A massively popular YouTuber says her “heart is shattered” after her disastrous fan convention, which was cancelled halfway through due to an unexpected torrent of young punters seeking access to their favourite content creators.
Tana Mongeau has taken to Twitter to apologise for the clusterfuck that was Saturday’s TanaCon, an event devised by Mongeau as an alternative to the long-running VidCon event.
The convention, held at Marriott Suites Hotel in Anaheim, California, was billed as an opportunity for Mongeau’s fans to meet her and a slew of other bigtime vloggers and influencers. Folks like Bella Thorne, Shane Dawson, and Elijah Daniel were slated to make appearances at the event.
Several VIP ticket packages, some costing as much as $87, were offered promising fans access to their faves. But Mongeau, who previously said she was disillusioned by like VidCon, also insisted that attendees would also be able to visit the event for free.
The result: a swarm of kids packed out the Marriott Suites carpark hours before the event even opened. Those in attendance said they sustained sunburns enduring the California heat as they waited for TanaCon to begin.
Polygon reports that fans who purchased VIP packages, some of which promised fast-tracked entry, were made to wait along with those seeking free entry. Some reportedly demanded refunds for their wasted time and money.
And that’s before folks were even let in. Fans who successfully made it into the building say they were greeted with one hallway, a convention room, and a smaller room capable of holding around 50 people.
A merch desk was also offering clothes for as much as $270.
The scene quickly became frantic as the crowds began shuffling between those spaces. Video of the event shows young fans rushing around in search of the convention’s stars, as concerned security officers tried to prevent overcrowding.
I wasted 150 dollars on #tanacon , it’s one hallway, one big concert room, and no activities. No creators are walking around like promised. We stood outside for 4 hours, just to be treated like animals. pic.twitter.com/WlgiSvHqFs— ???????????????????????? (@Lovely_asf) June 22, 2018
As security was unable to cope with the influx of fans, the event was cancelled in the afternoon. Punters were directed to exit into the carpark, where Mongeau and others attempted to mingle with their supporters.
In a statement posted after the cancellation, event organiser Good Times said that as many as 15,000 unregistered people turned up for free admission, when they were only capable of accomodating 5,000 fans in total.
TanaCon’s second day, scheduled for Sunday, was also cancelled. Good Times told attendees they will be issuing refunds over the debacle.
Hi all – we apologize for the delay due to our team finding the best way to accommodate our TanaCon guests.— Good Times (@GoodTimesShow) June 25, 2018
Please read below for information regarding refunds. pic.twitter.com/h3k1S31WAC
After facing a monumental backlash, Mongeau apologised to her supporters and reiterated desire to take another stab at the whole ‘free convention’ thing, and said she’s keen to “make things right.”
i am. i want to tell everything. with full transparency. i'm looking so incredibly forward to talking about this & taking every step personally to hold full accountability and make things right. i want to continue to fight for what i'm passionate about & fix my wrongs https://t.co/aUVRiTUxWk— TANACON (@tanamongeau) June 25, 2018
my heart is shattered & im trying to pick up the pieces. the sunburns, the money and time spent, people waiting outside, everything is so fucked up and i want to talk about it.— TANACON (@tanamongeau) June 25, 2018
It’s not quite Dashcon levels of fucked up, but a solid addition to the Failed Internet Convention canon, nonetheless.
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Image: Tana Mongeau / Instagram