18 May 2020
No Essen Spiel this year, but hope for next year
Essen Spiel is the world’s largest fair for board games, card games, and roleplaying games, whereby in 2019 it received 209,000 visitors. It is perhaps no surprise then that Essen Spiel has made the decision to cancel its 2020 event given the present circumstances, postponing instead to 2021.
It made the announcement on Twitter this morning, stating within its tweet “Dear SPIELers, With great regret we have to announce today that we have to postpone this year's SPIEL to the date 14th to 17th of October 2021. However, we are already looking ahead to SPIEL '21 and can't wait to welcome you next year again. Until then, please stay healthy.”
This marks a further event that has been restricted or cancelled as a result of COVID-19, which it specifies further on its website, referring to “force majeure”, with circumstances outside of its control dictating its actions Much like here in the UK, lockdown rules restrict large events and gatherings of people, and in Germany, this prevents gatherings containing more than 5,000 participants until 24 October 2020. As Essen Spiel was due to take place beginning 22nd October 2020, with past attendance of over 200,000 people, continuing with the event would have severely restricted both the manner in which people could attend, and the experience itself.
It has not referred to moving the event online, as we have seen a number of conventions do, however, the postponement confirms it will be running in 2021, which means we’ll still be able to meet and enjoy games together in hopefully safer circumstances.
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