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November 28 2006

Flanvention II to be cancelled?!?! Can this be serious? How can a sold out convention be having financial problems? It makes no sense. ETA: The California Browncoats have something to add on the heels of this news.

That announcement in full:

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

Boosters is experiencing financial difficulties. We are doing everything in our power to facilitate Flan 2, but at this point, it is uncertain that we will be able to obtain financing in time for the event. We will update you daily in the Flan 2 forum. Anyone with airline tickets who might want to cancel, will need to do so immediately. If we are unable to obtain the needed financing by Friday, Dec. 1st, the event will be cancelled.

Charming. Wasn't it just the other week, in the wake of Nathan going public on his blog with problems regarding BE communication, that all the BE minions were talking about how BE are miracle workers and everything was just fine?

Springing this word with less than 2 weeks to go until the event? Yeah, that's nice.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2006-11-28 08:35 ]
HOLY CR*P!!! Not only am I seriously bummed about the possibility of not getting to see everyone and have a great time like I did last year, I'm looking at all the inventory I bought for the con and starting to seriously panic. :(

I echo embers' comments: HOW, HOW, HOW does a sold-out convention lack the financing to proceed? HOW???
Not just a sold-out convention, a PRE-PAID sold out convention. What exactly do they need financing for that all our pre-paid money isn't covering?
Big Damn Tentmoot?

When that organizer was talking about "personal problems" preventing her from communicating with organizers and doing the most basic particulars of her job, I caught a whiff of the kind of con fanboys don't attend. I was hoping it was just this person's personal chaos. Now, not so much.

Is anyone trying to get the Booster honchos on the phone?

If BE cancels and suddenly starts making excuses about a delay in providing refunds ...

[ edited by HudsonVC on 2006-11-29 08:50 ]
Oh man... I'm not going to Flan this year myself, but quite a few of my friends are, including one flying in from the UK. I don't even want to think about how many people will be hurt (financially and/or emotionally) if Flan is canceled.
How can a sold out convention be having financial problems?

If someone's done a bunk with the contents of the convention's checking account, it's very easy then.

There are, I suppose, less cynical explanations (ticket price insufficient to cover con expenses due to low-ball estimates) but it wouldn't be the first time someone absconded with convention funds, as HudsonVC alluded.
Note that in their announcement:

Boosters is experiencing financial difficulties. We are doing everything in our power to facilitate Flan 2, but at this point, it is uncertain that we will be able to obtain financing in time for the event. We will update you daily in the Flan 2 forum. Anyone with airline tickets who might want to cancel, will need to do so immediately. If we are unable to obtain the needed financing by Friday, Dec. 1st, the event will be cancelled.


There's not a hint of apology or humility to their $$-paying attendees.
I'd also love to know how it is that this information is only just now coming to light.
Over at PDX Browncoats, b!X is directing people here and saying, "Put the hammer down."

How much money was raised by Flan II's sellout and ancillary special-event sales?

[ edited by HudsonVC on 2006-11-29 09:03 ]
Posting a link to this thread in the BE forum -- in case BE decides down the line to lock down or delete their own thread -- might not be a bad idea.

[ edited by HudsonVC on 2006-11-29 08:53 ]
Well, what I meant was that if it does go down this way, it's time to put the hammer down. What that means, exactly, I have no idea, except that I'm pretty sure no one wants to be on my personal **it-list.
Well, what I meant was that if it does go down this way, it's time to put the hammer down.


Though there may be something to be said for putting the pressure on before they decide.

[ edited by HudsonVC on 2006-11-29 08:54 ]
The women who run Booster Entertainment are here:
http://con-dom-wank.livejournal.com/3087.html?nc=121
unfortunately their last names are not listed, but they must have filed corporate papers in order to do business in California and personally I am thinking class action law suit.
Oh No! One of our OzCoats had saved all year and been looking forward to this! Paid for her ticket and accomodation and everything! This is just not fair!
I especially like this bit, posted by one of BE's versions of dittoheads:

although flan2 was sold out, I think BE took a financial blow due to the last 2 events. They wanted to provide attendees with the best con even with low ticket sales, and I dont think it worked in terms of finance


If true (and I stress that if), what that says is that BE took the money it was getting from Flan ticket-buyers, and spent it on their other events.

So -- if true -- rather than cancel low-ticket-sales events, they're poised to cancel a sold out one because they blew its money on the events which didn't have enough people to support them.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2006-11-28 09:43 ]
Oh no!!

I hope they manage to sort this out because my heart goes out to people stuck with non refundable hotel rooms and airline tickets , not to mention the cost of tickets to the con . The Booster site won't open this morning so I can't check for myself, but is any kind of explaination being given?
http://www.myspace.com/boosterentertainment

Courtesy of LJ, some info there.

Sending good wishes for those who were going to go.
For their sake, I really hope they get their finances together in time and the event goes on as promised. Even if they have to take the money out of their own salaries/pockets, it would probably be a lot less expensive (and less crippling to the company's long-term reputation) than the class action shit-storm that would likely follow a cancellation.
And if they spent Flan II's money to cover losses from the other two conventions, that means that they don't have that money still available to refund Flan II tickets...
So -- if true -- rather than cancel low-ticket-sales events, they're poised to cancel a sold out one because they blew its money on the events which didn't have enough people to support them.


This sounds incredibly, horribly plausible. The talk of "financing" suggests that BE has been leveraging itself, and not contacting Fillion suggests this may have been considered as an eventuality for a while.

All that said, I sincerely hope our completely hypothetical analysis is not true, that we're worked up over nothing, and that BE is going to do the right, reputation-salvaging thing. Because having the entirety of the Browncoat Nation bearing down on you is a fairly terrifying prospect, I'd imagine. Especially b!X.

[ edited by HudsonVC on 2006-11-29 08:55 ]
Not only was no explanation being given, the VIPs and minions were telling people to calm down.

No apology, no hint of a reason except 'financial difficulty'.

500 tickets sold, 500 people sucking up travel and hotel costs this close to the event. On the heels of cancelling Nanocon just before the event, Booster Entertainment is dead in the water.

I doubt if anyone will accept that this is a one-off disaster, with so many cancellations and organizational screw-ups preceding it.

We can only hope there is enough cash in the kitty for refunds. Even just refunding the very expensive ticket price would be a comfort at this stage.

Fool me once, shame on Booster - fool me twice...
I'd suggest we all go to the Hilton anyway if the cancel, but presumably at that point, the hotel could no longer honor the group rate. I was going to suggest we just go, and put out an open call for the cast to come have a drink at the hotel bar. ;)

Meanwhile, somewhere, RavenU is saying a very sorrowful, "I told you so."

(Regarding the MySpace page, I notice BE appears to be an Ashland, Oregon, company. Which, for any Portland or Eugene Browncoats planning on Flan, makes this a home-ground battle, if it comes to one.)

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2006-11-28 09:55 ]
I was thinking along the same lines...maybe it's the snow up here today.
Ya know B!x that is not a bad idea. You never know, some of them may come?
bix - was thinking the same thing. How many of us have non-refundable tickets and scheduled time off anyway? Make it a great big Shindig!
Ya know B!x that is not a bad idea. You never know, some of them may come?

I wouldn't put it past them. But if Flan is cancelled, and if there are no refunds because BE doesn't have the cashy money, my hotel bill would go from the gorup rate to something nasty.
Even if they don't cancel, they have advised us to cancel flights if possible - if people cancel flights and the event does go ahead, what are we supposed to do?
For their sake, I really hope they get their finances together in time and the event goes on as promised. Even if they have to take the money out of their own salaries/pockets, it would probably be a lot less expensive (and less crippling to the company's long-term reputation) than the class action shit-storm that would likely follow a cancellation.


Yes, BE should take the loss on this one, not the fans.
...if people cancel flights and the event does go ahead, what are we supposed to do?

BE Screwed.
But if Flan is cancelled, and if there are no refunds because BE doesn't have the cashy money, my hotel bill would go from the gorup rate to something nasty.


I did a quick search on the Burbank Hilton's site, and based on rates for the next weekend (can't search for Flan weekend, since it's currently full with, well, us), the standard rate is $159/night.
"I'd suggest we all go to the Hilton anyway if the cancel, but presumably at that point, the hotel could no longer honor the group rate. I was going to suggest we just go, and put out an open call for the cast to come have a drink at the hotel bar. ;)"


Give the hotel a ring

If enough of you still go the hotel would probably rather have full rooms and people using the bars and restaurants and paying group rate than be stuck with empty rooms and the usual one night charge for a cancelled booking.


Also presumably , cancelled or not, the guests will have been paid at least a deposit on the money they would be charging for the event. You may be lucky and persuade some to join you just because they're good people and like the fans.

I really hope you guys can work something out because frankly this sucks beyond the telling of it!
If this is cancelled, I desperately need the refund. Maybe the hotel will honor the rate anyway? Because I cannot afford for the hotel cost to go up.

I'm beyond livid that there is even a possibility of this con being cancelled.

I'm going. No matter what I am going to California. Only I hope that my first four days will be spent meeting some of my favorite actors.
Nice one, b!X.

*sigh*
the standard rate is $159/night

$50 more per night than the group rate on my room. Times four nights. That's another $200. Yeah, I don't think so.
If enough of you still go the hotel would probably rather have full rooms and people using the bars and restaurants and paying group rate than be stuck with empty rooms and the usual one night charge for a cancelled booking.

That's a good point. What we shoujld do, rather than have a bunch of people call (which would be a good show of numbers, but likely piss them off), is get a volunteer to call the hotel and ask some questions. Namely, something like so they have a magic number of Flan attendees who need to show up for their rooms at the Hilton, even if the event is cancelled, in order for us all to still get the group rate.
We don't know for certain that Hilton would not honor the reservations. I suspect the reservations will not just disappear unless we all cancel them.
It is just SO WRONG! This is very bad managment! I'm completely shocked, they've giiven people one weeks notice!!
My friend is coming from Australia, she's taken time off work right before the Holidays, as all of you would have.

My heart really does go out to all of you who paid for tickets.
I do hope for their sake they can get a loan to cover costs, or find a larger location to accomodate more people, and therefore sell more tickets.

They're business practises are, quite frankly appalling. If that is correct that they used the $$ from this con to cover costs on the previous two, how could they have ever expected to not cancell this event?

It makes me wonder now, if they had purchased airline tickets for the guests? Hence Nathan needing to contact them asap, and I thought that was bad....sheesh!
An extra $200 and the hope that some of the actors are nice guys and can make it anyway? No organised Q & A sessions, no photos, no autographs? for an extra $200?

That blows.
Someone with a cool head should approach hotel management tomorrow morning by phone and alert them to the situation. A reasonable manager may guarantee the group rate anyway, given the situation.

[ edited by HudsonVC on 2006-11-29 08:55 ]
What we shoujld do, rather than have a bunch of people call (which would be a good show of numbers, but likely piss them off), is get a volunteer to call the hotel and ask some questions.


That's a phone call that needs to be made when their business office is open to talk to the events manager.
B!x wrote:
I'd suggest we all go to the Hilton anyway if the cancel, but presumably at that point, the hotel could no longer honor the group rate. I was going to suggest we just go, and put out an open call for the cast to come have a drink at the hotel bar. ;)
I was thinking the same thing. Except I really don't think the hotel would jack up the room rates at this point. Given the option of having 500 reservations cancel all at once, the hotel would be much better off keeping maybe 1-200 of those reservations intact and losing less on the last-minute event cancellation than they might have otherwise. The last thing the hotel wants is all those rooms to go empty.

