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Worst. Con. Experience. Ever.

You know how everyone always bashes Creation for their costs, the way the actors are kept away from fans, no personalizations, etc? Well, a worse situation is one in which the con leads on all the actors as well as fans, doesn't tell the truth, lets the fans spend their hard-earned money to get there, then actually SHUTS DOWN on the Saturday morning.

Yep, welcome to Fedcon USA, which has just canceled itself, apparently because the hotel wasn't getting paid and demanded the con vacate. The con organizers knew they couldn't actually pay their headliners to attend (Connor made it somehow, but not Paul or any of the others I believe, and Aaron Douglas of BSG was very public aboutt the shenanigans on the Fedconusa.com forum.)

John Billingsley (SG1: The Other Guys) has been a total hero, and his wife too. He took control of the opening ceremonies last night, hung out with fans at the early party, and spoke up for the audience this morning when the announcement was made they had to shut down.  He represented for the fans like crazy, ran around with the microphone until everyone got to ask their questions.

The fans are in shock but calm. No doubt this would be true in spite of the very large men the hotel had stationed around to prevent any violence. Ha!

Well, TJ from California and I are throwing a Beckett-lovers room party in a couple hours.  We'll try to salvage something.  A direct quote from her:  "I've been going to conventions fro 30 years and never seen anything like this."

They strung us along when they knew they were in deep trouble.  They never told the guests what was going on.  Yet they complain they have been working so hard.  Dude, hard work means nothing if you're not honest with anyone.

ETA: There is a story with a slightly different spin at SyFy Portal... Not sure I believe the organizer at all.

Comments

nialla42
Jun. 15th, 2008 04:06 am (UTC)
I'm not far from Dallas and yet somehow this con didn't blip on my radar at all. I'm surprised really, because based on who the guests were supposed to be, I would have gone.

Maybe references online weren't registering with me because I'm familiar with the FenCon name and didn't realize there was a con by a similar name going on this month. Which is why FenCon posted here and in their own LJ about the situation, because they don't want any confusion.

I only recall one Dallas con being cancelled before, and IIRC it was due to the hotel management deciding they didn't want the con folks scaring off their regular clientele but didn't tell the concom. They tried raising the rates at the last minute so the organizers would have to be the ones who broke the contract. Finally the hotel had to fess up, but it was way too late to change venues.

I'd like to see John Billingsley sometime, but definitely not under the circumstances you did. I've heard he's been good to fans, and it's nice to hear that he was standing up for them against the organizers. Most actors who regularly attend cons know how things are supposed to work and will do what they can to make them work for their fans.

I saw the SyFy Portal article about the time I saw your post and tracked back to the earlier articles. I was not-so-amused by the implication that Dallas is such a bad locale for a con (seriously, we are not located the ass-end of of the Hellmouth, it just feels like it during the Summer months), though I think it was more of a backhand to the organizers in which Dallas got hit too.

I was greatly amused by them calling early June in Dallas "high summer." Oh, hon, we haven't even hit 100 yet. Wait until around August/September or so, when we can go over 100 for a month non-stop. That's why they invented air-conditioning. ;)

Sorry your experience was so bad. Hopefully the con will at least refund their part, but I know that doesn't make up for travel and hotel costs. I wish I'd known it was going on and we could have at least gone out to a movie over at Grapevine Mills. Hopefully you at least got to meet some other fans while you were there.
astrumporta
Jun. 15th, 2008 05:09 am (UTC)
Hey there, yeah, I hope this doesn't discourage new DFW cons, because a lot of people here said they could never make it to a con on either coast. It was convenient to lots of folks, obviously.

I knew you live in Texas but not so near DFW that you could have come to meet us -- what a shame! Although if the con had gone as planned, I wouldn't have had much free time. Heh.

Meanwhile John Billingsley and his wife have been with fans in the bar all evening and are even now shooting pool. :)
nialla42
Jun. 15th, 2008 04:38 pm (UTC)
A lot of cons happen on the coasts because it's more convenient for the actors and such, but not-so-much for fans. Especially for one who ends up on the "wrong" coast for a con they want to attend.

Dallas is central, but we haven't had a lot of "big" cons in recent years, and I can't figure out why. There's been some smaller cons, but they're often more lit-oriented than media cons.

Creation used to do quite a bit here back in the 90s, but they completely dried up for a time. They're going again, and even had one of the first official Stargate cons here, and a Supernatural one too, but not much else. I think the Supernatural one might have had more to do with the boys wanting to visit home turf (Jensen is from a 'burb of Dallas, Jared is from San Antonio) than Creation wanting to return here. The Stargate con was in an awful venue and they got a lot of complaints, and I fear they won't return because of it.

I can get to DFW in under two hours if the traffic isn't hellacious (stress on "if"), but I don't go down that way very often, just for special events and such.

I'm glad you're salvaging something out of the con. A friend and I have been talking about going to one of the "guest-less" cons, especially one that's slash oriented. We're not necessarily life of the party types, but it would be nice just to get away and be somewhere where you could talk slash without getting Those Looks.
aurora_novarum
Jun. 15th, 2008 06:44 am (UTC)
You haven't hit 100 yet?! Oh honey...(wonders if I can fly to Dallas).

You very well may get to enjoy some in July at Shore Leave at least. *evil grin*
nialla42
Jun. 15th, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC)
We haven't "officially" hit 100, but we've been flirting with it, especially with THI factored in. Once we do hit it, we'll stay at or above for at least a month, usually more. Much more.

Back when I went to Scotland for a vacation, the cab driver was complaining about the "heat wave" they were having. My friend from Colorado agreed it was hot, my other friend from Texas and I just shared a look. When we converted the temp, it was only in the 80s. Puh-leeze. A lot of people don't even turn on the a/c here for that sort of temp. But then my friend from Colorado has been visiting here before and says it should be illegal to have pre-noon temps in the 90s. Wimp. ;)

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