With the announcement that “Fandom is back!”, Fan Expo HQ has announced a slate of 17 – count ’em – 17 live events for 2022, including the comic cons formerly run by Wizard World and Pop Culture HQ. And they’re not wrong: it looks like live comics events will be back big time in 2022, COVID or no.
The Fan Expo lineup includes such large shows as MEGACON Orlando, FAN EXPO Dallas, FAN EXPO Chicago, FAN EXPO Denver, and FAN EXPO Canada. It also includes a new show, FAN EXPO San Francisco; FAN EXPO Denver, a new version of Denver Comic Con; and six of the former Wizard shows. Fan Expo announced it would be running the Denver show in March, and the acquisition of the Wizard World portfolio in August.
Here’s the complete line-up:
- FAN EXPO New Orleans *REBRANDED:January 7-9, 2022, Tickets on sale now
- FAN EXPO Portland *REBRANDEDJanuary 21-23, 2022, Tickets on sale now
- FAN EXPO Vancouver: February 19-21, 2022, Tickets on sale now
- Toronto Comicon: March 18-20, 2022, Tickets on sale January 13, 2022
- FAN EXPO Philadelphia *REBRANDED: April 8-10, 2022, Tickets on sale now
- Calgary Comics & Entertainment Expo *15thAnniversary Celebration: April 21-24, 2022, Tickets on sale now
- FAN EXPO Cleveland *REBRANDED: April 29-May 1, 2022, Tickets on sale now
- FAN EXPO St. Louis *REBRANDEDMay 13-15, 2022, Tickets on sale now
- MEGACON Orlando: May 19-22, 2022, Tickets on sale now
- FAN EXPO Dallas: June 17-19, 2022, Tickets on sale November 10, 2021
- FAN EXPO Denver *NEW BRAND: July 1-3, 2022, Tickets on sale November 10, 2021
- FAN EXPO Chicago *REBRANDED: July 7-10, 2022, Tickets on sale November 10, 2021
- FAN EXPO Boston: August 12-14, 2022, Tickets on sale November 10, 2021
- FAN EXPO Canada: August 25-28, 2022, Tickets on sale November 10, 2021
- Edmonton Comics & Entertainment Expo: September 16-18, 2022, Tickets on sale April 27, 2022
- Dallas Fan Festival: October 14-16, 2022, Tickets on sale June 22, 2022
- FAN EXPO San Francisco *DEBUT SHOW: November 25-27, 2022, Tickets on sale early 2022
A couple of notes on this: Fan Expo Chicago – formerly Wizard World Chicago and once, long ago The Chicago Comic Con – is moving to early July, much closer to its once traditional time.
The new San Francisco event will be held over the Thanksgiving weekend – so who knows, Maybe Comic-Con Special Edition in San Diego started a trend there.
The other shows have more or less their traditional timing, including the traditional con kickoff in New Orleans in the first week of January.
This is all COVID willing, of course. Fan Expo cancelled all their 2020 events, and has held a limited slate of shows in 2021, with enhanced health and safety protocols. This includes MegaCon in Orlando, which was held smack in the middle of the worst US COVID outbreak of the entire pandemic. (Marks were required inside.) According to organizers, some shows were reintroduced in a “Special Edition” format, allowing them to incorporate new protocols, respond rapidly to fan feedback, and trial some new initiatives including specialty virtual tours like Hololive EN North American Tour.
“We are privileged to be in the position of being a leader in this industry, and to play a role in igniting our industry’s reset and successful return. Truly, it has taken the talent and enthusiastic effort of our vendors, volunteers, venues, and local officials to get us to this point, and we’re very gratified to be part of that success,” said FAN EXPO HQ President, Aman Gupta in a statement.
But the shows will also be coming back with a new commitment to giving fans a good experience, after all the delays and lockdowns. According to FAN EXPO HQ Vice President, Andrew Moyes “We’re reinvigorating legacy shows, looking at how to infuse more fun from morning to night, and focusing on the irreplaceable in-person magic these shows bring. Everything will be turned up a notch: how we present iconic brands and partners, the way we offer exclusive shopping opportunities, the way we present special events celebrating every fandom, and the way fans can interact with their favourite stars and creators. We truly can’t wait to be back, so we can geek out right alongside them.”
Tickets for most shows are available now at the Fan Expo website. Guests and celebrity brand partners will be announced in the coming weeks.