We're getting in touch with the So Cal browncoats. Should this eventuality come to pass, they'll be the best folks to negotiate with the hotel. And they already have relationships with most of the cast so extending informal invitations would be a breeze.

But lets all hope it doesn't come to that!
I'm right there with awkwardjonas. I am coming from New York. It's the first time I've ever been to California. I'm shelling big bucks out of this, taking time out from work, and my university schedule! If this gets cancelled, I will never work with Be again. Starfury has never dicked people around like this.
One other question to ask the hotel (who's volunteering?) -- One of the events at Flan is/was going to be a charity auction. If Flan is cancelled, we might want to try to see, if we're all just going to go to the Hilton anyway, if there's anything we can work out with them to maintain that event. It would be good press for them: A bunch of fans whose event was cancelled show up anyway and hold the previously-scheduled charity auction anyway.
BTW, for perspective and hindsight's sake, here is a link to the Whedonesque thread started during the "gee I forgot to invite Nathan Fillion because of my personal problems" fiasco.
I will volunteer to make the phone call in the morning, at least to get an idea on the room rates. I agree that we shouldn't overwhelm them with calls. As Ray said, the Nor-Cal and So-Cal browncoats will be putting heads together in the next day to talk strategy.
As Ray said, the Nor-Cal and So-Cal browncoats will be putting heads together in the next day to talk strategy.

Groovy. Then what's needed in that regard is just to make sure someone from there keeps us in the loop as to what they've learned/thought of.
I will volunteer to make the phone call in the morning


Thank you.... It's possible Booster Events has already been in touch with the Hilton about this; be sure to ask.

[ edited by HudsonVC on 2006-11-29 09:04 ]
There are probably not anywhere close to 500 reservations. Some attendees live locally. Others have roommates. Some are bunking 4 to a room. Even so, it's probably business Hilton would rather keep than lose, provided they are not in need of space for another event.
Also, a tangential question that's now more interesting than before: Why were Sean Maher, Summer Glau and Morena Baccarin never even invited to Flan II?
FWIW, according to the State of Oregon (where BE operates), they are nearly two months late on renewing their business entity with the state, having received notice of that on October 20.
Without the need for hotel function space that would be paid for with sufficient "room nights" (i.e. number of hotel rooms booked times the number of nights people are staying - if you get enough out-of-towners staying at the hotel as part of your group and are staying enough nights, the hotel doesn't charge for the convention's function space - was it going to just be the Jubilee/Gala/Celebration ballrooms and the Glendale, Burbank and Hollywood rooms again?), there's no need to have a minimum number of guests, so I think it's likely that they'll honor the group rate for anyone who still wants to come. However, if you want to still have the charity auction, then you'll have to rent a function room to have it. You wouldn't need the whole convention space, so it shouldn't be TOO expensive, and they might give you some break (especially if enough people honor their reservations so they actually make enough room nights for a small hall, plus it's for a charity event). Plus, you might be able to get an even better room rate from AAA or somthing like that.

What about the vendors who were going to be selling at the dealer's room? They'd have bought lots of merchandise that they were counting on selling at the con, and if it doesn't happen, they're screwed.

There are several So Cal Browncoats I can think of who would be good at dealing with the hotel for this. James, of course, and Marsia Powers is also good at that sort of thing.

The strange thing is that I wasn't going to attend Flan II -- there were enough things I observed at the last one that set off little niggling alarms in my head, so I've been steering clear of BE events -- but now that it looks like it might be a fan-salvaged shindig, I'm suddenly planning to be there.

(I hope some of that made sense -- it's late and I'm sleepy.)
So, in the event Flan II is cancelled, I nominate "BE Screwed" as the unofficial, if not the official, name of the replacement shindig.
It did make sense :) If there's one thing I've learned over the past year and a half, it's the power that browncoats have to do the impossible. I'm not going to give up that belief just yet.
Vicki says that Sean and Summer were invited and said no.

Along with everyone else planning to go to this, I am very upset. More than anything, I want it to not be cancelled. If it is, I am still planning to go to California, though. I would be interested in meeting up with people as well.
Great name, b!X, as it works both ways. Not only will we have been screwed by BE, but BE will also be screwed since it will be the end of their business.
Also tangential:

Here's the last entry in the unfortunately named "con-dom-wank.livejournal.com" (where there's also an entry that's a glowing profile of the BE brain trust):

[The blogger slams every other Whedonverse con for ethical lapses] ... But take a look over at Booster Events, which (by all reports I've heard) has been running (SHOCK!) ethically, and is still growing and going strong: www.boosterevents.com. (And nope, I'm not associated with them in any way.)


The LJ profile admits, incredibly, to sockpuppetry.
Vicki says that Sean and Summer were invited and said no.

Which is odd, considering the person who said they asked Sean if he'd be there, and he said he hadn't been asked.

People will have to forgive me if I'm not in the mood to take BE's word for much of anything at this particular moment.

And HVC, I especially like BE's comment on the profile post there: "Yep, despite poor ticket sales, Booster Entertainment continues with it's history of never cancelling a guest."

If the insinuation in the BE VIP report is correct that BE was floating its low-selling cons, which couldn't fund themselves, with Flan money, that would be why they could have a "history of never cancelling a guest".

See where it got them.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2006-11-28 11:31 ]
And this is nice, too. From the OB:

I hope something does get organised - I know several people from Europe who have already flown that way...


This risks getting really messy.
b!X, I am not claiming that I believe Vicki. I am just passing along what she said. I have been suspicious of BE for a bit now. The mess with Nathan did not help matters either.
And, honestly, just the stink of the current moment, I suspect, is going to have a rash of agents calling tomorrow to cancel their actors, if those calls haven't started already.
Yes. That's what I'm thinking. Adam already knows about it, so he might be the first to cancel.
A couple of things, if people paid with credit cards and the event does get cancelled will they be able to get the money back from their credit card company?

Secondly in terms of this thread, here's the dos and donts.

I don't want to see people's names, addresses and phone numbers getting posted here (posts of that ilk will get deleted) or indeeed overtly aggressive or rude posts as well. A calm and measured approach is needed not a fandom witch hunt.

I hope this gets sorted out quickly and to everyone's satisfaction. Because it is a real shame for people who bought tickets.
Holy s***. Here are some of my thoughts, reading this thread and thinking about Nathan's shout-out for assistance the other day:

1. I will bet that the hotel will certainly honor the group rate. When someone has a bunch of people coming to town for a wedding or something, they can arrange a group rate at a hotel (which might be associated with renting a function room, in which case...)

2. Perhaps the charity auction and dealers room can still go forward. It would mean raising extra money to rent those rooms, but I would bet it is more worthwhile to dealers who have gotten new inventory (as many have pointed out) to have somewhere to sell it even if they have to pitch in some more to rent the room than it would be to be stuck with merchandise and nowehre to sell it.

3. Can some well-organized group *coughSoCalBrowncoatscough* "take over" what BE set up? Rent event rooms, contact the BDHs, etc.? They might not be able to pay guest appearance fees, but they wouldn't necessarily need to take a profit either, making it a breakeven, also know as a wash (heh). Which takes us to...

4. The BDHs. Sean, Summer and Morena have all wondered why they weren't asked to come (I agree with b!X that I think Vicki's report that "they were asked but said no" sounds false now), which I think might indicate they want to come. Nathan wanted to be part of this con so much he recruited us to help him out. I am going to guess that most of them live in Los Angeles, so there wouldn't be expenses of airline tickets or hotel rooms for them. True, they wouldn't be getting appearance fees, which I saw (I think on the other thread) are very high, but perhaps one or more of them would be willing to come out for a drink in the bar, hanging out at a charity auction or even a chat to fans for an hour on a weekend afternoon, in light of the situation. I don't mean for us to ask them to give us "something for nothing," but perhaps letting them know the situation will get a positive response because of all the Browncoats who have already made arrangements to travel such great distances to go to Los Angeles. Or maybe...

5. Remember what b!X hooked up the world with last summer, that Can't Stop the Serenity thing? Maybe someone with good organizational skills *coughSoCalBrowncoats/b!Xcough* could hook up real fast with a theatre in Los Angeles and a print of Serenity (or of Once More With Feeling, ffs) and there could be a gorram shindig watching it during one of those days that Flan2 was/is scheduled for. Maybe a BDH or 2 would feel comfortable attending that? Maybe they would feel comfortable adding a live commentary?

6. Without the BE people involved, 'Verse people who weren't scheduled for Flan2 might be interested in showing up to the little Browncoat rebellion, er, self-empowered shindig. I'm lookin' at you, Gina (OK, she was supposed to be busy that weekend anyway, I'm just dreaming here)/Sean/Summer/Morena/Minear/etc.

7. Someone call RavenU, stat. She did tell us so (without being so mean as to really say "I told you so"), and said on the other thread that she wouldn't be so crazy as to get involved in running something this big again, but maybe she could be a great source of advice in this emerging emergency.

I'm just sayin'. Throwin' out ideas here. I think deanna b was exactly right when she said it looks like it might be a fan-salvaged shindig.
Billz ... agreed, and the wheels are already in motion. Stay tuned.
hook up real fast with a theatre in Los Angeles and a print of Serenity (or of Once More With Feeling, ffs) and there could be a gorram shindig watching it during one of those days that Flan2 was/is scheduled for

Well, thanks to the charity screenings, we certainly do have a contact at Universal Distribution now. But this would be spectacularly short notice. If the Cali BCs want to try this route, if they don't have a contact of their own, they should speak with the coordinator of next year's charity screenings, Devin Pike, since he would be who they should ask to talk to the Distribution contact.
billz is right.... Too many people are committed to this trip; money's stuck on the table. If the event is truly cancelled, it's time to start throwing together "BEscrewed."

[ edited by HudsonVC on 2006-11-29 08:59 ]

When that organizer was talking about "personal problems" preventing her from communicating with organizers and doing the most basic particulars of her job, I caught a whiff of the kind of con fanboys don't attend. I was hoping it was just this person's personal chaos. Now, not so much.


Oh, here's gossi being honest: when I saw the personal problems remark online a week ago, I figured one of two things would happen: it would be sorted out with Nathan, or the con would be cancelled. I don't want to speculate too much as to what happened, but ultimately, cons like this need a hell of a lot of money up front to finance - as I said last time here - and some of the people they bring are not cheap.

This won't be the first time a convention organisation goes down the tube - this kind of thing happens all the time, and it usually follows the same pattern. But I feel really, really sad for the people going - I know *loads* of them, including three flying from the UK to it.
This is just awful. I'll admit I felt a bit relieved reading upthread that this is not a local company, but I still feel embarrassed as an Angeleno. Please link me up through my profile to any effort to provide hospitality to people coming into town for this if the event is cancelled, and they can't or don't want to cancel their arrangements. I'm already linked to SF Browncoats. I think we could still have a shindig, as suggested above. It might be really lame compared to what people were reasonably expecting, but there won't be a lack of hospitality.
BEscrewed? I say, BEsalvaged! BEbold! BEBrowncoats! :-)

MAL: Just focus. Alliance said they were gonna waltz through Serenity Valley and we've choked 'em with those words. We've done the impossible and that makes us mighty. Just a little while longer, our angels'll be soaring overhead, raining fire on those arrogant cods, so you hold. You HOLD!

