Organisers of the Armageddon Expo 2021 have made the "difficult decision" to cancel the Auckland event amid uncertainty about the city's COVID-19 situation and "concerns about anti-vaxxers".
The sci-fi, gaming, anime and comic family entertainment event was due to be held at the Auckland Showgrounds on the weekend of December 17, but will no longer go ahead.
"This is the single hardest decision we have ever had to make, and we know that it will be a huge disappointment to many (ourselves included)," a statement shared on social media read.
"We have invested over a year of planning into this year's event, and to have it come to naught is not the result we were hoping for."
The organisers cited the "uncertainty of the shift to orange or staying in red" under the new COVID-19 Protection Framework as one of the issues the event faced, as well as exhibitors who were "very uncertain and had considerable costs" to take into account.
The statement also referenced people's "willingness to attend a mass gathering" and "concerns about anti-vaxxers and the real threat of these issues destroying the event and not being able to recover".
"However, it is our belief that this is the right call and that as we enter 2022 things will become much more certain for events with vaccination rates and the new traffic light system well in place that will allow events to proceed mostly unhindered," it continued.
All tickets purchased for the Auckland event would be refunded via iTicket, and the next Armageddon event in Tauranga on the weekend of February 26 is still expected to proceed as planned.