AMKE 2021 goes virtual, physical convention will be back in 2022

Hello Anime Milwaukee family, 

I’m Timothy Huesmann, AMKE convention chair. This isn’t the letter I wanted to write and I know this isn’t the letter you all wanted to be reading. It seems like immediately after AMKE 2020, the world became a constant state of confusion and chaos, and I’ve certainly felt that too. A convention held with you guys would be a great way to get some of my sanity back. However, with the current state and immediate future of the pandemic, I have made the very hard decision to cancel AMKE 2021. While I am optimistic that the distribution of the vaccines currently on their way will help bring an end to this craziness, my convention leadership and I do not believe that it will have an effect on large-scale events being held by Spring 2021.

Putting on a convention with at least 11,000 people only two months from now would not be an Anime Milwaukee that you all know and love. While we could and would enforce a mask mandate, proper social distancing requirements alone would understandably prohibit us from putting on many events that we know you all enjoy. For example, Registration and Vendor Hall areas alone would be a massive undertaking in order to allow for people to spread out to stay safe, and in doing so we would not be able to bring in as many vendors and artists for you to see. Raves wouldn’t happen, panels would have to be limited capacity, autographs would be a different experience entirely, and other areas like video gaming, manga library, foam fighting, and others would not be able to happen in a way that you would be able to fully enjoy. And ultimately, the Wisconsin Center would be very limited in how many people can even be in the building at any one time, which would mean we would have to actually cap attendance for our event. That’s something we never want to do.

I know this sucks. This year has been terrible and the early part of next year probably won’t be much better. However, there is hope for the future. The end of this pandemic is coming and we’re almost there. Conventions will come back and Anime Milwaukee will be right there with them: we will be back in 2022 with a physical convention. We aren’t going anywhere. We love this community too much.

It hurts to say that AMKE 2021 will not go on as normal, and I’m sure it hurts to hear. But we are working hard in order to bring you entertaining and interactive virtual content so that we can still celebrate our love of Japanese culture together in some way. More details will come on that soon, please make sure to keep an eye out on our social media and website for more information.

Thank you for your dedication and excitement to this community. Everyone on staff does what we do because we want to see this community grow and thrive. My wish is for you to safe and stay healthy, especially as winter and the holidays come. Please wear a mask and pay close attention to state and CDC guidelines so we can see as many of you as possible in 2022.

We appreciate you. Anime Milwaukee will be back.

Timothy Huesmann
Anime Milwaukee Convention Chair

Cancellation FAQ

  • If you were expecting an AMKE 2021 badge (some were given as prizes in various contests), those will roll over automatically to 2022. We never opened registration for 2021.
  • AMKE’s 2021 virtual event will not require a mandatory purchase to attend.
  • Vendors and artists, please check your email for information if you were expecting to attend in 2021. Have questions? Please contact business@animemilwaukee.org.
  • Hotel rooms: We did not announce or open room blocks at any hotels in anticipation of cancellation. If you have booked a room, make sure to cancel it! We are unable to assist you with this.