Of course, I'm hoping for better results this time. ;-)

And also, less fire rained.

[ edited by billz on 2006-11-28 12:25 ]
but ultimately, cons like this need a hell of a lot of money up front to finance - as I said last time here - and some of the people they bring are not cheap.

Yeah but gossi, there's a growing body of evidence suggesting that BE was paying for low-selling cons by using money it had from Flan ticket-buyers. The solution to having low-selling cons is to cancel the low-selling cons, not take the money people gave for the sold-out Flan and use that to float cons that aren't selling enough tickets.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2006-11-28 12:30 ]
I don't want to speculate too much as to what happened, but ultimately, cons like this need a hell of a lot of money up front to finance -


They got more than a hell of a lot of money up front...they got all of it. It is all sold out, and all PRE-PAID. Every entry ticket, every photo op, every extra autograph is pre-paid. All of our money is up-front money.


From BE's Terms of Use web site page:
NO REFUNDS are given for tickets or event registration unless the event is cancelled. Refunds will not be given in the event of guest cancellations, guest changes, event date changes, or the ticket holder being unable to attend due to personal circumstances.


It implies that refunds will be given in case of event cancellation, but does not explicitly state it.
Well, they did refund for the cancelled Nano, I think. But the open question, at this point, is whether or not enough money exists to refund everyone anyway.
I know there are people still waiting for Nano refunds. Don't hold your breath :-(
bix - I agree. They had sold out, same amount of tickets as last time for less guests, so they had the money. Like I say, it's not my place to publicly speculate where that money has gone as I don't know. I can't see how they're going to refund people, though.
But the open question, at this point, is whether or not enough money exists to refund everyone anyway.

I think the obvious answer at this point is that they don't. In theory, everyone's money adds up to enough to both run Flan2 and turn a profit. If they don't even have enough to run Flan2, then they don't have enough to refund everyone.

Sounds like either way, whether Flan2 runs or not, they need financing. If they get it in time, Flan2 is a go. But even if Flan2 isn't a go, it sounds like they'll still need some financing to complete the refunds.

Pure speculation, of course. That's just what I hear in what they wrote.
It just occurred to me -- is this what they mean when they say, "The s*** is about to hit the fan" -- or in this case, the fans?
Wouldn't they lose what ever money they'd already paid to the actors if they cancel the event too?
I'm sooooo pissed off right now. They better not cancel Flan...I went broke for this event and I am NOT able to get a refund on my 375 dollar plane ticket...is BE going to refund MY money??? What about all the money I spend on tickets and photo ops??? I know I sound a little selfish but not everyone is made of money..I'm a college student..we are notoriously poor.
Ugh. Just...ugh. Here is hoping upon hope that they find a way to pull it off. I can't even imagine what could have happened to cause a cancellation at this late date, but I still have hope that the folks at BE (who have always been above board) find a way to make it work.

Regardless of whether or not that happens, I think there is clear evidence that Whedonverse conventions are a dying breed. Too expensive to run, too expensive to attend and, frankly, hello? the shows have been off the air for a long while now. Time to move on. :-)
I've been staring at this page, and I still don't believe it.
No matter what, I'm heading for LA next week, because I sure can't cancel my plane tickets (good thing it's just a short hop from Sacto), and I can always move to a Days Inn closer to Hollywood and Vine. It's also more time to find other places to go.
But no Flan 2?? If that's the case, it will take a lot for me to even believe there could be an Angel Booster Bash II next summer..or the big Veronica Mars con a year from now. If they refund my money, and the first installment of the Booster Bash II ticket, we'll call it square.
But I have been looking forward to this all year. I hope something can be done...cut it to two days...anything!

[ edited by impalergeneral on 2006-11-28 15:27 ]
And it sucks for Phoenix because the Arizona Browncoats were having a fundraiser starring the Bedlam Bards on their way out to FLAN II. If there is no FLAN will they still want to drive all the way here from Texas just for one night. I highly doubt it. And it just stinks because all the advertising I've done it was going to be a sellout. But realistically, I wouldn't want to drive that long just for one night so I can't blame them.

Wouldn't they lose what ever money they'd already paid to the actors if they cancel the event too?


As far as I know they haven't actually paid the actors anything.

There's a few people who have paid $5000 for lifetime membership with Booster recently. Uhm, I worry for those peeps.

If they can't cover the expense of the con, I seriously fear Booster is about to go bankrupt.
Folks, I can't even get to the link any more. I'd say that is yet another bad sign.

I spent 4 years arranging programs around the country. At this point, I am wondering what kind of contractual arrangement any one had with the hotel. Were room blocks reserved, and how? There had to be some up-front money to do so, but I would guess no one has been in contact with the hotel for a while now, so whether or not they have released the rooms is not clear. It is unlikely that they will honor the earlier room rate, since they no longer can be sure how many will show up of the rooms that were reserved- and for those that do show, not knowing of a cancellation, many will leave, and leave angry even though the hotel had nothing to do with it. At this point, I'd suggest that not going is the only option. Suing to get the money back may feel good but is likely not going to be successful because even if you win you will not collect. This sure sucks eggs big time, oh lord.
Sorry to hear about this. I'm not somebody who goes to conventions (soooo not into crowded rooms and queues, hehe) but I know that a lot of you guys really enjoyed them so this news sucks. :(
"Regardless of whether or not that happens, I think there is clear evidence that Whedonverse conventions are a dying breed. Too expensive to run, too expensive to attend and, frankly, hello? the shows have been off the air for a long while now. Time to move on. :-) "

Sorry but I strongly disagree - the flan was a sellout success, 500 people willing to pay up to $600 each to see whedonverse actors.

If it wasn't for the financial disasters of the NON-whedonverse events, it looks as though this con would have been a true success all round.

So, hello? How about looking at it this way - several years off the air and 500 people willing to pay that much cash for a whedonverse event. Yay?

I am not keen on the implication that it is our fault for wanting a convention - those tickets are a lot of money, we bought them out. It should have worked, it didn't. The reasons it didn't are clearly mismanagement, even my poor math skills can work that one out.

[ edited by jletham on 2006-11-28 15:22 ]
While non-whedon conventions appear to be doing badly, James Marsters recently asserted in an interview that he 'makes more money' putting on his own events. Considering how much he charges to appear at other peoples events, this sounds like a tidy sum.

If an actor and his management manage to put on events that as far as I recall have never cancelled an event OR a guest AND make money to boot, why are these fan run events such nightmares for everyone involved?

Perhaps it is time for actors and other talent to ask Himber Entertainment about their business model - how to make a profit and get very few complaints in the process.

If the Queen Mary made a profit (and a nice-sized one at that) with 350 attendees at $600 and $300 per ticket, WHY are people stranded with airline and hotel costs ten days before a convention organised by fans?

As for 'time to move on', I don't want to. I enjoy my whedonverse events - if I wasn't so terrified of losing thousands in the hands of incompetent fans, I'd go to more.
Oh no. My little sister is flying out from London to go to this convention. It must have cost her a fortune. I really, really hope this gets worked out.

And I can't even get the website to work now. Fantastic.
Folks, I can't even get to the link any more. I'd say that is yet another bad sign.


I'm logged into Boosters and I can't get in, either. Pretty sure it's because so many are trying to access the site, which does tend to load up slow.

I agree with Simon. A calm and measured approach is needed here, not a fandom witch hunt.
Whedonverse cons are starting to tail off, no doubt about it. There's less interest. However, they *CAN* still be run. What happened here is not lack of interest. They sold out.

Also, yes, agree with Simon. Going after the people involved personally with Booster will not help. At the end of the day it's a 'virtual' company (staff not in an office) trying to run a business which turns over massive amounts of money. It looks like they got a few things wrong.

If it's confirmed canceled, ring your credit card company and ask for a "charge back" against Booster. It takes the money for the tickets back from them (it's standard with VISA, used to get money back from non-supplied services/goods). If you have non-refundable airline tickets RING THE AIRLINE - they will usually offer you some money back anyway.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-11-28 15:29 ]
If the con is canceled what do we do if we paid using a debit card? As I did with many of my purchases? If BE doesn't offer the refund for whatever reasons they may have am I just SOL?
"Perhaps it is time for actors and other talent to ask Himber Entertainment about their business model - how to make a profit and get very few complaints in the process."

I think that could very well be a key difference. With Himber Entertainment, it's a BUSINESS. Yes, they work with a fan run group, JMLive (unless I'm mistaken), but Himber Entertainment is the lead. Not to say fan run events can't work, they can, we've all seen it. However, I think that on occasion, they are run by folks whose expertise perhaps lies somewhere else, as seems to be the case here.

Also, when "personal issues" prevent people from performing their jobs, it obviously can cause issues. One con I was at (I won't mention names), the folks running it were argueing amongst themselves right out in front of the sign in table. The folks at Himber Entertainment and JMLive obviously keep professionalism to the forefront.

I feel for everyone who has a stake in the this, it sounds like lots of folks could be out lots of money. Even if they get most of it back, it sounds like a lot of effort and disappointment.

@awkwardjonas, you should be able to talk to your bank, just like with a credit card company. I've gotten purchases reversed on my debit card before.

[ edited by Grace on 2006-11-28 15:43 ]
awkwardjonas - ring your bank. Some debit card banks will pay you back, some will not.

The problem here is they are saying it might be canceled, which leaves fans in a period where they don't know if to try to get their money back or not. If the company collapses and then everybody tries to get money back, big problems fans will face. Booster need to make a public decision if they're going to cancel it about now, so that the scrap for refunds can begin. It will not be fun for fans, nor the Booster peeps.

Reading online, it's clear that some number of people haven't been refunded for NanoCon yet. That's really worrying. If you're going to seek a refund, personally I say ring your bank/credit card company. That way, you have a good chance you'll get your money back that way (unless your bank sucks).
jletham - I in *no* way meant to imply that it was the fault of attendees (or even NON-attendees like me) that this happened, and if that was the impression you got from my post I apologize. But the bottom line is that even with 500 attendees, the convention may not be happening so something's not working. I was one of the people who ran the Buffy Posting Board parties, and I can tell you right now that we'd never be able to do now what we did then. Some of us were considering a 10 year reunion PBP, but I have to say that after this situation I am more reluctant than ever to invest my time and money in the planning and execution of something that seems doomed from the start.

Speaking of which, dana5140, I booked the space for the PBPs for three years and never once had to pay a single cent in advance to the hotel for rooms. We had to pay a deposit towards the function spaces and the catering, but the hotel rooms themselves were blocked with the expectation that they would be filled to a certain quota and that would cover their (deeply discounted) cost to the hotel. IF a large number of people end up having to make their own fun, as it were, I'd say the hotel would be MORE than happy to honor the group rate rather than lose a huge block of bookings.

I am sure it's going to get me leapt on, but I'd plead for people to reserve judgment until there is a final resolution to this situation. You don't know that the event is definitely going to get cancelled, and you don't know that you won't be able to get your money back if it is. While airline tickets may be non-refundable, chances are you will find a way to use them at some other time if you have to. It's not ideal, and please don't think that I am not sympathetic to your plight or even very disappointed myself (I really thought the Booster gals were a different breed of convention organizers), but I hate to see a lynching.

