Today it was announced at the final panel of Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim that next year's Star Wars Celebration would be returning in London, April 7-10 2023, at the ExCel Exhibition Centre. Previously it was held there in July 2007 and July 2016. However, for attendees, vendors and guests, next year's show will be very different because of major changes to that location.
The London ExCel Exhibition Centre has been home to the UK's largest comic convention, MCM Comic Con, for over twenty years, with two shows every year. The MCM Comic Con franchise was bought out by Star Wars Celebration owners ReedPOP in 2019, who has been running the show ever since. The latest was the MCM London Comic Con Spring 2022 edition which ran over this weekend, at the same time as Star Wars Celebration 2022, with an attendance of 50,000 every day. The show is split between the North and South side of the centre, with a thoroughfare running through the middle with restaurants, takeaway venues, and bars as well as other facilities. There are limited multiple level areas as well, though they mostly get used for operational requirements.
The London ExCel Centre is located somewhat remotely in the Docklands area of the East End of London, but that all changed this week with the opening of the Elizabeth line on the London Underground. It provides a direct modern tube line from Heathrow Airport, an express line through the city centre and onto Custom House station, attached to the ExCel Center and neighbouring hotels and bars. It means that the show will be far more accessible to guests, vendors and attendees than the last time Star Wars Celebration was in London. And, just as I did yesterday, the ability to leave the hall, go have lunch in the West End, and return for the rest of the show within an hour.