CombatCon 2021 Updates

Last updated 3/18/21

Dearest CombatCon Friends, Family, and Fans:

We were once again overwhelmed by the response to our latest survey; we had over 300 responses! It was amazing to get all that feedback, and it has helped tremendously as we continue to navigate these Covid waters. After months of hand-wringing, difficult conversations, obsessive news reading, and discussions with the Flamingo, we can announce:

CombatCon 2021 will be held July 22nd-25th, 
in-person at the Flamingo, and virtually

We recognize that attending in person may not be a viable option for some members of our community, and we respect that. To provide the best possible experience for all attendees, our virtual component will be expanded to include a special “Taste of CombatCon Live” track, and will feature some of the best in-person elements of the convention.

For those who do plan to attend in person, please be aware that we will be requiring proof of Covid vaccination.

Please understand that this was not an easy decision and comes with all kinds of questions. For some questions we have answers, for others we are working on the answers and some we will have to wait and see before we can answer. Below you will find the answers we do have as of today. Please read this carefully, and then feel free to email us at info@combatcon.com if we’ve missed something. 

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How will you ensure the event is as safe as possible if I am planning to attend in-person?

This is the hardest thing to determine right now. With things changing so quickly in just the last 3 weeks, our answer to that question has changed twice in the last month alone.  We are staying informed regarding health, travel, and local/national guidelines, and we’re discussing all options.

What we know for certain is that we will prioritize the safety of our staff and participants utilizing the current CDC guidelines at the time of the event. We have made decisions based on the scientific forecast of where things will be in July. Therefore:

– Vaccines will be required. Currently, that means your vaccine needs to be done no later than July 7th to allow for full inoculation.  
– Daily Temperature checks and waivers will be required
– Mask and/or social distancing will be left to personal discretion

The science is not yet conclusive on the complete picture of the vaccines, but it does seem that making vaccinations mandatory will mean fewer restrictions and precautions are necessary. One of the biggest through-lines in the response to our survey was in regards to being vaccinated and feeling safe, which is the environment we want to provide at CombatCon 2021.

I am coming to CombatCon in-person. Is it going to be the same?

Great question! Here is what we know so far:

-All classes in which the instructor is willing and able to travel will be held as programmed. The CombatCon Family extends across the globe, and each country is in their own stage of the pandemic and has their own travel restrictions. Due to things being in perpetual flux, we cannot guarantee a particular instructor or special guest will be in attendance. Note: we have never guaranteed this in the past and it is even less certain at this time with events and situations outside of our and their control.

-All tournaments will happen as scheduled. These include all HEMA tournaments, The Saber Legion tournaments, and the Classical Fencing tournament. Note: minimum numbers must be met for each tournament to occur.

-Weapons Daycare will be available. The process may be different than in years past, but you will still have a place to stash your gear.

-Vendors will be in attendance, and while some restrictions or precautions may still be required, you should be able to handle swords/gear/etc

This leaves a few things in the “we don’t know” category, including the Time Travellers Ball, Open and Closing Ceremonies, and Evening theme nights. We won’t know about these until much closer to the event. 

I can’t believe you would even consider an in-person event!

We hear you, this is a scary time. No one here at CombatCon wants to rush into re-opening. We share your trepidation and it feels weird to even consider this. That said, we have spent this year listening to, and following the science. We are constantly monitoring the news, the CDC website, and are in touch with people “on the inside” to make the best choices we can right now. A lot has changed in the last month with the approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and the possible upcoming vaccine surplus. Additionally, the President announced that every American over the age of 16 should be eligible for the vaccine by May 1st with a “Path to Get Closer to Normal” by July 4th.  

Another factor in our decision is our obligation to the CombatCon community.  Many people responded to the survey letting us know how much the event means to them, and how much they want to attend in person.  With the scientific data trending in a positive direction, we do believe we can foster a safe environment for those who want to attend.    
Obviously, we take our responsibility for the health and well-being of our attendees very seriously. We will adhere to CDC guidelines, so we must be malleable if that information changes. We will never forget what a member of our community said last year: “Safety first, in combat and in conventions!”

I am going to Virtual CombatCon. Will it be the same as 2020?

VCC 2020 was a steep learning curve for the whole CombatCon Crew. We were really happy with the overall outcome, so we’ll keep a lot of it the same and add some great new elements. Here are some of the ideas that we’re currently kicking around:

-Pre-recorded classes with Instructors who can’t be in person this year. They will be on Zoom to answer any questions live at the end of their session.
-Exclusive access to all the sessions from 2020 for a limited time.
-A “Taste of CombatCon Live” track where you will be ‘in the room’ during the in-person event. This will include some of the presentations and classes, and showcase each tournament room, a few demos, any social activities, and possibly time with the vendors.

We don’t know exactly how many classes this will include, or which instructors/classes will be offered, but we have already started working on the details.

I’ve heard this year is CombatCon’s 10th anniversary.  If I don’t attend in person, what will I miss?

Well, math is hard, so we decided that we wouldn’t count VCC 2020. That makes 2021 our ninth anniversary, and 2022 will be our tenth. And what a celebration that will be! But that’s for the future, so for now, you won’t be missing any festivities related to a significant anniversary.

I transferred my pass from 2020 to 2021, so what do I need to do now?

First, thank you again for helping us get through 2020! If you are attending CombatCon 2021 in person, then there is nothing you need to do. You have a confirmation email from last year and we have you on the list.

If you are not able to attend, or would like to go to Virtual CombatCon 2021, then we are still working on a plan. Please give us a couple weeks to lock this down and we will be in touch with you.

In Conclusion

Here are a few links you may be interested in:
Caesars General: https://www.caesars.com/health-and-safety
Caesars Groups: https://www.caesars.com/meetings
Las Vegas: https://www.lasvegasnevada.gov/News/Blog/Detail/corona-virus-update
Nevada: https://nvhealthresponse.nv.gov/current-status-mitigation-measures/
CDC Guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html

As we continue to learn more about the spread, and as positive cases decline, we can begin to offer more concrete answers. Unless Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada or the US goes into lockdown again, CombatCon 2021 will be held physically on the currently scheduled dates of July 22-25, and we will offer a virtual component. All attendees, instructors, staff, and vendors who attend in person will be required to be vaccinated.  We appreciate everyone’s help in coming to this decision and in offering help and support. Stay healthy, stay safe, and train well!

Best,
-The CombatCon Directors