*fingers crossed tightly* that things turn out well for everyone. Call me a Pollyanna, but I still have high hopes.
But the bottom line is that even with 500 attendees, the convention may not be happening so something's not working

Yes, and IMO what isnt working is the NON-whedonverse events propped up by whedonverse fans who didnt even attend (50 tickets as opposed to 500). This is speculation but it seems logical to me that whedonverse fans are still interested in limited ticket events.

I don't want a lynching, I want resolution and as little money lost as possible. If Booster are such a professional outfit, why have we been left hanging with no answers, no decisions and a simple 'cancel flights if you like' message?

S**t happens. What counts now is how they deal with it. So far, it is less than impressive. MUCH less than impressive.
Oh man, this sucks. I had no intentions of going, but I really feel for all of you guys that were going. I hope that it happens--because I am very familiar with the immense feeling of financial/emotional loss this kind of situation causes--and if it doesn't, I hope that you all aren't screwed.
From jletham
So, hello? How about looking at it this way - several years off the air and 500 people willing to pay that much cash for a whedonverse event. Yay?

Exactly.

Boy I hope this works out.

*holds breath*
I was recently asked to be a guest at Flan 2, and I was excited about the idea of running a game and talking with folks about the potential new Serenity RPG products that we're currently trying to get approved for next year. Communication was spotty at best, and I never got a confirmation on my hotel or airline ticket. Last night I finally got notice that BE is having financial difficulties and the event may very well be cancelled. I'm very concerned about all the Browncoats who poured lots of collective dollars into the expensive convention rates, airfare, etc. Let's see how things go, but if people do truly get burned I'll see if there's anything I can offer so people get something out of all this. I was told we should know something for certain by early next week...
Cheers for update, Jamie. I believe they are going to make the decision on Friday as to if to pull the event or not, so will probably let the guests know monday.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-11-28 16:25 ]
$50 : photo with Adam Baldwin (not to mention I purchased ALL the ops)
$330 : for plane ticket to Burbank (and then hotel room)
$1000 : for luncheon ticket (and cocktail party and banquet... I'manidiot)
Not going to Flan 2 because BE Screwed goes under... *&%#ing priceless.

This was not what I hoped to wake to this morning.

*sigh*

I'll be interested to see how this fiasco plays out.
This is just awful. I have metric ton of friends going. I *really, really* hope this gets resolved. My friends deserve better then this amateur, unethical cop out.
I am so disheartened to read all this and feel for you all. I have an online friend from Washington state who was going (she went to Flan I as well). I had hoped one day to attend one of these but who knows where the state of Browncoat Cons will be when I have the bucks. I'll keep the good wishes going so that something spectacularly positive happens between now and Friday.
Monday is a long long time away. I'll never get a refund on my airplane tickets because the credit card company got stuck with too many refunds when too many airlines have gone out of business. Now I would have had to take out special yearly insurance.
My friends and I planned to make a whole week of it.
Now we can only sit and wait.
Ok, I got to speak to Christina and Morena personally up in Toronto. When I asked her, at THAT moment, she told me she hadn't been asked yet. And I have a friend who wishes to remain nameless, she said that she was as Serenity 3 in London. Someone asked Sean and he said the same thing, he hadn't been asked, as of September. Now, maybe he had been asked after that, but I don't see any reason for the actors themselves to lie?

And yes, I am one of those people who paid a LOT of money for the ebay charity auctions. 1) Did the charity even get the money? I mean yes, I'm upset, because of what I bought, how much I paid, and this was to be a treat for me. If the actors wanted to do it anyway, I would be happy, but I'm not going to hold out any hope. If the con is cancelled, and they're not getting paid, they really don't have to do anything.
The Flan site seems to be down - big surprise. I also could not attend but have many friends heading there from as far away as New England. I understand business flubs, but there seems to be a bit of shadiness associated with all this. It's pretty gorram incredible!
I agree - let's look at math. It sold out 500 tickets of varying prices, but none lower than $229. Even at $229 x 500, we have $114,500. Now add on photo ops - I believe many of the solo ones were sold out - at $60-$80 a pop; banquet tickets at...$160, I think; cocktail tickets at $109 a piece; extra autographs at $25 a piece, I think -- well there's another sizeable chunk of funds. Even taking out the appearance fees of the headliners and their 50% of the photo ops, and the fees for renting the ballrooms, there is no reason there shouldn't be enough funds to put this on...provided the funds were used solely towards the Flan 2.

I mean, last year they had the entire main cast minus Gina and they weren't sold out, yet the Flan went on. So now with less main headliners and sold-out tickets, there's no reason they shouldn't have had enough.

Now, if as been hinted, they were borrowing from the left to pay the right and used Flan 2 funds to pay for other events that didn't make enough to cover their expenses, that is just bad management. And they need to do whatever they have to to make this right and happen.

But I think even if the Flan 2 goes on, not many people are going to trust them enough to buy tix for any future cons, so they're pretty dead in the water regardless.
Taken from the side rail of the now-bonked Booster Events main page:

LATEST TOPICS

Still Waiting for Nano Con Refund!!!
11/28/2006 12:57 PM
by Scarlet (0 replies)
...

NANO CON REFUNDS
11/27/2006 6:30 PM
by scotty (4 replies)

Hudson - from the right hand side rail at the top, there's also people saying they haven't been refunded for Nano either.

Somehow, a huge chunk of money has gone missing. This somehow makes my posts on Whedonesque the other day about conventions being hell to be responsible for amusing, and very sad.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-11-28 17:41 ]
I would definitely be inclined to believe the actors in this case, as I recall Tony Head mentioning that there were several cons he was apparently scheduled to attend and then 'pulled out' of at the last minute that he had never even been contacted about. So not a history of 'ethical' communications with con-folk. Almost sounds to me that they might have pulled a "Gee, we tried to get Nathan to come, but he was just a)too expensive b)non-responsive c)pick your own excuse..." Because as important as all the BDHs are, he's Captain Mal. And I'd say if there was a 'main' guy from Serenifly, it would be him. So to not even make an attempt at getting him in sounds a little shady to me. But then, I guess this whole thread proves that this thing is more than a little shady.
This 'financial difficulty' isn't news for BE, so maybe once Nathan made it public that he was trying to get in, and they realized they couldn't pay him(or put the blame on him), they decided they'd really just have to scrap it. Just my theory, of course. Maybe they would have been in the hole without him too.
Not what I needed to read this morning, but I am still going. At the very least, I can see the Pacific Ocean. I won't go in it... (And probably get attacked by killer bees on the way.) But I'm going.
I've added the announcement to the top of the page so people can see what the score is.

Basically all people can do is:

1) Wait to see what happens on December 1st
2) Make some sort of contingency plan.

I would suggest that if the event is cancelled, some sort of forum should be set up to facilitate the concerns of ticket holders. Speculating is all well and good but until the full facts of the matter are known, saying this, that and the other is somewhat spurious and may even make concerned ticket holders feel a lot worse.
Simon. Always the life-preserving voice of reason in a sea of panic. :-)

*bows* Not worthy!
What were the dates of the event?
Simon, would you and Caroline be able to set up a refugee forum at .org?
lexigeek volunteered to call the group-rate hotel on our behalf this morning. It will be interesting to see what hotel management's recent conversations with BE have entailed.

As b!X pointed out earlier, BE failed to renew its business license in Oregon, which expired Oct. 7. They're in danger of losing their entity status in that state. It could be an unfortunate coincidence. But it's not exactly confidence-building.

[ edited by HudsonVC on 2006-11-28 18:16 ]
Simon, would you and Caroline be able to set up a refugee forum at .org?


I can't see that being a problem if the event does get cancelled.
Huh, I am truely at a loss for words at this point. Although I hope for the sake of all those attending, guests, dealers, and attendees, that something is worked out and the event goes on.
I am going to guess that most of them live in Los Angeles, so there wouldn't be expenses of airline tickets or hotel rooms for them.


I attended the Angel Booster Bash and the guests did have hotel rooms even though they lived in the LA area. The commute back and forth can be a pain and its nice to have a place to crash during ones off hours during the event.

Perhaps it is time for actors and other talent to ask Himber Entertainment about their business model - how to make a profit and get very few complaints in the process.


Well, there are women who will tolerate almost anything to be in the presence of James Marsters. I had plenty of complaints about the Queen Mary event, although I did have a good time.
Thanks Simon. I think if there's a spot for everyone who intends to go to talk and make plans, they'll be able to at least be able to nail together a PBP for themselves. I'm sure that those who are friendly with actors/writers could talk to them about coming by for a few hours to hang out.

Whatever happens with the event itself, it'd be a nice Plan B.
there are women who will tolerate almost anything to be in the presence of James Marsters

Not without complaint- Vulkon learned that lesson, eh? And that sounds a little insulting to convention goers - if actors want to do cons and women (shock horror) want to buy tickets, why shouldn't we? I'm sure you were there for some other reason, I was there to see James and his guests. Jane Espenson was a sweetheart.

I'm glad you had a good time, I just hope people planning for BE manage to have a good time too.
I attended last year's Flan with no problem. I even thought it was the best run/organized con I ever attended. When I heard about Flan 2, I had no reservations whatsoever about attending again. To wake up to this news is very disappointing. Now their website cannot even be accessed??? WTH?? To take the money of 500 people, promise them something, and not deliver is just so wrong. These people are not stupid. They knew people would be coming from all over, dropping money left and right to meet the BDH's. To cancel a pre-paid event two weeks beforehand, one that has been planned for MONTHS, is just shady. There is no way around it.
Booster Events website is unavailable due to the amount of visitors. They haven't taken it down.

I think on Friday we need to put together a web page detailing exactly what rights people hold in terms of refunds etc.
Marsia on the Serenity Now group has just spoken to the Hilton. She says:
"I just got off the phone with the Events Department for the Hilton. Good news and ambiguous news.

Even if the event is cancelled, the room rates for those who have
already made reservations will be honored.

So far, event isn't cancelled and the Hilton is trying to work with BE. I will be called when anything changes."
I wasn't planning on attending Flan 2, but I feel absolutely horrible for everyone who was. I hope this all gets worked out!! So sorry!
Thank you, Simon, for editing my original post, it never occured to me that the BE site would go down. I'm afraid the deadline for final payments was time ago, so even if one had paid with a credit card it is probably too late to get a refund through the card. I personal paid off the charges on my card many months ago (I paid in full last Summer).
Dana5140 said:
"Suing to get the money back may feel good but is likely not going to be successful because even if you win you will not collect."
Personally I would not be 'suing' at all, I would be charging fraud and asking the State of California to represent me and others who paid in a Class Action Suit. I am not being mean, but I do think that taking in a quarter of a million dollars cannot be allowed to slide.
Naturally I hope that convention goes on as advertised, I would be much happier if BE can find a way to make sure the that happens.
Lioness, do you have a link for that message? Thanks :-)
First, my sincere regrets that this is happening to so many fans. I'm not going, haven't ever gone to a con in my life, in fact. But I do have one eensie weensie teeny tiny question, which I'd love to get answered:

Assumptions, based on other posts above:
- Fans have all paid.
- Actors have not been paid their appearance fees.
- Hotel has been paid, at most, a deposit.

