According to the minds behind the production, Midwest GameFest 2021, a leading four-day event for tabletop gaming, has officially been canceled. The Role-Players Guild of Kansas City states that the decision was made after “much deliberation and consultation” and was based on unspecified data. Though it wasn’t taking place until November, the logistics and “challenges of hosting in-person events” have continued to prove problematic and, according to the announcement, have lasted longer than the showrunners expected.
Midwest GameFest Director Brad Kelley assures that it will be automatically issuing refunds, with no action needed by attendees. Though it could take longer, refunds are expected to start filtering out to badge holders sometime this week. Attendees are encouraged to contact all hotels and airlines to cancel travel arrangements ASAP. It wasn’t explicitly mentioned in the announcement, but it’s highly unlikely Midwest GameFest would eat the cost of travel arrangements.
There is one light at the end of the tunnel, as Kelley also revealed plans for the 2022 in-person and online conventions. Midwest will be making two appearances next year, with an online expo taking place sometime in the Spring and the in-person event unfolding in the fall. Registration has not begun for the 2022 events yet, but more information will be announced once the dates are secure.
In the meantime, Midwest wants to shift focus to Meeple-A-Thon, an in-person tabletop gaming event held in Kansas City. Meeple-A-Thon is entirely free to attendees and is held to benefitHillcrest Platte County’s Young Adult Housing Program.
Update 10/1/2021 –
We reached out to Kelley for comment on the cancellation, who explained that it was no easy choice to make. “The decision was very, very disappointing for all of us. We were on track for the biggest show we’ve had, more exhibitors, etc. Everyone was clamoring for the in-person show.” Unfortunately, like so many events, COVID wound up being a major factor in the cancelation.
“Initially, we were meeting to discuss if the data was bad enough, despite other shows being in-person, to alter our approach. We were already requiring masks, temperature checks at the door, etc.” In his email to Military Miniature, Kelley noted that the number of daily COVID cases already matched the figures that determined the cancelation of Midwest GameFest 2020, and with an online event already planned for Q1 of 2022, putting the time, money, and effort into another digital event just months before “didn’t make sense.”
“We are settling on a date for the February event, but tentatively it is the weekend of Feb 12, 2022. We will finalize this at the next board meeting, spin a second site up just for this event, and open registration. We intent to continue the pattern of Feb online and Nov in-person events going forward.”
Kelley did reiterate that, along with the online event in February, the November 2022 in-person GameFest is still on the schedule.