Universal FanCon was supposed to fill the Baltimore Convention Center with a celebration of diversity and marginalized folks in fandom, complete with big-name guests and an array of panels. Then it was mysteriously "postponed" without warning, days before it was to commence—a postponement that looks an awful lot like no-refund cancellation.
Attendees, vendors, exhibitors, panelists and speakers had already shelled out thousands of dollars to attend FanCon. People had taken time off of work to attend. I saw several panelists and speakers tweet that they’d actually turned down paid gigs to attend FanCon.
And that’s not even the half of it.
In late 2016, the organizers for Universal FanCon created a KickStarter to raise $25,000 dollars for the convention. It sounds like a very ambitious goal until you learn that they actually raised more than twice that amount.
That KickStarter received $56,498 in donations raised by 1,187 backers.
Grift was suspected by angry attendees, but it looks more like a tower of mistakes falling in on itself at the moment of truth. Raising $100k or so isn't going to pay for a convention center and a bunch of guests. It'll pay for a hotel, and a ballroom in that hotel. They let their ambitions go wild and nothing stopped them until it was too late.