So, given that all the income for this event is in, and not all of the outgo has gone out, why would any rational lender cough up any money to finance it?

I could be missing other income (Are dealers paying?) but I just don't understand how it could ever get in the black, if it's too far in the red to even go forward at this point.

Sorry if that seems overly negative--I would be very pleased to find out I'd missed something, and that there WAS more hope for BE getting financing.
Thank you, Lioness. There might be a tiny silver lining on this cloud. I hope to see lots of people in LA even if Flan doesn't happen.

One thing, though...Didn't BE add Anthony Michael Hall to the BE Scared lineup just a few weeks before the event? I can't imagine that he came cheap, and that con was under-sold...
I'm actually working to negotiate something with the hotel for meeting space. I was about to post the same info about the group rates. :) What I need is an idea of how many people would still be willing to show up (and stay in one of their hotel rooms) if we were to throw a replacement con. (There's no guarantee the guests will be there, but we're working on it)

Please e-mail me at adam.levermorerich[at]gmail[dot]com ASAP if you are planning to stay at the Hilton, and let me know how many nights you're going to stay. Please put FLAN/HILTON in the subject line so I can keep track of all the e-mails on this.

[ edited by lexigeek on 2006-11-28 19:19 ]
Wow, I really feel sorry for all of you who were looking forward to this - what a bummer!

So dark the con of flans.
Hey guys, Brian from SoCal Browncoats here. I've been talking to fellow SoCal'ers and folks from the NorCal groups all morning, and we're working on a plan B in case things do fall through with BE, so don't fret, we'll do SOMETHING fun. ;) Thanks!
So dark the con of flans.

Theme of the day.
Seriously, my sympathies to all of the people involved. I rewally hope this works out for everyone, and yes cooler heads must prevail in this, want to avoid any unnecessary nastiness... I just hope something is worked out, even if the con is cancelled, and I hope people will get at least partially refunded if that is the case.
Myself and quite a few others are coming over from the UK - some of us are flying on Thursday, as we had originally booked for Nano as well. And, yes, I can confirm that no refunds for Nano have been issued - we were told to wait until after Flan, or use the money as credit. I suppose that should have set off alarm bells, but they pitched it as just difficult to process because they were so busy.

Well, we're all still coming, Flan or not (I'll already be in LA by the time they make the decision), so if there's stuff going on we'd love to be part of it.

I can also confirm that I'm one of the people who spoke to Sean and Morena in September and that they both said they hadn't been invited - and I believe that their reactions were absolutely genuine. They both actually seemed quite upset! I felt bad about posting what they had said as it seemed to cause such a fuss. Don't feel so bad about that anymore.
I'm planning to release our next episode of Firefly Talk on Friday, if all goes as planned. As such, if anyone has any late-breaking news that day about planned alternatives to the con, etc, please email them to me at fireflytalk@gmail.com. I'd like to have the latest info about the con status and alternatives on Friday night so I can update the BC community, and it sounds like Friday will be the day we know for sure one way or the other.
One theme here emerges- there are some awfully good people working here to try and resolve an issue they had nothing to do with creating. Good on ya all, for this bad sitch.
I'm glad you're finding a way to get through it, veloxi. Give a holler if you need anything on my end.
I just got the BE site to load; although, it took 20 mintues with a cable connection. I am trying to get into the forum now. If I find any news, I will post it for everyone. If there is another forum where I should be posting this information, please let me know. I'm new to posting here and I don't want to make anyone here angry.
This is terrible news, I hope it get works out for everyone who has paid huge sums of money to go to this event. If I would have had the money I would have been going to this event too and can image the disappointment at a possible cancellation this late in the day.

It's great to see Browncoats all pulling together (again) and trying to organise a way for the con to go ahead anyway - I really hope this all works out, and folks have a great time whatever happens.
If this event were taking place in Chicago, I would have invited you all to stay at my place.

As a fan, to see this just breaks my heart.
Yes, the BE site does seem to be loading now, but it won't let you in to the forum threads and their 'shout out' instant message thing isn't working.

I think it will still be a while before it's working properly again.
My sincerest sympathy to all going/not going. I was looking forward to pictures of our Goners attendees and, of course, tales of Nathan. It's a tad selfish, but I'm now feeling extremely relieved that I put off deciding on Bash 2 in KY until after Christmas.
So I guess the important bits of info right now are:

1) The Hilton WILL honor the rates at which people have made their room reservations there.

2) Email adam.levermorerich[at]gmail[dot]com ASAP -- put FLAN/HILTON in the subject line -- if you are planning to stay at the Hilton, and let him know how many nights you're going to stay.

3) The SoCal/NoCal Browncoats are fronting the effort to have a fallback contingency con/shindig if it's needed.
I've set up Flanvention Helpline, an independent news only blog. There's also a forum for wider issues.
Oh dear. Sending vibes and keeping my fingers crossed for everyone who is going. Here is hoping the con takes place or you guys at least get refunds.
Sadly I dont have the money to fly to any con anymore, but I remember saving up a whole year for the last PBP and if that would have been cancelled...
Well, Cabri, there goes my plan to pick you up as we fly over you!
Good idea Gossi. Feel free to make my e-mail address a link on there.
Lioness, I'll see if the Home Depot will take back that rope we were gonna dangle out the window.
:)
there are women who will tolerate almost anything to be in the presence of James Marsters

Not without complaint- Vulkon learned that lesson, eh? And that sounds a little insulting to convention goers - if actors want to do cons and women (shock horror) want to buy tickets, why shouldn't we? I'm sure you were there for some other reason, I was there to see James and his guests. Jane Espenson was a sweetheart.


Of course, not without complaint. I said there were complaints. If its an insult, then I'm insulting myself. The point I was trying to make was that events put on by Himber Entertainment are not run without complaint. And frankly, fans have put up with a lot poor management from those who put on these conventions. Heck, I attended a Vulkon event, knowing their reputation, just to see certain guests.

[ edited by killinj on 2006-11-28 20:46 ]
lexigeek - done.
Because I can't get into Booster's site, I can't get a list of the vendors who were scheduled to be there. Does anyone remember off hand who all was going to be in the dealer's room?
Those who are interested in helping out or attending a Plan BE/BEScrewed event (if the Flan is cancelled) might want to join the SoCal Browncoats Yahoo Group.

http://tv.groups.yahoo.com/group/SoCalBrowncoats/
lexigeek - http://web.archive.org/web/20060504015541/www.boosterevents.com/Conventions/FlanventionII/tabid/308/Default.aspx may provide answers (I don't know where abouts it was on the site)
Saw this on a blog:

"A friend was able to get on the BE website briefly and the guest list has been cut back to five, Nathan, Christina, Jewel, Adam and Mark. I have no idea what this means."

I can't say if that's true or not as I can't get the site open.

Simon et all - could the link be changed away from Boosters website, as I believe the Whedonesque link is knocking their site offline, so they can't post updates.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-11-28 21:25 ]
From what I recall, here's a brief list of vendors:

Wash-o-saurus
Fan Done
Out To The Black
Black Market Beagles
Jason Palmer

I'm almost positive there's more, but I can't recall all of them.
Hi everyone, here's a copy of what we're posting around the web. Feel free to post it elsewhere:

ATTENTION ALL BROWNCOATS PLANNING ON ATTENDING FLAN!

We are all a little disconcerted by the update from Booster regarding the possible cancellation of Flan2. Many people have expressed concern at their un-cancelable reservations (airfare and hotel), and some are considering attending anyway.

With this in mind, the California Browncoats are willing to step up and make sure that those who choose to come out anyway, will have something to do when they get here. To do this successfully on such short notice we need to coordinate efforts, make sure there's someone who knows what's going on, and can coordinate efforts effectively, without a lot of duplication, mixed messages, or confusion.

If you are interested in helping, have already gathered information, or just want to know what's going on, please contact Adam Levermore-Rich (lexigeek on the boards) at adam.levermorerich at gmail dot com so we can get an idea of what's happened already, we would greatly appreciate it.

Also, if you're planning on going come hellmouth or high water, please also let us know so we have an idea of how many people we need to plan for. Any information you have about your room reservations (number of rooms/number of nights) would also help us negotiate with the Hilton.

Thank you for all your help! Please re-post this so we can start channeling all this stupendous energy into creating a positive experience for everyone.

Thank You
James
California Browncoats
www.californiabrowncoats.org
You is da man, James.
gossi..I finally got into the Booster site and all the same photos are still up for all the guests.
I am currently trying to get into the forums..no luck!!
Giant props to gossi, lexigeek, veloxi, NoCal/SoCal Browncoats, Marsia, b!X, deanna b and anyone else I missed who's taking positive actions to make sure something Browncoaty and great will still take place (I love the name Plan BE, yo)! :-)
just want to say that i really hope things work out in favor of the attendees. i went last year, and it was so much fun, but did not consider it this year as i've had some major life upheavals. but it seems ridiculous to me that they waited so long to announce any issue. it's basically too late for the fans who are traveling to do anything about changing their tickets. and what happens to the money already spent on con stuff? i really hope things work out. but if not... i'm of the mind that a class-action suit is a good option.

*crosses fingers and hopes for the best*
Regarding vendors, The Prop Store of London was on that list as well.
A friend was able to get on the BE website briefly and the guest list has been cut back to five, Nathan, Christina, Jewel, Adam and Mark. I have no idea what this means.

Their main page still has everyone listed/pictured. *shrug*

ETA: As does their Flanvention info page.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2006-11-28 22:01 ]
Ta folks who managed to get on the site. The blogosphere was wrong - shocker.

I've put information on how to claim back Paypal payments - if you need to - on the Flanvention Helpline site.
There are no new threads on the BE forum and there have been no update posts from the BE staff. I can also confirm that the main page and the Flanvention page have not been altered.
Just saw this posted online by somebody (thanks): "I paid for Flan II in February this year (that is how bad I wanted to go) and I was just informed by Bank of America that I can get a full refund on the credit card I used."
I was just on the BE forums and I can not believe that the promoters have not posted one thing. Nothing in response to people's complaints or concerns.
Bad business!!

[ edited by SillyD on 2006-11-28 23:06 ]
SillyD, if we can barely get on their forums, I doubt they can get on them either.

Although they should really email their customers. They have a mailing list.
Although they should really email their customers. They have a mailing list.

And a MySpace page, and MySpace certainly isn't down. And it's been logged into today.
gossi..I know they probably can not get into the forums, it took me most of the day.
You are right they should be able to email their customers or they could post more on the front page with more details.

bix..I did notice someone logged onto their MySpace today. Not updated though.

[ edited by SillyD on 2006-11-28 23:18 ]
Apparently the couple of hits that Booster Events' website took from Whedonesque may be affecting their site so I've changed the URL to gossi's thingy.
couple of hits


*chuckle*
lexigeek did you see the post on the OB about whether or not you still needed "contact info"?
No ... who said what?
lexi:

From: MALSGAL (fireflyfan3) 2:58 pm
To: lexigeek (32 of 37)
33172.32 in reply to 33172.6

I do have contact info, and am looking for it.

do you still need this?

MG/Northern California Browncoat
Sacramento Browncoats.


Here.
Booster's website is back online now, but it's still really slow so patience is required.
Because I can't get into Booster's site, I can't get a list of the vendors who were scheduled to be there. Does anyone remember off hand who all was going to be in the dealer's room?


