Just ten days away from Pride Con’s inaugural event in Anaheim, Calif. – a first year convention focused on the LGBT online video community – the organizers have canceled the event and elected not to refund ticketholders.
Two days prior to the cancellation, the event used their Twitter account to tell attendees that without a sudden boost in ticket sales or donations, they wouldn’t have enough cash to pay the venue. They asked wavering attendees to purchase their tickets, and others to donate whatever they could, even offering a $2,000 “lifetime” pass to the convention.
Hi all we owe the Hilton 30k by tomorrow! We just need to sell 1000 badges 2 cover this! Please buy ur badges today to help run PrideCon!
— Pride Con (@PrideConUSA) July 17, 2016
Thai Pham, CEO of ‘H8 M3 N0T Enterprises’ – the convention’s parent company – released a statement on their Twitter account that apologized to fans but explained that they would not be able to issue refunds.
“Unfortunately, as much as it pains me, refunds to all of our attendees cannot be given as we made deposits towards the expense of the venue rental of the hotel along with marketing expenses and other operating expenses to advertise,” wrote Pham.
The event raised over $15,000 in a Kickstarter late last year, and has since been selling tickets, exhibitor booth spaces, and sponsorship packages.
According to Long Vo, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, the event sold just 276 badges – including both single-day and 2-day ticket types.
“It was never our intention to have Pride Con go down,” said Vo. “We believe that recent horrific tragedies may have attributed [to] low badge sales as this was an event focused [on] the community.”
Many patrons are upset, some of whom had non-refundable travel plans in place.
I can't believe @PrideConUSA isn't happening in Cali. I want my refund!
— Sabrina (@topher_alvin) July 19, 2016
With pride con being cancelled, don't know what to do about my flights/airbnb… X_X
— Matt Conn ⇦(｀∀´)Ψ (@mattconn) July 19, 2016
Wtfuck pride con is cancelled that's wrong they need to refund the money back to thoes who payed is this true I just got an email?
— Danielle Long (@DjmoochiesLong) July 19, 2016