Convention celebrating diversity in fandom abruptly cancelled


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/23/convention-celebrating-diversi.html


#2

And quite probably no snark about the ppl who seem to be duped this time.

(I fondly remember the thread re: this other festival on some island.)


#3

I’m guessing mismanagement, as any big con is a huge undertaking, but I am hoping for a dissection of what went wrong a la Fyre Festival. Still, it was an ambitious and supported idea, and I’m hoping it got cancelled due to unforeseen events, and not outright chicanery on the part of the organizers. But no refunds does raise an eyebrow.


#4

$59k is so little! That might barely have covered a deposit for the space. Or the celebrity guests’ travel and lodging. They were probably deeply, completely in the red from the very first thing they did with the money, dreaming of more coming in somehow (sponsorships?) to make the event somehow fall into place.


#5

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry — “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”


#6

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”

-Mike Tyson


#7

Perhaps the pursuit of an untenable ideal of inclusiveness ultimately fell prey to infighting.

But it was probably just a money thing.


#8

“days before it was to commence”

Quite possibly the money is burned in up-front costs. Conventions usually depend on sales at the door to put them over and very careful budgeting.

Did any of the concom have previous experience?


#9

When it comes to disastrous Kickstarters, incompetence/ignorance/unfortunate events usually works as an explanation rather than fraud. Frauds don’t usually get very far, and they’re far, far outnumbered by well-intentioned people who just don’t know what they’re doing.

That was a pretty blatant con-job, being sold by online hucksters - sorry, I mean “influencers.” No, wait, I mean hucksters.

A lot of these people have plans - their plans are to “be just like X,” where X was successful because it got extremely lucky. What do you mean, “be lucky” isn’t a plan?


#10

While I’m sure that you don’t have to rent the entire convention center, it still seems to me that as a choice, it represents a remarkable degree of hubris for a first convention. There are LOTS of hotels in this world with convention space that would be much more reasonable. I’m guessing that most of the money was spent on the non-refundable deposit. It is easy for even an established convention, where the number of attendees can reasonably be predicted lose money. http://fancyclopedia.org/constellation-bankruptcy


#11

Thank you for the link, but my employers do not thank you for pointing me down that rabbithole! :stuck_out_tongue:


#12

Just for the record, even years and years after the first “conventions” happened near me - me thinks this was a STTNG thingy - I’m still at a total loss why people spend ridiculous amounts of money to gain entry to a marketing show, and even spend more money on costumes which most of the time don’t even come close to the original props and even more often lack originality. And then, there’s the language. I can’t but chuckle reading your link. Exemplary.

And you know what’s weird? It has nothing to do with my personal attitude towards the subject of the fandoms which celebrate themselves in those “cons”.
I can really get nerdgasms about, say, STTNG. And i’d love to have a chat with Sir Patrick Stewart, and WOULD pay good money to see him on a stage.

Provided he plays something else than Jean-Luc Picard.

Preferably Shakespeare. Or Wilde.
Brecht would be superb, but sadly nearly unimaginable.
Ionesco would possibly give me a heart attack due to excitement.


#13

Like many thngs, the internet probably reduces the demand for this sort of thing. Now you can easily get into a back and forth discussion about your particular nerdism without having to travel to hotel filled with nerds and look for visual clues to people who share your very particular interest.


#14

Going to one of the original Star Trek conventions in the old NYC Commodore Hotel (and staying nights in Hell’s Kitchen) was a formative experience for me and several of my oldest friends.

Meeting Harlan Ellison taught me that you could appreciate art without wanting to have anything to do with the artist, for example.

Also, Nichelle Nichols is just a wonderful person.


#15

People enjoy spending time with other people who share their interests. Does this come as a surprise to you?

It’s a hobby. Now you’re just going “STOP LIKING WHAT I DON’T LIKE.”


#16

Fail to plan = plan to fail.


#17

Or sent to jail. :smirk:


#18

Why would anyone throwing a con try to start mega-sized? I won’t make a comment about entitled millennials… Whoops! :wink:

I’m in Baltimore, and way back knew some of the folks involved with Otakon. Which got HUGE. But Jesus, it started in a dinky little hotel way up in Baltimore County if I remember correctly, Hunt Valley maybe — they hardly began it at the Baltimore Convention Center.

It’s almost like doing big things well involves… Building up to that, learning skills, pulling one up by one’s bootstraps. When did this basic logic go out the window? I blame the internet, and the celebrity wannabe culture it has spawned. Everyone wants a fast break to making it big. Sorry kids, real life very rarely works that way.


#19

We could use the old barn for a stage!


#20

I used to go to the Creation cons in Dearborn back in the 90s, even worked volunteer security at a couple as part of a local Trek fan club. It’s amazing to see how much work and coordination-- and money-- it takes to put on an event like that. But it was fun to meet some of the stars up close and personal (though a notable few were jerks), see cosplay and merchandise, and hang out with fellow fans.

Creation stopped coming around ages ago, but we still have the Motor City Comic Con in Novi every year, as well as Youmacon in Detroit (never been, but I’ve met attendees with awesome outfits) and Penguicon (one of these years, I will go, I swear) as our big events.

And yes, Nichelle Nichols is amazing! :grinning:

[Edited to add links and fix Youmacon spelling.]