Citing “Uncertain Times,” Arts and Entertainment Leaders Gathering Set for Pasadena Playhouse Is Canceled

Published on Jan 6, 2022

The Immersive Experience Institute has canceled “The Next Stage,” a significant gathering of leaders in immersive and experiential arts and entertainment, which had been planned for Friday through Sunday at the Pasadena Playhouse.

Noah Nelson, Executive Director of the Immersive Experience Institute, wrote about the cancellation in a post on the organization’s website.

“We have taken this step because of the extraordinary explosion in cases over the past week here in Los Angeles (some 20,000 positive tests over the weekend), the mass cancelation of flights and large scale events around the country, withdrawals on the part of speakers and volunteer staff, and above all else the knowledge that an event held at this time is fated to be a superspreader,” Nelson said. “The goal is to bring the community together in a way that is joyous and safe, and that doesn’t appear to be in the cards right now.”

Nelson added they will be taking advantage of the time to retool and redesign a roadmap for what the future of “The Next Stage” and the Immersive Experience Institute as a whole will be.

“It is brighter than I would have expected under these circumstances,” he said. “This isn’t hyperbole, there are concrete steps already being taken to create an event that is even more dynamic and – most importantly – more resilient in these uncertain times.”

Part summit and part mini-festival, the three-day event was supposed to draw together the fields of immersive and experiential arts from across creative and technical disciplines. In addition to talks, panels, and participatory salons, attendees were to be treated to immersive performances and experiences.

The organizers said all badge and pass holders will be refunded in full. The process may take a few days as funds have to be transferred back into Eventbrite, Nelson said.

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