Utah’s FanX convention is axed for 2020, because of COVID-19

(Leah Hogsten | Tribune file photo) Cosplayers roam the aisles at FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention, Saturday, April 20, 2019.

The FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention won’t happen this September, extending the coronavirus-caused “summer without superheroes” into the fall.

FanX organizers announced Friday that they will postpone the annual gathering of science fiction and fantasy fandoms until 2021. The event, which brings 100,000 or more to the Salt Palace Convention Center, had been scheduled for Sept. 17-19.

“After discussions with community leaders, health officials, and [with] the surge of COVID-19 cases in Utah the past few weeks, we feel it’s in the best interest of our community to postpone,” organizers wrote in a blog post on the FanX website.

Convention goers will see their 2020 tickets and perks — such as photo-op vouchers — rolled over automatically into next year’s FanX, set for Sept. 16-18, 2021. Those who can’t attend are encouraged to use the credit for a future event, or give them to someone else. If those options don’t work, buyers are asked to contact FanX’s customer support by Aug. 15 to request a refund.

Organizers said that people who made hotel reservations at one of the event’s official hotels can cancel up to 72 hours before their reservation date.

FanX officials say they will work to create virtual events — celebrity meet-and-greet events, panels, and other pop-culture happenings — to keep conventioneers entertained until next year.

The organizers warned fans a week ago that prospects that the convention would go on were “looking bleak” without “a significant reduction in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the next couple of weeks.” Instead, the rolling seven-day average for new cases in Utah hit 620 Friday, its highest level to date.

FanX joins a long list of fan conventions that have canceled this summer. The list includes San Diego’s Comic-Con International, originally set for late July, and Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, Calif., which was to begin in late August.

The coronavirus pandemic has also hit superhero fans at the movie theaters, as delays in Hollywood’s studio schedule meant summer blockbusters such as Marvel’s “Black Widow” and DC’s “Wonder Woman 1984” were pushed back until fall.