Right-Wing Pro-Trump Event Aiming for 10,000 Attendees Sees Less Than 1,000 on First Day

A right-wing conference in Utah featuring prominent allies of former President Donald Trump had hoped to sell 10,000 tickets or more but saw fewer than 1,000 show up during the first day of the event on Friday.

The Western Conservative Action Network (WeCANact) Liberty Conference is taking place this weekend at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, featuring prominent Trump loyalist retired Lt. General Michael Flynn. The event began Friday and runs through Saturday with speakers promoting conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, and opposition to vaccines.

Although organizers hoped to attract some 10,000 attendees or more, less than 1,000 showed up for the first day on Friday, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. A photo from the event published by the local newspaper showed a largely empty conference room with hundreds of empty chairs.

Salt Palace Convention Center
The WeCANact Liberty Conference is taking place this weekend on Friday and Saturday at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The photo above shows a general view of the convention center captured on May 29. AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

"Expected and have more today. I'd estimate over 2000 plus a lot bought [online] streaming [access]," one of the organizers told Newsweek in an email on Saturday

Ticket prices for the event started at $129 for those who booked months in advance. They then increased to $169 while VIP tickets were sold for $269. Late Friday, the event promoted "Saturday Only" tickets for $49 as well as "Saturday Only VIP" tickets for $149.

Flynn has traveled around the country over the past several months speaking at far-right events promoting the conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was "stolen" from Trump. Although the former president and a number of prominent loyalist supporters continue to spread misinformation about the last presidential election, they have not provided evidence substantiating their extraordinary claims.

The weekend event also features GOP Arizona state Senators Wendy Rogers and Sonny Borrelli, who backed the widely criticized Cyber Ninjas audit of Maricopa County's ballots. A number of other Republican lawmakers, political candidates, conservative pundits, and right-wing activists spoke on Friday with more slated to speak on Saturday.

Flyers for the event say it aims to promote "conservative values, conservative candidates, conservative government." The event's website read: "We must fight the good fight, the smart fight, and the right fight against the socialist, communist, Marxist ideologies that now permeate our government, our schools, and the mainstream media."

It said the conference will help attendees "learn how to take back your liberty in your community, city, and state."

Michael Flynn
Retired Lt. General Michael Flynn is one of the scheduled speakers at the WeCANact Liberty Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah this weekend. In this photo, Flynn leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse on June 24, 2019 in Washington, D.C. Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

In a nod to the QAnon conspiracy theory, the opening prayer for the event on Friday requested God's protection from a "satanic cabal," The Salt Lake Tribune reported. The QAnon conspiracy theory claims that Trump is fighting against a group of Satan-worshipping Democrats and elites, who work to control the world while carrying out ritual sacrifices and sexually abusing children.

Although the weekend event in Utah may not be well attended, many other pro-Trump events and rallies across the country continue to attract thousands of attendees on a regular basis. Unlike the Utah gathering, some of the larger events have been free to anyone who wishes to attend. Prominent pro-Trump figures such as Flynn, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, attorney Sidney Powell, and a number of others are often featured as keynote speakers.

This story has been updated with comment from one of the event's organizers.