the silver lady (acciochocolate) wrote in fanthropology,
the silver lady

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FedconUSA--an sf con mess in Dallas, TX this past weekend

(Note to the mods: if this doesn't belong here, please delete, but do let me know why-thanks in advance.)

FedConUSA, which was being held over the past weekend in Dallas, TX, with Trek and BSG stars supposedly in attendance, was shut down on Saturday by the hotel and /or the promoter, Tim Brazeal. (Brazeal may be known to some of you as the person behind Trek United, which was a group trying to raise money from fans so that a fifth season of "Enterprise" could be supposedly produced in Canada.) Strangely enough, the major con organizers were all out-of-state, so why the decision was made to hold it in Dallas will be interesting to find out.

This seems to be a huge mess, much on the same level as that Firefly con in California a few years back. Or the Doctor Who con in the Carolinas back in the 80s that was to have Pertwee and Sladen as guests (that one never even took place, as one or more of the concom made off with thousands of dollars of pre-reg--not sure what legally happened with that event).

Here's some links for further reading about the FedconUSA meltdown, under the cut:

Aaron Douglas (aka "Chief Tyrol" from the new BSG) was to have been a guest at FedConUSA. Here's what he has to say about things:

"This is the most unprofessional, egregious behaviour that I have ever seen
displayed. FedconUSA, you make Creation look like Shoreleave or Dragoncon,
two of the finest run conventions a fan will ever attend."

"I just got a call from a friend in Dallas who was listening to the
radio and it stated that myself and James will be at Fedcon this weekend?


are you insane?

tell you what fans. I am consulting my lawyer in the morning and I
will look into a blanket letter I can sign that you will all be able
to use to have your credit card charges reversed because you bought
your tickets with the promise that I would be there when they clearly
had no intention of ever having James or myself.

This smells a lot like fraud. I am not saying it is... just smells
like it."


More info on the con here:


From the Aaron Douglas LJ community

a comment:

"This is completely embarrassing and aggravating!
Now I really know why the FedCon Germany people pulled out of that one
and are rather angry at the FedConUSA people (not that they're saying
anything but I do know some of them...)"


From a blog by a first-time con goer and first-time author:

The only reason I posted this link is so that folks can click on the links to the right on his blog about the FedCon meltdown.


More from the con's own forum:


More from Aaron Douglas:


Also, Marc B. Lee posted a statement from Fedcon GmbH (the German con folk):


The announcement that the con was shuting down at 11 AM Saturday morning!

More on that--the con bounced a check on the hotel: from Lee Billings.


From Scott Merritt of Pegasus Publishing, a dealer at the con:

"I was also at the convention this weekend. I was one of the vendors in the
Dealer's Room. I (as with almost all of the other vendors) obtained our
space at the convention based upon the reputation of FedCon Germany. We were
informed that not only had FedConUSA licensed the name but that there was
substantial financial participation and other commitment from FedCon
Germany. None of us were informed when this financial participation was
withdrawn months ago. If we had been aware of this most of us probably would
have withdrawn from the convention.

It's a shame because this could have been a wonderful show. However without
proper financial backing and a totally inexperienced promoter this was bound
to happen. And I feel very badly for the fans who'd made the effort to show
up who had the rug pulled out from under them."

Scott Merritt


Liz had volunteered to be guest liaison. Her story............

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Elizabeth Weber
Date: Sun, Jun 15, 2008 at 8:36 AM
Subject: [usstrinityriver] FedCon - THE CON

To any and all people who shucked out money to go to FedCon down in
Dallas, Texas........

I suggest you call your credit card company and report this as a
fraudulent charge....

They did have guest,,, but did not pay them, any money the guest got
this weekend was from the sales of their autographs and photos taken
with them.

I'm betting that the hotel didn't get paid either.

As a volunteer, I was not privy to what went down, but I showed up
today to escort Garret Wang to his Photo/Autograph session. And
walked over to the Auditorium and heard that the Convention as of
11am was shut down, out of business!!

I was never so ashamed to have been a volunteer for an organization

The guest, (the remainders) put on their best faces (literally) and
went on with their Autograph sessions and photo opps. They said,
these people will see us, we may not get paid, but we will have a
good time!

Robert O'Ralley and JG Hertzer both came down in full Klingon makeup
and proceeded to autograph for the fans, and after that was finished,
promptly went to do photo opps.

I had a friend get a photo with me and them in full makeup; I hope to
get the photo from him tonight via e-mail.


I have never seen such a thing in the many years I have volunteered
for sci-fi conventions. These things usually get nipped in the bud
before happening.


The CEO of Fedcon Germany details their experience with Tim Brazeal:

SyFyPortal article (very eye-opening)

This is the article that is also linked to in IMDB about FedCon's

And more here:


From Brownwood, TX radio personality Brian Rays:


I think I was the only member of the mainstream media there. Tim
Brazeal claims to have spent thousands of dollars on radio adds, yet we
offered him as many 20 minute live interview slots on a drive-time
newstalk schedule as he could fill, six months in advance up to
convention day-- FOR FREE! He couldn't have bought the airtime that we
were willing to give him. His organization came across with exactly zero
interviews. Calls were not returned. His media staff couldn't put
together a single five-minute interview at the convention with me
dogging their heels... Very frustrating.

I will be discussing this on my morning radio show on Tuesday morning on
KXYL FM 96.9 in Brownwood, Texas. I'm on the air live from 6am to 9am
Central Time. We don't stream live, but I'll make sure the audio is
posted to our station web page and to my personal blog, Tie-dyed Brain
Rays <> . If anybody would like to
call in and discuss the topic the studio line is: 1-800-966-1055.

I'll also be blogging the story and participating in a panel discussion
on the Fedcon USA implosion with the SyFy Portal website. I'll post all
the details to my blog."


Statement from James Callis:


This is not the first time this has happened to me.

Last year I was set to attend FEDCON in Germany - at the last minute - they
canceled me. But I was told I had canceled!


Another LJ account:

with photo of the small number of people at the opening ceremonies

Here's an excerpt:

"It seems that somehow - they failed to print up enough convention badges
and were forced to depend upon the hotel's printer to make more. When that
failed, they began openly announcing that you didn't need a badge to go into
any events - something I'm sure that pleased the people who paid extra for a
Gold-Level, No Waiting pass.

"Why did they decide to do this? Well, even if they had the badges, it's a
bit hard to enforce the 'no badge/no admission' rule when you don't have a
security team.


Another take on the meltdown at Fandom Wank

Btw, those Gold-Level Passes? $269, folks.

Moral of this story: stick to fan-run conventions.

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