UK-based games event company EGX has announced plans to bring EGX Rezzed and EGX back as live, real-world, in-person events in 2021. If everything goes to plan with the roll out of Covid-19 vaccinations and they deem it safe to do so within the government guidelines, EGX Rezzed will return to Tobacco Dock, London from 15-17th July, and EGX will be held at Excel, London from 7-10th October.
Read the full statement below for dates and details: pic.twitter.com/SxYEGq4S11
— EGX (@EGX) February 19, 2021
Our main goal has always been to create a safe and accepting space for our community of passionate gamers.
We’re announcing our proposed dates now to help partners plan for how they might attend this year, as well as provide a chance to start conversations about how to bring attendees panelists, exhibitors, and our broader community together at each event. It takes a lot of prep to create the EGX events that you know and love, so we have to start this planning early – but your safety is always our highest priority, and we will only run these events if it is safe to do so.
If things go well there is a good chance that we will be able to put on live events in the summer and the latter half of this year.
To say that such public announcements feel premature is a bit of an understatement, but if EGX is to be held this summer, then they do need to start their preparations as soon as possible.
Whether they can reasonably go ahead is another matter. The UK still in the grips of a full lockdown (outside of whatever it is the government has deemed to be essential work). The rate at which the various Covid-19 vaccinations have been going in the UK are certainly encouraging, and many of the most at-risk in the country now have a degree of resistance to the virus at its most severe, but we’re absolutely not out of the woods yet. The vast majority of the country remains unvaccinated, and the rate of infection is still very high despite the rate of spread slowing. There’s still very real risks to the rate picking up once again as and when the government decides to loosen restrictions, especially with more virulent mutations of the virus adding uncertainty to proceedings.
Come July, the UK should be at the stage of vaccinating people in the 18-30 age range, but only with first doses and with decisions still to be made over whether children can be vaccinated as well. Combine that with the drop in infection rates last summer, and we’ll likely see restaurants, cafes, bars and more reopening with social distancing measures in place.
However, will that be suitable for video game events and conventions that would previously have thousands of attendees crammed together in long queues? Whatever event EGX can come up with will have to be dramatically different to whatever they’ve created in the past. They’ll no doubt be helped by a degree of wariness from the general public, but even so…
EGX Rezzed was one of the first video game events to be a victim of the Covid-19 pandemic. Shortly before it was set to take place last spring, it was pushed back to the summer then completely cancelled a month later, and the autumn convention followed suit.
So… I guess we’ll see what happens in July.