|Dates:||April 27th - 29th, 2018 (planned)|
|Location:||Baltimore Convention Center|
|Focus:||POC, LGBTQ, geek culture|
|Founder:||Jamie Broadnax & Robert Butler|
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Universal FanCon was planned to be a “multi-fandom Con dedicated to inclusion, highlighting Women, LGBTQ, the Disabled and Persons of Color" however it was abruptly cancelled a week before the event was meant to take place.
Universal FanCon launched as a Kickstarter campaign in December 2016, with a fundraising goal of $25,000. The campaign would ultimately raise over $56,498 and the organizers continued plans to host the con on April 27th - 29th of 2018.
News first broke that the convention was postponed when the hotel linked to Universal FanCon canceled attendees' reservations. Many attendees took the twitter to try and confirm what was happening as there had yet to be an official statement from the con organizers. Finally on the April 20th an email was sent to Kickstarter backers stating that the convention was postponed. The email itself was also not BCC’d, which meant those contacted now had access to 500+ personal email addresses. The announcement was later posted on the official FanCon Twitter and Facebook accounts and the sites FAQ was updated to note that all ticket sales were final, no refunds would not be available.
Links to other cancelled conventions
Alternate Events and WICOMICON Pop-up Con
In response to Universal FanCon's cancellation, several event organizers offered FanCon attendees discounted or free ticket to their events, including Flame Con, The Great Philly Comic Con and The Baltimore Science Fiction Society. The Nerds of Color and Black Heroes Matter went on to create WICOMICON, a pop-up con in the Baltimore area on the same weekend FanCon had planned to take place. The pop-up con was created so that attendees and affiliates in the area could recoup some of the financial loss that FanCon's cancellation had created for them. It also wanted to provide space for the community who believed in the ideas behind FanCon.
Another event that arose from the cancellation of Universal FanCon was Famcon, a livestreamed virtual convention featuring panels that had been intended for FanCon. Held on April 22, 2018, the event was produced by Catrina Dennis, and was hosted on the Twitch channel for I Need Diverse Games.
- Universal FanCon Suddenly Postponed a Week Before Event at The Hollywood Reporter
- Universal FanCon Announces 'Postponement' Less Than a Week Before Its Debut at io9
- The Story Behind FanCon’s Controversial Collapse at Vulture
- Universal FanCon Creator Blames the Fan Community for Con Debacle at The Mary Sue
- It Be Your Own People: On Universal FanCon and the Perversion of Community at The Root
- The FanCon Situation and Some Travel Refund Options for Those Left Hanging at The Blerd Gurl
- Universal Fan Con kickstarter
- "The first word on it otherwise is when Bmore hotels start cancelling people's reservations (a bad way to find out about anything). Then a mass email goes out in which no one is ccd, exposing everyone to issues with their email being public", Jeremy Whitley, Twitter.
- So, Thai Pham who was until today listed as VP of Conventions Operation and Entertainment on the #FanCon site actually has a history of running kickstarters for cons that never happen. @jazmine_joyner, Twitter.
- So Maybe Don’t Put Money Into a Convention Organized By Thai Pham? Nerd and Tie.
- 5+ Alternative Events You Can Attend in Lieu of Universal FanCon
- How The Organizers of Wicomicon and Famcon Turned Bad News into Stone Soup, Shonte Daniels, Paste Magazine. Published May 15, 2018 (Accessed June 19, 2021).