Covid-19 & Mysterium 2021

Shorah everyone.

We hope you are all safe and healthy. We have some very important news about our 2021 convention, so please take a moment to read through this post.

The short version – We will NOT be holding an in-person convention this summer. Instead, we will be holding another online event on the same weekend. Refunds will be available to everyone who has pre-registered.

We know this announcement may be frustrating to many of you, but we feel it is the best course of action we have right now. Please read on for the details in a handy Q&A format:

Why aren’t you holding an in-person con?

The Covid-19 pandemic is still too out of control right now, and we simply can’t be sure what the situation will look like in July. It’s possible everyone will be vaccinated and everything will be safe; it’s also possible that vaccine delays will happen, or a more dangerous variant will appear.

There are also legal and logistical concerns surrounding a distanced con with mandatory vaccines that are still under an Emergency Use Authorization. We are a tiny volunteer-run organization with limited resources, and July is very soon. We would rather let governments and larger organizations learn how to safely hold these sorts of gatherings over the next year, rather than try to be one of the first cons out of the gate.

Why not wait another month or two to decide?

Logistically, we have to start planning for an online event. That takes time and looks different from on-site planning, so we had to make the switch at some point.

Legally, we have a contractual deadline from our hotel. If we don’t cancel now, we will owe them more money.

Why not just let the people who feel safe attending do so anyway?

Everyone has their own personal level of acceptable risk. However, the FMG Board (which oversees Mysterium) has a responsibility to do what we feel is best to protect the safety of our attendees and the people they will come in contact with (hotel staff, airline workers, food workers, etc). Given that, and the reasons we listed previously, we feel that the risks are too high to hold an official in-person event right now.

I already registered. Will I get a refund?

Yes, you will get a full refund. You will receive an email once the refund has been processed (check your spam or promotions folders!). If you don’t hear from us by the end of next week, please reach out!

What about t-shirts and other swag?

We will be selling and shipping t-shirts again this year. If you got one with your registration, it will be refunded and you will be able to re-buy it through our web store at the same price.

You can find our web store with shirt sales here.

As far as other swag – we don’t know yet.

Should I cancel my hotel room?

No, you don’t have to cancel your room reservation. The hotel should do that in a few weeks. If somehow it looks like they aren’t going to do so, we will let you know with plenty of time to cancel.

What about transportation that I booked?

Please check with your carrier for details on cancellations.

Have you considered postponing the con until later this year?

We are investigating that option, but we have no useful news about that.

How is Mysterium doing financially? Is this going to bankrupt the convention?

Overall, we’re doing pretty well. Obviously, between refunds and hotel fees, we’re going to take a hit to our funds by moving to an online convention, but thanks to sales and very generous donations from last year we should be fine.

Can I host a panel/event or otherwise help out with the online Mysterium?

Yes! We’re not ready to take in your ideas just yet, but please check back soon. 

How/where will online Mysterium be hosted?

We don’t have all the details yet, but we will likely base it on what we did last year (Zoom+Discord+Twitch/Youtube). There have been many advances in online convention hosting, though, so we’ll look into other options.

How much will the online convention cost?

As with last year, the online convention will be free! It is likely that t-shirt sales can cover our costs, and we want to make sure the convention is accessible to as many people as possible.

That’s it for the Q&A for now. Before we wrap up, we want to give a shout out to all of the volunteers on the Mysterium staff who have put in a lot of work these last two years in the hopes of running an in-person con. They have some cool stuff planned, and we hope you get to come see it at our next in-person event.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out by email, discord, or social media. We hope to have more information soon. In the meantime, please stay safe and get your vaccine when you can!

-Falling Man Group Board of Directors

Posted in Mysterium 2021.

2 Comments

  1. This is both disappointing AND a relief. I was concerned because my 12-year-old daughter (who loves URU) wanted to come with me, and I was ready to bring her…. mostly. But the delays in coming up with vaccine doses for her age and weight were concerning me. I am both happy and sad that we won’t be having our “mom/daughter” weekend just yet. I was mustering it up to stop procrastinating and ‘just register already’, but now I don’t have to do that. I also don’t *get* to do that. Well done, Mysterium con-comm, for being decisive and doing what I am very sure is the right thing. I very much enjoyed the virtual con last year, and I have every confidence this one will be just as great. I don’t know if my daughter will enjoy it like I will, so she might or might not participate, but that’s OK, too.

  2. Yay! Personally, this makes me very happy, because it means that I get to participate again. Last year’s event was great, but I live too far away from the US to justify traveling to Washington for another one.

    Generally, I appreciate your erring on the side of safety and considerateness in the face of a hard decision, even though it may come as a disappointment to some prospective participants.

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