Gaming

What Happened at Tanacon? YouTuber Event Leaves 15,000 Fans Disappointed

Tanacon 2018 was supposed to be a weekend celebrating content creators, but will instead go down as one of the biggest disasters spawned out of YouTuber worship. Fans waited in line for several hours for the underwhelming, poorly organized event, leaving them feeling duped.

Convention organizer Tana Mongeau is best known for sparking controversy online, releasing rap videos with Bella Thorne and odd play-by-plays of people having sex. By her own admission, she had zero experience planning an event of this size, partnering with production company Good Times in an attempt to run a valid show. Tickets were free but fans could purchase “feature f*cking creator” tickets for 40 to 65 dollars that offered gift bags and exclusive meet and greets with creators. Mongeau said in a tweet that they had sold around 5,000 tickets.

On the morning of June 22 in Anaheim, Calif., thousands of fans, content creators and YouTubers gathered outside the Marriott Suites for what they thought would be an unforgettable event. Mongeau wanted her event to replace Vidcon, which was happening right across the street. Her vendetta against Vidcon was strong: in past years she wasn’t given a partner pass and special meet-and-greet area, allowing fans to overwhelm her.

When Tanacon opened its doors, all fans were lumped into the same line regardless if they had bought tickets. As time went on, the line started to get longer and the venue quickly reached capacity. Many baked in the sun for four or five hours in lines thousands strong, hoping to see their favorite content creators like Adam22, Lena The Plug and Shane Dawson, but couldn’t get in.

Those who bought a “feature f*cking creator” pass were given a gift bag with stickers, a “Gucci Princess” wristband and branded condoms. Event organizers promised that the bag would have double the value of the tickets inside.

Inside, things weren’t much better. The whole venue consisted of a single hallway and ballroom where there really wasn’t anything to do. The Tanacon website (which has since been taken offline by Good Times) promised creators would walk around the halls and interact with their fans. Instead, a single marriage happened on stage followed by an interview with Adam22, Lena The Plug and Mongeau.

At 2 p.m. PDT., the Fire Marshal shut the convention down for having too many people around, creating a fire hazard. Fans waiting outside all day were furious, chanting “refund” over and over. Security ushered those lucky enough to make it inside back out into California sun, where they were told that the convention would continue tomorrow at a larger venue. Early the next morning, Good Times released a statement saying that Tanacon was cancelled until further notice.

“When you have your own convention, shit can go crazy,” Mongeau said on an Instagram Live after the failure of the event. In her video, she claims the venue had room for 5,000 people, but on the Marriott Suites booking page, you can see that it was meant to hold around 3,000 people. She claims that 15,000 people waited outside to get in, a number she never imagined would have wanted to come. Considering it was a free event that nearly a hundred YouTubers promised to attend, it might have been naive to come to that conclusion.

A few days later, YouTuber Shane Dawson took to Instagram to refute the “15,000 people” number, arguing that it was all a scam. “I don’t think it was a mob, it was just some kids without tickets,” Dawson said. “I think 5,000 people bought tickets and were left baking in the sun, and I’m sick of pretending that’s not how I feel.”

Fans have compared Tanacon to previous shoddy events from online content creators. Dashcon, a Tumblr event, became infamous for lying to attendees and including the world's saddest ball pit. There was also Universal Fancon, a gathering aimed at LGBTQ and people of color, which ended up running a successful Kickstarter but failed to actually put on an event.  

Fellow YouTubers have been jumping on the Tanacon hate train, releasing their own videos summarizing the event. Pewdiepie returned with Pew News to trash the event, retiring Gloria Borger and bringing Poppy Harlow into our lives.

 

It’s unlikely that we’ll see a Tanacon 2019. Fans still haven’t gotten their refunds or received any information back from Mongeau or Good Times.

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