its activities. The event will be available on their YouTube channel and afastation.com website.
The organizer also states that there will be “exclusive contents” from their invited guests, as well as merchandise from their partner brands.
In a statement, Shawn Chin, the managing director of SOZO, says “Due to the ongoing travel and regulatory restrictions for large scale events, we have decided that holding C3AFA Singapore this year is not sustainable for both our customers and stakeholders. It is with much regret that we have to cancel C3AFA Singapore 2020.”
“… While the physical experience of Anime Festival Asia as we have all come to know may not be fully replicated, we hope that the spirit of the event will live on online. We hope many in the region will also tune in to this event online,” Chin added.
Anime Festival Asia is an annual anime and pop-culture convention series across several countries in Southeast Asia, mainly organized by SOZO Pte. Ltd., which started in Singapore in 2008.
The event is considered as one of the largest anime and pop-culture events outside Japan and the most attended event in the Southeast Asia. The event has since expanded to several countries in the region, like Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
The regional event is well-known for its “I Love Anisong” concert series, which has featured popular Japanese music artists.
SOZO previously held a special one-day streaming event AFA United last April 26, which included appearances from personalities who had been part of their physical event in the previous years.
The organizer then organized an online event AFA Station last August 29 and September 5-6, which was held in a dedicated online platform that includes video streaming, interactive content, community functions and an e-commerce platform.