Universal FanCon Suddenly Postponed a Week Before Event
A week out from its announced debut, organizers have confirmed that Universal Fan Con, the new convention created to celebrate diversity and inclusivity in fandom, will not take place and has been postponed to an as-yet unspecified date.
In a series of tweets, organizers said that they were “devastated to make this postponement decision,” and shared that there is a “contingency plan” for those whose travel to Baltimore next week was already booked and are unable to reschedule their trip.
It is with a heavy heart that we must announce that FanCon has been postponed until further notice. We deeply apologize for the disappointment, anger and feelings of lost trust due to this decision. We are taking the steps to reschedule the convention & will provide an update— FanCon@Baltimore Convention Center (@UniversalFanCon) April 20, 2018
We recognize that people have poured time, effort and money into making this convention a success and many are in precarious positions as to their plans for the next weekend. We will do all we can to help establish some resolutions— FanCon@Baltimore Convention Center (@UniversalFanCon) April 20, 2018
What happens next:— FanCon@Baltimore Convention Center (@UniversalFanCon) April 20, 2018
1. Again we will provide full insight into the situation later today
2. We have a contingency plan for people who still will be in Baltimore/can't change their travel plans; to be shared later today
To reiterate: FanCon is postponed until further notice. It will NOT occur April 27-29. We will provide further details later today to address all concerns and questions and provide insight into how and why this happened. Inquiries can be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org— FanCon@Baltimore Convention Center (@UniversalFanCon) April 20, 2018
This Week In Heat Vision breakdown
Although no official reason has yet been given for the sudden postponement — social media accounts for the event were promoting the show as recently as yesterday — a source told Heat Vision that the event “has a financial deficit.” In January, Heat Vision talked to Universal FanCon executive director Robert Butler, who said that the Kickstarter campaign to fund the show had been “a greater success than we could have imagined,” raising twice the amount initially asked for. (One of the executive board members of the convention, Melanie Dione, announced her resignation via Twitter this morning.)
Organizers were not the first to announce the postponement/cancellation of the show; that actually happened when hotels canceled reservations for those who had booked through the show’s Kickstarter campaign. After hotel announcements, an email was sent to Kickstarter backers confirming that the show would not be happening on the announced date, although no other ticket holders — or even some panelists scheduled to appear at the show — were notified at the time. The Kickstarter email was shared via social media:
At least some of the emails sent to Kickstarter backers were not properly addressed, with recipients CC’d instead of BCC’d, meaning emails were visible to everyone on the mailing, leading to more complaints. Fans and creators alike are sharing information about what little they know on Twitter:
Fun detail to add to this: Universal Fancon started via kickstarter where they raised 56,000 even though they only asked for 25,000. Which is really rough for 2 reasons: 1) obviously people support this 2) some of those KS rewards were hotel rooms https://t.co/kYqPLQuIRW— Jeremy Whitley @ MomoCon (@jrome58) April 20, 2018
Guests scheduled to appear included comic book writer Greg Pak, actor Billy Dee Williams and The Magicians star Hannah Levien. At the time of writing, the website for the event does not mention the postponement, although ticket sales have been paused.
by Graeme McMillan
by Patrick Shanley
by Richard Newby