I didn't notice this being answered yet, so forgive me if this is a reapeat:

Flan2 Dealers
Black Market Beagles
Fan Done
Jason Palmer Studios
Out To The Black Outfitters
The Bedlam Bards
Wash-O-Saurus
And gossi - help! For some unknown reason, I suddenly can't get to your board either. Sent you an e-mail. Don't know what to do, but hate missing out on the discussions over there.
Sarrava, I'll pick it up via email to stop us boring the y'ocals.
If you are planning on coming to Burbank for the back-up plan we (the California Browncoats) are currently working on in the event Flanvention is cancelled, please be sure to bring:

1. ID and,
2. The confirmation e-mail Booster Events sent you.

We want to make sure we give priority to those who have already spent money on tickets, but we don't have Booster's database of attedees, so we'll need some way to verify who's who.
Again I come to the conclusion that this is the best fandom ever.

So many kind and generous people!
This Mighty Browncoat is still going to Cali to enjoy her vacation. I'll be in contact with SoCalBrowncoats, but I just wanted to add here, that no matter where I have to play for that weekend...I'm there! :D Thank you Browncoats!!!
I've touched base with this thread a couple of times today, without having the time to actually post, and I just want to say, first, how sorry I am for all the people who potentially will lose money on this, assuming the worst happens, and, second, how proud I am of the community here for pitching in. I'm on the wrong coast, sadly, so I cannot help out except by cheering you on, but it really does a person proud to witness the resourcefulness and resilience of this community in banding together.
1. ID and,
2. The confirmation e-mail Booster Events sent you.

We want to make sure we give priority to those who have already spent money on tickets, but we don't have Booster's database of attedees, so we'll need some way to verify who's who.


What about people who bought tickets from other attendees and had them transferred?
From the SoCalBrowncoats list:

Since I was working on the costume display for Flan, my event contact at the Hilton called me this afternoon and asked if I knew anything about what was going on. Since I found out about this news like everyone else, I could only direct her to the Whedonesque site. Apparently, the Hilton has not been contacted or notified by anyone at Booster Events either.

Take this news however you care to at this point.

If you can bring some kind of confirmation of the transfer (paypal e-mail, etc.) that should work, too.
Bless all the Browncoats trying to make this right. I've been heartsick all day with this, and have spent far more then I can afford to attend Flan (my first real vacation in 20 years), but the spirit of the best fanbase in the world has untwisted the knot in my stomach slightly.

I'll still be going, no matter what. Most of my friends are still going. The SoCal BCs are trying to pull something off, and it might just be great. Plus, I can't get refunds for my airfare, I already have the days off, and I have a pretty cocktail dress to wear. I'm going to try to look on the bright side, and assume fun will be had. Maybe I’ll try to get into an exclusive night-club and have a cat-fight with Paris Hilton. Then at least the weekend will have been salvaged. :)
As queasy as this makes me to say in the midst of this current financial debacle, they comped my third and final weekend pass payment (a post-chartiyscreenings gesture).

So, I basically don't HAVE a final confirmation email/receipt/etc to provide. Heh.
b!X, you have the first couple to show you bought a ticket, and I think the SoCal folk will recognize your name anyway. I don't exactly see you getting shut out of a Browncoat event - anywhere.
Hey, I'd send him home. His beards not as good as mine. Everybody has to have a beard when I organise something.

Regarding the update above about the Hilton calling a fan and being directed here... Ouch. This is getting a little silly.
B!x, you're good. :) I did get a question from someone who has a VIP pass (and therefore also doesn't have a confirmation e-mail). For any other VIP pass holders, I think the old con badges have your name and picture on them, so that should be sufficient.
If you can bring some kind of confirmation of the transfer (paypal e-mail, etc.) that should work, too.

Cool, I have all of that stuff since I didn't trust BE to transfer it properly. Heh.
Okay, hearing things like, "first vacation in 20 years" and "saved up all year for this" are breaking my heart, people. I wasn't going to Flan and I live in SoCal. It just isn't my kinda thing...

But this means so much to folks it's killling me, seriously.

I'm so sorry for all of you who've made such elaborate and expensive arrangements, and whose spirits have been lifted by the thought of this meet-up for quite some time, and I do sincerely hope it goes forward as planned. I coincidentally just signed up to the SoCalBC Yahoo board last week, so I will check out what's happening that way.

I'm so glad you guys are jumping on it and figuring out a way to continue with it, nonetheless. Browncoats are pretty nifty, as it turns out...
Okay, hearing things like, "first vacation in 20 years" and "saved up all year for this" are breaking my heart, people.

Oh, you and me both QC. I've only ever been to one convention, and I failed to actually get a photo or autograph or anything. I'm rubbish at those kind of things (although the Q&A's? Loved those).

That said, I've got to read hundreds upon hundreds of messages from people today. They're heartbreaking. I'm still hoping the event goes ahead as planned, but if it doesn't every single one of these people better get their money back. It's not going to get them something they love back, but it's something.

Browncoats have had a shit year, let's face it. And it pains me to type that. I'd say next up the studio are going to threaten people for money, but hey - been there, done that, didn't wear the t-shirt.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-11-29 02:48 ]
Hey, I'd send him home. His beards not as good as mine. Everybody has to have a beard when I organise something.

But I've got sweet new glasses. Of course, their timing was in part so I could see everything properly at the Flan panels....
If they need more time to get financing couldn't Flan just be delayed till like say January maybe? then folks can see about just delaying their plane tickets and such? Delaying would be better than no Flan at all.
If they need more time to get financing couldn't Flan just be delayed till like say January maybe? then folks can see about just delaying their plane tickets and such? Delaying would be better than no Flan at all.

Do you think 500 people are willing to reschedule 3-5 days of their lives on short notice and then a month later trust that BE got it right on the second try?

Me, I doubt it. They had one shot at this and 12 entire months in which to make that shot work.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2006-11-29 03:11 ]
Speculation:

They have three main options I can see:

1) Drop some of the con guests to try to save expenses, and run with the con. This will piss some people off, but they are within their rights to drop guests, and ultimately, the event would run.

2) Cancel the con and refund people using money they have put aside.

3) Go bankrupt.

They're a limited liability company so the two owners can go bankrupt without being personally responsible for the money as long as their accounts are in order. Under state law, if the accounts are - uhm - 'bad' they are personally responsible for it (although one of the owners is outside of the state).

Bankrupty is the option which would most hurt fans as the chance of refunds then comes very low.
Gossi, how could they possibly refund people if they can't afford to pay for the convention?
Bankrupty is the option which would most hurt fans as the chance of refunds then comes very low.

And yet it seems the most likely option since their chances of making money on future cons to pay off the debt owed to fans from this one seems fairly low at this point. Who is going to trust their money to BE after this? Who would buy a ticket to another BE con?
If they need more time to get financing couldn't Flan just be delayed till like say January maybe? then folks can see about just delaying their plane tickets and such? Delaying would be better than no Flan at all.


Problem, Khei, is that no one has posted any sort of an answer to my question above:

So, given that all the income for this event is in, and not all of the outgo has gone out, why would any rational lender cough up any money to finance it?


If this is the problem, rescheduling it isn't going to help any.
"Everybody has to have a beard when I organise something."

Woo hoo! I'm clear. This does make me wonder about gossi's dating habits, though...
Hmm. This will mean a lot of time to kill in Burbank. Hey, Joss, want to grab Summer and let The One True b!X conduct the final, official, exclusive interview about the R. Tam Sessions? ;)
Sending this on behalf of my friend Leish:

Hi guys,

I’m flying over there from Australia on the 1st and can’t express how heartbroken/furious I am about this announcement – my brain has been on overload since I found out last night, but I'm still making the trip, because I'm that kinda crazy - in a moment of terror/optimism this morning I e-mailed Jonathan M.Woodward to see if he had been in contact with Booster/if he might still turn up if the con didn’t go ahead/to see if I could give myself a little hope - my e-mail went as follows:

“Heya Jonny,

Sorry to be bugging you with this, but I was wondering if you'd heard anything about the possible cancellation of the Flanvention 2? Have the organisers been in contact with you at all? any news would be incredibly appreciated at this point...

the fans are uniting over at whedonesque, here:
http://whedonesque.com/comments/11927

and are planning to party either way, I suppose I was also wondering if you'd grace us with your presence if the shit does hit the fan and we're all left in the lurch.

I know it'd make my trip all the way from Australia seem a lot less pointless.

thanks for reading,

Leish
xo”

His prompt reply was thus:

“Hey!

I'm sorry I dont know anything yet. As soon as I do I'll let you know I swear. I will say that I know the Booster folks are doing everything humanly possible to keep the event going forwards.

cheers, babe”

as I’m not a member of whedonesque (*sob*) I will try and keep you posted via either buffiness or nixygirl if he sends me any more information, however who knows if he’ll get it before us, anyway *shrug*

I am also contacting R.D Price, an Exec producer from Angel, to see if there’s anyone he can talk to (he seemed to be pretty close to Joss and Tim) and tell them of our plight.

Sorry I can’t be of any more help. Lets hope those ‘daily updates’ will be forthcoming’, eh?
Leish
xo


[ edited by HudsonVC on 2006-11-29 07:39 ]
[Self-deleting long, rambling, foolish post containing notions that are wisely and gently refuted by gossi a couple of posts later. Apologies.]

[ edited by HudsonVC on 2006-11-29 09:40 ]
*laughs to self*

Move along. Nothing to see here. ;-)
There's no point taking legal action Hudson. They're a limited company - the two owners are not liable for debt, and if they can't afford to run a convention, they couldn't afford to deal with legal action. Ultimately, legal action would shut them down, and then the fans would be out of pocket.

With regards to the alternative plans, there's people involved and all the stuff you ask is likely in progress.

It's very unclear as to what will happen at this stage. It's 2am - I'm going to bed.

Also, person who's flown out from Oz? Have a good a holiday as you can have, mate. And keep your eyes peeled online to see if an alternative event happens.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-11-29 04:10 ]


[ edited by HudsonVC on 2006-11-29 07:46 ]
OzLady, I'm crying. I think I shall never recover.
As much as this sucks, I'm honestly not surprised. Having attended the Flan last year, I was less than impressed with their organization and general professionalism. I honestly don't think they really have a clue what they are doing - I think they started the company as an excuse to hold conventions and meet their favourite actors.

But that is just me.
Aurra, you are by no means the only one with that opinion.
Aurra, I agree that you are not the only one with that opinion. I did not attend last year, but I have formed the opinion based on what I've seen this year. I admit that I am broken hearted over this. I've planned for a long time for it and invested everything extra penny (and some I don't have) into it. I'm devastated. It's not just the money either. It's all the planning and such. Of course, I was counting on meeting Nathan...
Aurra, I have the same opinion as well. I was at last year's Flanvention, and while I had a fantastic time, I was not impressed with the organization or professionalism.

At least I live in Burbank, so I am not out transportation and hotel money, like most of you, but I am out the price of two tickets, for myself and my son, and a few photo ops.

Count me in as one of the many willing to help out with this.
There was something unsettling about going to the Booster page and seeing this picture in the happy, little corner of the site.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c158/Mskatchoo/BE.jpg

Coincidence? Of course. But still unsettling.
Oh, the irony of that. It is unsettling.
Yeah, definately unsettling irony! I'm not a big believer in coincidence.
Wow. What a mess. And with the exception of my third payment for the weekend pass, and a few photo ops, I have no memory of which credit card I used to pay for the previous payments.

