The Big Apple Anime Fest may not happen this year due to the 2004 Republican National Convention taking place in New York City from August 26 to September 3. Most of the delegates are staying over for the Labor Day Weekend, so almost all hotel rooms in New York are sold out during that period. The Times Square Marriott Marquis, site of BAAF 2003, is not available to BAAF this year during Labor Day Weekend for this reason, nor are any other hotels capable of holding a large scale fan event.
Goddamn those Republicans.
Because of the success of BAAF 2003, with over 12,000 attendees (not counting the additional industry professionals, guests of honor, and media), BAAF will require a much larger venue for 2004 and beyond, if it is to continue to offer the traditional “three-ring circus” of film festival, dealer room, and fan panels, and to allow room for new fans to participate.
The following are the options being mulled over right now:
Move to a later time in the year, and hold the traditional event in Times Square, but limit attendance to prevent overcrowding of the hotel. Cutting back to a capacity of about 10,000 attendees could reduce overcrowding.
Hold BAAF during Labor Day Weekend, but not in Times Square, and not on the traditional scale (for example, just hold a film festival at a movie theater in Manhattan, with no dealer rooms or fan panels).
Skip 2004, and plan for 2005 instead.
BAAF fans can keep up to date with this year’s con situation by visiting the Big Apple Anime Fest website.