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Fans Stunned as Universal FanCon is Abruptly Postponed One Week Before the Event

Now We Know How Those Folks at Fyre Fest Felt

What happens to a Con deferred? To no one’s surprise, the answer is massive internet outrage. Yesterday, the organizers of Universal FanCon abruptly postponed their convention a week before the event, which was set to debut April 27th at the Baltimore Convention Center. In a statement released yesterday, the organizers wrote, “as we built out our floorplan, invited guests, figured out lodging/travel arrangements, and confirmed activities, our costs started to grow exponentially. Unfortunately, the support we were anticipating in terms of ticket sales and sponsorships did not materialize. Accordingly, the organizers of FanCon made significant personal investments in order to ensure FanCon’s success.”

It all started out so well. The brainchild of Robert Butler (The Black Geeks) and Jamie Broadnax (Black Girl Nerds), Universal FanCon was meant to be a con rooted in inclusion and representation that celebrated fandom in all forms, including film, television, gaming, and comics. After a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $56,498 (doubling their goal of $25,000), FanCon starting securing a line-up of special guests including Lamorne Morris (New Girl), Brittany Curran (The Magicians), Mehcad Brooks (Supergirl), Orlando Jones (American Gods), and Hodor himself, Kristian Nairn (Game of Thrones), just to name a few. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Butler said “The response from fans has been incredible. People really want to see us succeed.”

Universal FanCon was promoting the event as recently as April 19th, until attendees who had booked hotel rooms through the Kickstarter campaign started receiving cancellation messages from partnering hotels. These emails went out before guests, panelists, and even vendors were notified by the event organizers. Soon the Twittersphere was flooded with angry attendees, panelists and vendors, who had booked non-refundable travel plans to Baltimore.

But despite the bad news, not all hope is lost. Booking agency Lo Mo Pro, which reps cast members from SyFy’s Killjoys and The Magicians are still working out a way for fans to connect with actors and creators, and vendors are posting their goods online and cross-boosting to help one another.

(via The Hollywood Reporter , images: Universal FanCon, Marvel)

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