Hope this all works out for all of us.
And their daily update is where? This is despicable.
There's a thread called "Flan II daily updates" that has appeared on the forum, started by Vicki. I'm trying to get into it.

I'm in now.

We don't really have much we can update you with this evening other than to say we are pursuing every avenue available to make this work. We know you all are anxious and upset, but we are unable to answer individual emails and calls at this time. We are using all our energy to try to obtain funding. We will update again tomorrow.

[ edited by RachVG on 2006-11-29 09:25 ]
Posted by Vicki on the Booster boards:

We don't really have much we can update you with this evening other than to say we are pursuing every avenue available to make this work. We know you all are anxious and upset, but we are unable to answer individual emails and calls at this time. We are using all our energy to try to obtain funding. We will update again tomorrow.


ETA: Sorry for the duplicate post.

[ edited by lexigeek on 2006-11-29 09:36 ]
And yet there is still no word on how they managed to be short of funding for a sold out event. Makes you wonder how they squandered $179,115 (and that's not counting any photo or signature money). Math is using 5 Lifetime, 10 Annual, 35 BDP and 450 Weekend passes. I know they gave away a few passes, but it's pretty damn close.

Backup plans are continuing.
And still no hint of an apology?
And now the entire BE site simply responds with "Service Unavailable", right when I was trying to grab some pdf dumps of my receipts, in addition to the various email confirms I have. D'oh.

ETA: Actually, then it went to refusing connections, and now it gives a lack of authorization message. Fun times.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2006-11-29 10:24 ]
I just got an email from them with a badly copied version of the main page announcement with a sentence tacked on the end.

Dear ****** ******,

MPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT Boosters is experiencing financial difficulties. We are doing everything in our power to facilitate Flan 2, but at this point, it is uncertain that we will be able to obtain financing in time for the event. We will update you daily in the Flan 2 forum. Anyone with airline tickets who might want to cancel, will need to do so immediately. If we are unable to obtain the needed financing by Friday, Dec. 1st, the event will be cancelled. Please note- we're experiencing extremely heavy server load. We appologize for any difficulties you've had reaching the site.


[ edited by RachVG on 2006-11-29 10:51 ]
*hugs for all browncoats affected by this*
I was considering coming over from Oz for this, but decided to go to Comic-Con next year instead... Glad I made that decision.
Really really hope that everything works out for the best for all those attending.
I joined the SoCal Browncoats group this morning for the main purpose of helping with the alternate event, if necessary. Then my wireless connection went down for the whole day until almost midnight. Now I'm having a really bewildering time trying to sort through the message traffic from both SF and SoCal Browncoats. I'd really just like to be on a roster of volunteers, and to have a central address to, well, address.
The Booster site is working! And kind of fast, too!

Probably because most Americans are in bed.

Jonathan Woodward posted on the board.

Hey All -

I just want to drop a note to beg you all to be kind and patient and forgiving. I'm confident - convinced, actually - that the Bosses are doing everything they can to keep your party on the rails. Please, please give them the benefit of the doubt and try not to speak unkindly of them. Nobody wants to see the event cancelled, I promise. If they're admitting to financial difficulties, please allow that it must have been an embarrassing and dreadful step they took to be honest and forthright in their relationship with you all.

Let's just wait and hope it works out. I understand mny have spent much to be there. I know in my bones that the Booster Bosses are doing everything they can not to let you down.

yours -
jonathan

I'd really just like to be on a roster of volunteers, and to have a central address to, well, address.

You can send an email to lexigeek at the address in my post above (link in the headline) about volunteering. We are gathering emails now and will be contacting everyone once we have a clear idea of what we need.

And thank you for offering, we're not going to pull this off without a lot of support.
I got two emails from booster today. The one to the account I used to pay for my tickets was the same as posted above.

The one I got to a dormant account that I don't use and have never bought any tickets from had the additional wording:

We appologize for the delay of this notice, and for any difficulty you've had reaching the site.
Allyson- Heh. I knew I could count on you! :-D Boy, there is a phone call I'd give my left bosom to listen in on. *laughs some more*
I have to echo the ongoing feeling of "This sucks!"

As much as I wanted to, I couldn't attend Flan last year due to work commitments (and finding out about it too late). This year I knew I wasn't going to be able to attend for various reasons, not least of which December is a bad time for me to be spending a lot of money to fly to LA for a con.

However, I was hoping to attend it next year, perhaps as a part of the Into the Black contingent.

I'll admit I was less enthusiastic about attending after Aurra told me about last year's Flan. As she said, it seemed like the organizers threw the con just so they could hang out with the cast, and the needs of the con goers were a secondary concern.

I hope for all of you who have bought tickets and made travel plans, that it works out. But I think this may be the death knell for BE. I know I wouldn't pay to go to one of their events after this.
I <3 Jonny Wallet!
Can anyone else who bought one of the luncheon tickets (at great expense) on eBay confirm whether or not this was for charity?

I thought it was, but now can't find reference to it anywhere - also Booster's charity website www.becharitable.org seems to have disappeared...
Thanks, danregal, will do.
One of the promoters posted this to the shoutout box on their forums area;

vicki @ 11/29/2006 6:49 AM
I'm trying to post I can't. Can you please spread the word that BE and BEC are two freaking separate things and I TOLD Wes to take down BEC for NOW to avoid people getting harrassed who have NOTHING to do with this.


Just to keep people updated. Although I believe she is wrong since the person incharge of BEC works as the promoters #2 at events. She may not be finically invested in the company, but that doesn't make her immuned to being questioned or called on for that division of the overall company.

Another shoutout:

vicki @ 11/29/2006 6:54 AM
I would be posting if I could. Sorry. I couldn't even get on here until like 1 am last night or whenever I posted last night... I'll keep trying.


[ edited by RavenU on 2006-11-29 17:01 ]
I came back to post that here but I see you beat me to it.

Thanks, Raven.
No problem menomegirl.

Just because I no longer have anything to do with Booster's anymore doesn't mean that I am not observing things that happen and inform the people who need to be, the paying attendees.

I have always been as fan and a convention advocate, it disheartens me that in the matter of a year this company that had shown promise could have fallen so badly into traps I had warned them about in the beginning. Putting on events are not for the faint of heart or the easily distracted. At the end of the day it is a business plain and simple and if you do not focus on that business 100% it is going to fray at the edges and fall apart. I could go into more but at this time I will hold my tongue to see how this plays out.

I will say that my smypathies goes out to all fandoms and future fans, and not just this one cause this will impact things for years to come. Not only has it sent another damaging ripple through the pool of attendees, it may also impact the pool of guest availible to attend these events. These type of events are the exception and not the rule in entertainment and most people already have a negative image of the entertainment event industry. It's a hard sell to get some of these guest to come to these things and when stuff like this happens, it only makes that fight even a more uphill battle for those left behind.

So I am just upset right now over what is transpiring and I cannot shake the overwhelming feeling of deja 'vu this situtation and the sorrow over the repercusions that I know will come from it no matter if this event lives or dies.

I'm tired of fighting the fight, maybe it is finally time to call it a day.
Thank you for your reply. It disheartens me as well and my sympathy goes out to everyone involved in the matter, the attendees, as well as the ladies of Booster Events.

I don't know much about cons, having never attended one myself, so I cannot reply to much of your post but I fear you are right. As far as I can see, the impact is already being felt.

I've read things that have made me cry, things that have upset me and I can say that it's been inspiring to read what the Browncoats have done. That's this fandom at its best.

My heart goes out to all of you.
I love Jonathan Woodward he is a kind soul.

I just have a hard time understanding how a "sold out" event does not have money. That just does not make sense. Did they use the money people pre-paid for this event to float their other events that did not go well. That does not seem right to me. Lots of things they have done do not seem right to me.

I am not going to this years Flan because of bad experiences at last years FLAN. I spent what was it almost $900 on a BigDamnPass and I am sad to say it was not worth it.

I agree with the people saying these ladies did these convention to meet the stars themselves rather than put on fan run conventions. That is just the wrong way to go about this. It is not about you and your friends, it is about the fandom, and when you hurt a whole fandom of people that is just wrong.
For those wondering about the lucheon ticket money here is an answer from the person who is in charge of BEC, posted to the shout out box;

peachiest @ 11/29/2006 7:55 AM
To clear up any confusion about eBay... if you purchased something on eBay from the Booster Entertainment account, it is for BE. If you purchased it from the BE Charitable eBay account, it is for BEC. They are two completely separate entities. If people a


... obvious the whole post did not make the shout out space.

To make sure there is no confussion, the lucheon tickets to this years Flan were not for charity but to cover cost for the event itself.

Last year they were for charity (Equality Now).

[ edited by RavenU on 2006-11-29 18:08 ]
So, an apology for slow server response, but still neither an apology nor humility for getting us all into this situation to begin with? Yeah, ok.
Thank you for the clarification RavenU (I didn't know which entity was selling the luncheon tickets on eBay).
SillyD: I am surprised to read that you had a bad experience at the first Flanvention last year, I had signed on because I had heard that it was a huge success and everyone had a great time. Did you post anywhere about your experiences (I can understand not wanting to get negative here at Whedonesque)?

I certainly hope that Jonathan M. Woodward's optimism pays off and Flan2 ends up happening. I know that we can manage to have plenty of disorganized fun in LA regardless, but I would still like to attend the convention I paid for.
I don't understand why they keep saying that BE and BEC are two separate entities. They are run by the same group of people, promoted by the same group of people, and the charitable object of BEC was to raise funds for an arts scholarship for someone from the BE discussion boards. That was all stated and above board.

Ben is Glory, y'know?
embers: I had fun meeting the cast and hanging with my friends. So I never posted anything negative. I did have alot of complaints about the way it was run. I felt since I was not in the "in" crowd(not a friend of the BE ladies) that I was a nobody. I kept all those feelings to myself because I figured I might someday go to something else and why deal with even more heartache.
I paid a bloody fortune for a ticket and tried to say one thing to one of the ladies and got shot down. It was something I was supposed to I guess "get" because of my low number. I was BDP #5 and since they did not know me, I did not seem to matter. I was basically pushed aside. I was going to try and go to their Veronica Mars convention next year, I am so thankful I did not buy a ticket yet.

I just feel so bad for you guys that spent your hard earn money on this convention.

roadrunner: so Ben works with Glory??
Ok it seems the the BEC runner has more to say;

peachiest
Posts: 3151
11/29/2006 8:09 AM
To clear up any confusion about eBay... If you purchased something on eBay from the Booster Entertainment account, it is for BE. If you purchased it from the BE Charitable eBay account, it is for BEC. They are two completely separate entities. If people assumed items purchased on eBay through Booster Entertainment were for BE Charitable, BEC is not responsible for that assumption.

I think it is despicable that people are bringing BE Charitable into this. I can understand why some people assume that BE Charitable is a division of Booster Entertainment, but it is not. BE Charitable is it's own corporation completely separate from Booster Entertainment. BE Charitable started as the Angel's Food Drive, which predates Booster Entertainment. The only reason BE Charitable is affiliated with Booster Entertainment is for a way to raise money for the Itty Scholarship and the other charities we have supported. And the only reason BE Charitable was incorporated was so we could raise money for other non-profit organizations like Equality Now and the others we have contributed to.

