You can attend wonderfully informative panels like this at DashCon:
DashCon claimed there would be 3,000-7,000 attendees. There are 1,000 at most and all of them are white kids in flower crowns who are rioting for the anti-sexualization of women in media while simultaneously running panels about “homoerotic subtext in fandoms and finding the gay ships for YOUR fandoms!!!”
DashCon proves they have possibly the worst PR team ever when addressing the WTNV cancellation. Instead of clearly explaining the situation, they say they “don’t want to get into it,” and then offer compensation for those who bought advanced seating tickets for the Night Vale show. What’s the compensation? An extra hour playing in the ball pit (which is really just a slowly-deflating children’s pool with some balls in it). Oh, and if there’s room, you may get one of the first-come-first-serve spots at the Time Crash concert happening tonight. Huzzah!
Most panels are completely disorganized. The “Name That Anime” panel was even handing out hotel mints as prizes for correctly answering questions like “what’s the anime where they fight with clothes!!!”
This still needs verification, but supposedly there are minors being let into the 18+ panels (like “BDSM 101”), which DashCon could easily get sued for allowing. Not that they have the money for it.
It’s been pointed out that as a Marriott hotel, the Renaissance would have required them to submit their full reservation payment 5 days in advance of the event. Therefore it’s very, very likely that the “$17,000 fundraising” was a huge scam. Because DashCon would’ve had to pay that money 5 days before this weekend or the event wouldn’t even be happening in the first place.
Furthermore, someone attempted to debunk the letter that DashCon posted to prove that the hotel asked for money. Not all their points are valid (i.e. “RE:” is commonly used for “Regarding”, not just in response to previous communication, and idk but this dude doesn’t strike me as an expert on internal Marriott stationary), but frankly the letter looks sketchy if only because 17000% 99% of it is whited out. Is it real? Is it fake? We just don’t know.
There has been no confirmation that the money donated in cash and via PayPal last night ever made it to the hotel (if that was indeed where it was intended to go).
People are demanding full or at least partial refunds. Needs verification, but purportedly DashCon has a list at the con where you can sign your name and the amount you donated to be refunded later. Which sounds like a totally effective and not at all easily-abused system. [Verified: x]
And as a bonus: DashCon originally ran an IndieGoGo campaign last year to raise $5,000 to start their convention. They raised $4,000. The campaign ended in April 2013 and rewards have still not been sent out (which consisted of tea bags, a couple business cards with your Tumblr URL on them, and if you donated $500+, some knick-knacks from Etsy).
More updates, as of 7/13 at 3:59 AM:
CORRECTION: A moderator of the BDSM panel messaged me to say that minors were not allowed in to their panel. There has been neither confirmation nor denial from the other 18+ panels, however.
In this post from 11 months ago, con head Megg33k explains that they had “rented out the vast majority of their convention space and set aside nearly every room in their hotel” and that there was a "legally binding contract and the exchange of money." They also signed a contract and had “monetary obligation” in regards to Steam Powered Giraffe, so I’m curious as to how that appearance fell apart. She also states that Doug Jones was paid in advance, so he should at least be good for appearing on Sunday (if he hasn’t already skedaddled, that is).
On the plus side, the Homoerotic Subtext panel was completely different than what the DashCon schedule made it sound like and in reality was pretty ballin’.
As always, if you can confirm or deny anything in these masterposts with proper validation, it’s greatly appreciated! I originally did the first one just to answer an ask I got, but as it’s blown up I figured I’ll keep doing it, since I’m captivated by the whole mess anyways. :’D
I’m heading to sleep now but I’ll do another update tomorrow once I’ve caught up on anything else that happens tonight! Hopefully no one dies. I’m not sure how else this con could get any worse.
And one last thing, just to clarify: my heart goes out to all you guys who paid to attend what you thought would be a fun convention and instead got this trainwreck. Even if it turns out that the $17,000 fee wasn’t a scam, remember that it is absolutely unacceptable for a convention to operate this way. I’m so glad that many of you have been able to see the positive in a bad situation and still managed to make friends and have a good time - but don’t forget to stand up for yourselves, too. A convention should never extort money from its attendees for any reason. Again, it’s great that you still made some good memories, but good memories alone do not make a good convention. Make sure your feedback is heard, especially if you want to see this con (or any future Tumblr-oriented con) have any hope of success.
Good morning! Here we are, July 13th, the final day of DashCon. So far, this is what’s happened as of 11:46 AM:
Another witness account describes how DashCon “collected money in a bag” during the $17,000 debacle. They also took names on an email list to issue WTNV refunds at a later date. Who wants to take bets that said refund never happens?
This video shows the moment when it was announced that WTNV left the convention.
People are debating whether or not out-of-state businesses require an Illinois LLP to operate within Illinois, or if they only have to pay a $500 registration fee (which we have no confirmation of DashCon doing so). Would any lawyers care to confirm/deny?
The act of offering extra play time in the ball pit as compensation for the WTNV tickets could easily turn into another lawsuit, as they did not originally charge an entrance fee for the ball pit, therefore giving it no comparable monetary worth to compensate for the purchase of event tickets.
Finally, here’s a video of a con admin describing his experience during the $17,000 fundraising events of Friday night.
Alright, guys. This is my last update to the masterpost. I’ll continue to post more coverage on my blog’s Dashcon tag as it happens, but this will be my last update for this compilation!
So, it’s Sunday evening, and DashCon has officially ended. Here’s how the kerfuffle concluded:
The DashCon Feedback Panel with the admin team left a lot to be desired in terms of PR. Several things were discussed, including the Night Vale payment issue, the method of paying the hotel on Friday night, and the fact that they made a down payment on DashCon 2015’s venue 6 months ago. Also, full weekend refunds? Not happening.
Guillermo Del Toro has reportedly been notified about the unlicensed showing of Pacific Rim at a convention, which occurred in a room of approximately 60 people.
CORRECTION: When the two staff members went on /cgl/ last night, it was not with the intention of defending DashCon. Says one: “We were sick of the way we’d been treated over the course of the convention and wanted to vent.” Said staff member has asked to remain anonymous, but I will be posting snippets from an interview with them later tonight.
Again, if you have any corrections or other information you’d like to provide, please feel free to submit it. Thanks so much to everyone who’s contributed and offered support for this resource; glad to hear people have found it helpful!
this is it, tumblr has reached the highest point of it’s hubris