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Important Status Update Concerning the Informal Dance


Dear Anime Boston attendees,
 
As many of you already know, events at last year’s Informal Dance made us rethink and redesign the event.  What you may not know is that as a consequence of the problems at last year’s Informal Dance the Sheraton Boston’s entertainment license was put on probation until June 2013.  Rather than put the hotel’s future at risk, we had to look into alternative homes for the Informal Dance.
 
After considerable work by our staff, we found a new location at the Castle at the Boston Park Plaza and continued to plan the best Informal Dance that we could.
 
Unfortunately, after the space was contracted and everything was in place to hold the dance our entertainment license for the Informal Dance was rejected.  Over the past several weeks, I have personally reached out to police, city, and state representatives to find out the reasons why the license was rejected.  The reasons were:
 
1) There is a large outdoor musical event (Boston Calling) happening on City Hall Plaza and the Red Sox are playing at home.  These events, in addition to the general business of a Memorial Day weekend, have police resources stretched extremely thin during our event.  The Boston Police Department could not assign any detail officers to the Castle during the Informal Dance.
 
2) After reviewing what happened last year, the City needed a robust security and medical plan. Their primary concerns revolved around overcrowding issues and the behavior of a very small segment of our attendee population.
 
Anime Boston, with assistance from the Boston Park Plaza, developed an extremely detailed plan to address these concerns and promised to limit attendance.   The plan involved Suffolk County Sheriffs, additional hotel security, labeled egress points, and additional medical staff onsite. 
 
Unfortunately, the changes that we made were effective, but not enough to sway city officials.
 
We know that having an Informal Dance is a tradition not just at Anime Boston, but at nearly every single anime convention nationwide.  This is why our team has spent countless hours trying to come up with a plan that satisfied the Boston Police, our facility partners, and Boston City Hall.  Every single day we were talking, writing, and reaching out to try to find someone who could get the rejection of our license overturned.  We even walked into the Mayor’s office to try to see if one of his staff could help us out.  We did these things because, just like you, Anime Boston wanted our Informal Dance to happen and we are extremely disappointed that it’s not happening this year.
 
This is not the end of the Informal Dance forever.  As long as Anime Boston 2013 goes well this year, the Sheraton is open to holding the Informal Dance inside its ballroom in 2014.   To ensure that we have this option, we ask you, our attendees, to treat the Sheraton, the Hilton, the Boston Park Plaza Castle, and the Hynes Convention Center with respect.  We do not want our Informal Dance, or any part of Anime Boston, to be cancelled forever.
 
We know that not having an Informal Dance is a major disappointment for some of you.  Again, we can’t express how upsetting it is to us to not be able to deliver everything that you've come to expect and enjoy at our convention.  We've been working non-stop in an effort to make this event happen, but as of today we've run out of time.   We had hoped that we would find a way to get our dance approved, or failing that, moved into another space, which is why it took us this long to announce this cancellation.  For the lateness of this announcement too, we are sincerely sorry.
 
That being said, we hope that you will still choose to come to Anime Boston 2013 to enjoy our other quality programming, our 23 Guests of Honor, our 141 Artists in Artists’ Alley, and 118 Dealers inside the Dealers’ Room, not to mention all of the attendees—that's you—who make up the real character of our convention. We truly hope that this news will not diminish your enjoyment of Anime Boston because we are really looking forward to seeing all of you.
 
With Sincere Regret,
 
Andrea M. Finnin
Convention Chair
Anime Boston 2013
 
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