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Universal FanCon Was Postponed And People Are Not Happy At All

Billed as the "first multi-fandom Con dedicated to inclusion, highlighting Women, LGBTQ, the Disabled and Persons of Color,” the convention has not yet been rescheduled.

Posted on April 22, 2018, at 1:30 a.m. ET

Organizers of Universal FanCon, a crowd-funded convention created to celebrate diversity and inclusivity in fandom, abruptly postponed the event Friday, just one week before it was supposed to debut.

Universal FanCon / Via

In a statement and FAQ on the convention's website, organizers said they were unable to raise enough money to run the convention and "deliver the event the fans deserved."

Organizers said they tried to supplement the insufficient funds by making “significant personal investments” and scaling back the convention to “create a leaner and more efficient show.” They also raised more than $56,000 through a Kickstarter campaign to help finance the event.

"As we built out our floorplan, invited guests, figured out lodging/travel arrangements, and confirmed activities, our costs started to grow exponentially," the statement said. "Unfortunately, the support we were anticipating in terms of ticket sales and sponsorships did not materialize."

The event, which was supposed to be held from April 27–29 at the Baltimore Convention Center, has not yet been rescheduled.

The last-minute postponement frustrated many conventiongoers as they scrambled to cancel flights and hotel rooms and recoup money they'd spent to prepare for the convention.

I shelled out $2,362.18 to build a civic engagement booth for #UniversalFanCon that would allow participants to register to vote, recruit their networks and other civic engagement activities

So #UniversalFancon decided LAST minute to cancel their show. Which I was suppose to be tabling at. I am out a lot of money. Would love if you guys would check out my online shops! I have Prints and Enamel Pins for sale!!

Just learned that Universal Fancon has been postponed. I feel bad for those involved that have had to make this decision but I'm also fucking furious. We literally planned for a year to go to this thing. Hotel already paid for, parking paid for, used up all of my PTO.

Some were angry over the fact that they first heard about the postponement on social media or because hotels had canceled their reservations.

@UniversalFanCon There really should have been an email that went out to ticket holders and vendors prior to social media. As a VIP ticket holder, I expect more. You can’t rely on social media alone - not everyone checks frequently. Be prepared for angry patrons next weekend who haven’t seen this

My only concern with the #UniversalFanCon postponement, I had to learn about it from the hotel that cancelled my reservation. I didn’t hear from anyone involved for another 4 hours. They’ve bitten off more than they could chew. Hoping they find a way to make this right for all

To make matters worse, it was not immediately clear if ticket-holders would get refunds.

@UniversalFanCon This statement is bewildering. I cannot believe you would put this up. To tell people who have bought non refundable tickets that the organizers did too... is flippant, at best. And to offer no refunds... wow.

An earlier version of the website's FAQ said tickets would be redeemable at the next FanCon event.

On Saturday, however, organizers posted an updated statement that read, "We are working to ways to refund the money you have invested in us."

"We are determining how we can support refunds," the statement said.

For now, those who can't cancel their flights are working on making other plans when they get to Baltimore.

Likewise, all who are coming to Baltimore for #FanCon we're connecting with other platforms and turning this thing around. So stay tuned fam. All is far from lost💪🏿🙌🏾💕

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.