Due to the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic PAX Australia 2020 has been cancelled, with the next show postponed to 2021. The show was originally scheduled to return to Melbourne’s Convention Centre from October 9 to 11 but has now officially been called off.
“It is with a heavy heart that today we announce the postponement of PAX Australia 2020, due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 in Australia and globally,” read PAX Australia’s post on Twitter.
Despite coronavirus restrictions easing, the large-scale indoor nature of events like PAX present an extreme risk for coronavirus transmission. Issues with national, international and interstate travel are also likely to have contributed to the decision.
In a statement, the PAX Australia team emphasised a need to keep the Aussie games community safe and healthy. “While we can’t be physically together this year, we urge you to stay in touch with us, your community and each other,” read the notice posted to twitter.
— PAX Australia (@PAXAus) June 16, 2020
While not guaranteed, the PAX Australia team indicated they would return in 2021 with the “best” PAX Aus ever.
Currently, the team is working on “new and exciting ways” to connect the PAX Aus community and their favourite content creators together in lieu of an in-person event.
While the development is disappointing to many who’ve spent the year looking forward to what is one of Aussie gaming’s biggest weekends, the decision was unavoidable.
In Melbourne, indoor venues are only allowed 50 people inside from June 21. Even with the gradual easing of restrictions, PAX Australia last year recorded a total attendance of 80,000 people. Community transmission still presents a massive risk for what is a highly contagious infection, and it’s unlikely that venues as large as the MCEC will be able to hold even half that capacity by October.
Despite government restrictions steadily easing, all venues will have to abide by the four square metres per person rule for the foreseeable future, making large-scale indoor showcases extremely difficult.
While PAX Australia 2020 is no longer happening, there are plenty of exciting things to keep you occupied while you wait for next year’s show.
To stay up to date with all the changes coming PAX Australia and any future plans for the show, follow the team on Twitter.