The staff of New Jersey-based anime convention AnimeNEXT announced on Friday that it is canceling this year’s event. Universal Animation, Inc., the convention’s parent company, “recently faced circumstances” that halted the staff’s planning for the 2024 event. As a result, the staff concluded that it would not be able to execute an “event of the quality that everyone has come to expect” or “incorporate the feedback that came out of” the 2023 event. The staff stated that it was “not at liberty to discuss the nature of the matter.”
In related news, Media Blasters‘ AnimeNJ++ event is experiencing difficulties as its Hilton Woodcliff Lake venue is “being taken down.” The staff is “in the middle of looking into new locations and new dates.”
AnimeNEXT 2023 took place in June 2023 at the NJ Convention and Exposition Center in Edison, New Jersey, and the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick, New Jersey, both of which were different from its usual venue of the Atlantic City Convention Center.
The AnimeNEXT staff called off all public-facing attractions of AnimeNEXT 2022, which included the in-person convention. The staff is canceling the event because of issues with the Atlantic City Convention Center, which the convention had been using since 2016.
The staff stated that the convention center is raising all prices that the event pays by 40-70% because AnimeNEXT has not occurred at the center in two years, the center does not require masks so AnimeNEXT cannot enforce policies regarding the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the nearby Orange Loop Rock Festival event is also occurring during the same weekend, and the center did not inform AnimeNEXT staff of the festival or of other necessary items.
Due to the contractual obligations, the convention staff still required to hold an “event” within the convention center or they would trigger multiple cancellation clauses. The staff is holding staff-only workshops and team-building exercises to plan for for AnimeNEXT 2023.
The last in-person AnimeNEXT event was held at Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey in June 2019. The convention was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, and there was an online event in 2021.
Source: AnimeNEXT’s Twitter account via Evan Minto