I was reading up on Conventions Gone Wrong – because hey, stuff happens.
One of the most infamous conventions, and the one that’s been coming to mind of late, was a LOTR fan-run convention called TentMoot. This one happened – or didn’t – roughly 10 years ago, and was largely the invention of a now-infamous fan, Amy Player. This convention falsely claimed charity connections, failed to cover invited guests’ expenses, and left LOTR actors stranded in airports. It’s quite a tale, and the tale was eventually told in a book, When a Fan Hits the Shit.
Another con that’s been mentioned in passing of late has been LasPegasus Unicon. Unlike TentMoot, LPU actually happened, and involved frantic fundraising at the event, as well as $40K that went missing. Full story here. At the time, there was some concern that this would make it harder for first-year cons to get off the ground.
That fear has more credence, especially if Dashcon fails to account for all the money raised by donations and con-related purchases.
So I was reading through some of that stuff – I’d heard about TentMoot, but not LPU – and idly decided to look on Fanlore.org to see what they had to say about Dashcon. It’s not super current. But there *is* a reference to an old blog entry on the Dashcon site that is…well, unfortunate. When asked for reassurance that the convention was going to happen, con staff replied:
Our contract with the hotel basically has a clause in it that says neither us nor the hotel is allowed to cancel, un-reserve, re-allocate or otherwise keep us from the usage of our rooms, the room block, or anything along those lines. Basically, we have to have this convention! There is no other way for us to make the money required to pay for the space, and if we didn’t have the convention, we have no idea what we would do with all those rooms for the weekend! Along with that, we also have several other contracts with other companies, services, and people which we are responsible for. We, simply put, can’t afford to quit. If we were to quit now, it would ruin us personally, financially, and the business would likely have to declare bankruptcy, ruining the owner’s personal credit along with it, and possibly making them liable for any leftover bills the company would have, which at this point would be a considerable sum.
(Link to the entire capture here: http://web.archive.org/web/20131123171949/http://www.peeep.us/0fd70d3b)
A similar, longer post is here, which includes claims of Steam Powered Giraffe being a sure thing: http://megg33k.tumblr.com/post/57504887679/is-the-dashcon-a-legit-thing-thats-going-to-happen-my
This means that, going in, the staff had a clear idea of their commitments and responsibilities. The date of this is July 22, 2013. Also, it means that they have something saying the hotel could not do anything about those rooms. This goes against what the staff says happened during the convention weekend.
Does it really mean anything? Maybe not. Rather like the hotel event page, though, I found it interesting.