Vicki was 100% right to temporarily take down the BE Charitable website for this exact reason. There is no reason anyone should be contacting BE Charitable for what is going on with Booster Entertainment. If anyone has a question pertaining to BE Charitable ONLY, please feel free to email me at toni@becharitable.org. If you have a question pertaining to Booster Entertainment, please email Denise at denise@boosterevents.com.


I am once again biting my tongue.

Ok maybe I will question one thing ....

Vicki was 100% right to temporarily take down the BE Charitable website for this exact reason.

If BE and BEC are 2 seperate companies, then why would the promoter of BE take down the BEC site. Shouldn't the BEC site have been able to post a statement regarding the association between the 2 companies that would have stem the tide of conact they may have recieved. One they should have expected to be contacted, since the seperation of the 2 enitities for all intensive purposes was never really a discussion point before. Kinda like the way news medias report on the news if you can't talk to the people involved talk to the people who know them.

[ edited by RavenU on 2006-11-29 18:55 ]
SillyD, that is so sad. If you want to feel like nobody, go to ComicCon - that was a huge shock to me (of course, not the same thing as a more intimate convention that I imagine Flan I was). And yet, I still talked to a few total strangers while on line for panels and whatnot - and I forced myself to go say hello to Ken Foree ('cause I just love him). Your experience is sort of why I dread the whole convention thing.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2006-11-29 19:13 ]
RavenU, your tongue must be bleeding by now :P
kurya - I think I have more blood in my stomach than my viens by now.

I don't understand why they keep saying that BE and BEC are two separate entities.


In some US states there are laws relating to payments to charity by corporations, to ensure they are made. I actually think it is fine for the BEC people to distance themselves from the situation for now.
Since Raven posted that before I could get here, I'm adding this, from the SO sideboard-

peachiest @ 11/29/2006 8:45 AM:

If you would like to repost that at Whedonesque or anywhere else, that is fine. Please make a note that I am not speaking in an official capacity for BE. I am speaking only for BEC.

As the saying goes gossi, they are seperated by paper only, kinda like the studios, Fox TV Productions is a different company from FOX Home Entertainment but they are still FOX.
Tonya J..I have gone to ComicCon and I love it. I have been to tons of conventions. I had plently of friends at the first Flanvention. It is not that I needed friends there. It is that I had an issue I needed taken care of and since I was not one of the BE ladies "friends", I was pushed aside and ignored.
I do not need to be popular with those people, and I do not think I should have to kiss a promoters butt to get my issues taken care of, I paid what everyone did. I just think I paid almost $900 for something I want what I paid for, what I was told I was going to get. I did not get that.
My friends made it fun for me. Hanging out with Jewel made it fun for me. Hanging with Woodward made it fun for me. The BE ladies did not make it fun for me.
Morning, folks. Just wanted to give you an update on our plans to create an alternate fan experience in the event Flanvention II falls through.

First, we now have a name for this shindig. We're calling it the Browncoats' Backup Bash. We thought that kind of covered all the bases :) We've even set up a new e-mail address. If you have questions, you can e-mail us at backupbash@sfbrowncoats.com.

Second, plans are proceeding on making this as exciting an event as possible on such short notice. We're working out a schedule of potential events and activities as we speak. We are in touch with the hotel to try to work out meeting space, and as has been mentioned previously, they will honor the previously negotiated group rate for anyone who has a reservation. We've also talked with a bunch of the vendors who were planning to be there, and most have said they're interested in still attending even if Flan falls through.

Finally, we are working on contacting the actors to see if they'll be willing to attend as well. I can't stress this enough: we can't make any guarantees, especially at this late date, but you have our word that we will try our hardest to make it happen.

On the topic of contacting the Big Damn Heroes, I have a request. We have very good contact info for all the actors and other celebs, so please let us make these calls. The last thing any of us want is for the actors or Joss to get a ton of phone calls and e-mails and get so frustrated they just decide to back out.

Our main hope is that Booster comes through and Flan goes off without a hitch, making these preparations unnecessary. But if it does fall through, we hope everyone who had a ticket to Flan will consider still coming and enjoying the Browncoats' Backup Bash!

Adam Levermore-Rich
Lexigeek, that's amazing. I for one am going to feel a lot happier getting on my flight from London on Friday knowing that you guys are doing so much to make this a memorable time for us all. BDHs or not, we're going to have a great time. Look out LA!

Thanks from the many UK Browncoats to the California Browncoats!
Okay, this charity thing. I guess I helped stir that up by questioning the lunch ticket - but nearly all of us who bought a ticket seemed to think it was for charity, and someone else has reported that usually they are - so I don't think we were all complete idiots for thinking it.

That said, none of us picked up on the fact that the charity wasn't mentioned - so more fool us. Blinded by the thought of 30 of us having lunch with the BDHs? Maybe.

I posted this elsewhere but I think the decision to take down the site was completely wrong. It just added fuel to the fire - they should simply have put a statement up there setting out what was what.
BE Charitable started as the Angel's Food Drive, which predates Booster Entertainment.


I remember Angel's Food Drive. They did good work. Might be nice for people to give BEC the benefit of the doubt till the full picture emerges. Otherwise we'll go round and round in circles, getting into a tizzy, casting aspirations and mixing our metaphors. And then up on fandom_wank.
They do have the benefit of my doubt - now that we've established that the lunch tickets were never for charity. I just wish I'd realised because I wouldn't have paid all that money for something so frivolous.

No one has actually accused BEC of anything, as far as I know, it was just that the website disappearing set off a whole new world of speculation.
I was so sorry to find out about this, I know how very much everyone was looking forward to it. Heck, I was not even going and I was excited for all of you who had tickets. I think it is a shame there is no more info from BE at this point, but BIG KUDOS to all the Browncoats who are trying to salvage this horrible turn of events. You all are to be commened for the quick and hopefull response you have shown. On another note, on top of being so very upset for all of you, I am now worried about the 4 BBII tickets that I have already paid for, if your money is gone, where the heck is mine?
Simon - I kinda have to question that statement that BEC start as AFD, because the person incharge of BEC now was never part of the AFD original group. However, the BE promoters were part of the original AFD group, so wouldn't that make BE and BEC connected.
To be absolutely clear on something from my point of view, I have no issue with the BE Charitable folk and think they are doing good work. I hope all the money which was promised to BE Charitable by Booster has been paid.

Am I worried about the status of Booster Events? Yes. Do I think they are doing every single thing to try to sort things out? Yes. This kind of thing could shut Booster down, so you bet they are trying to fix Flanvention.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-11-29 19:37 ]
This kind of thing could shut Booster down, so you bet they are trying to fix Flanvention.

Which still might not prevent Booster's demise.
Simon, not to be a pedant but I think the word you want is "aspersions," not "aspirations" (which would be a positive thing to be casting).
I love Jonathan Woodward so much.

SillyD - my experiences at Flan were similiar to yours. I had a great time with my friends and some of the actors, but felt like I was part of the not cool crowd at the high school dance. My experiences were overall more positive than negative, buy both of the friends that I went with last year decided not to come back this year based on that.
A member of the press has posted some thoughts on the Fox Firefly board. I won't post it here as I don't have permission, and honestly, it's a lot of speculation for Whedonesque. But if it's true, well, woops.
Mal'sGal: I went with 4 people last year. None of us decided to return this year. We were 5 of the first people to get tickets last year because we were so excited. We were all in the first 10 seats of the BDPs holders but we were so disappointment on how it was run.
I totally agree with you. I too felt like part of the not cool crowd(I think I am pretty cool,HAHA) but when you have people setting up conventions to meet the actors themselves that is the problem you are going to run into.
I am highly disappointed the more and more I think about it, this is not about the fandom to them, it was about who they could meet. It is not supposed to be about that. People put there hard earned money into going to these events. I know it took me a long time to pay off my Flan experience last year.
arrgghhh.
gossi, do you have a link to the Fox Firefly board? If you can't post it here, could you send the link to me at yahoo.com? I'd appreciate it.
http://forums.prospero.com/foxfirefly/messages
Click here for the direct link I think gossi is talking about.
Corporate filing for BE Charitable.

It's owned by the owner of Booster Events.
I guess someone confuse seperate filings with being seperate companies, oops.
I guess someone confuse seperate filings with being seperate companies, oops.

Well, legally speaking they are separate entities, regardless who the respective boards, agents, power that be, etc. might be.
Ok , I wasn't going to this event and so it doesn't impact upon me personally, but I'm getting really cross here!

I've read heartbreaking stories of the impact that this will have on people's plans and their finances. I've read messages from Actors stepping in to try to help calm things down and sort things out. I've been amazed and impressed by the way The Browncoats have rallied round to try to salvage something from this mess.

But from the organisers themselves what I haven't read is one word of apology , Just a message about the company being in financial difficuties and then a
" shout out" about the fact that BE and BEC are not the same company, indeed

BE and BEC are two freaking separate things


I'm just gutted for all of you who have paid for tickets and travel and hotels.

And I think that you all deserve, at the very least, a proper apology.

[ edited by debw on 2006-11-29 21:26 ]
I know, I was just joking, even though technically they are seperate companies, it is with gall that they now claim one has no connection to the other. If both are legally owned by the same party even if on paper only there is a connection. This is the issue I had with the claim that they were mutally exclusive when upon glancing observation anyone would know that is not the case.
As long as the finances of BE Charitable were kept entirely seperate from Booster Entertainment, LLC then there's nothing to question. If money was being transfered between the two and Booster goes down the tube, then there is a problem. But that's not something for people to worry about as Booster haven't gone down the tube.

Positive vibes to Vicky, who is trying to sort it out.

Sean Harry of Starfury fame posted on the help forum thing to say Booster are working on it and he's seeing if he can pull any strings otherwise.
gossi: that is really nice of Sean Harry.
Don't you think this company owes its customers an explaination as to what happened to their money. I think alot of us have figured it out. It went to pay for 2 other conventions that just could not float.
They are trying to get backers and financial help for Flan. They should not need that. The tickets sales alone should cover the costs.
Now they good have people helping them out which I find extremely kind but they are not being honest here.
Where is that money? Someone needs to speak up.
This is not right.
gossi - My point was never about money, people were told not to contact BEC because it was not part of BE but since it is owned by the same person, one would think that it would be a legitment way of contacting BE through it's BEC contact. It would simply be seen as another way to get the promoters to respond.

It's like knocking on the door of a house, if you get no response but you know someone is there you look around and try knocking on another door or window, until you get an answer. The fact that they desided to lock the door is one thing, but they then desided to say people were knocking at the wrong house altogether. Well that is just not right, especially when you know the same people are inside.

Like I said before it's about ownership, like the movie studios have many companies but they ultimately report to one group of people, or in this case 1 person.

[ edited by RavenU on 2006-11-29 20:57 ]
Thank you guys for the link. *g*
RavenU - I agree. At the end of the day, the same person owns (and is legally responsible for) both Booster and BE Charitable. However, when there is clearly a very very large sum of money (Luncheon ticket on ebay: $11k) from a few hundred people under dispute, I think it's perfectly fair to allow the person who is seen as the contact for BEC [who isn't the same person as the Booster owner] to not be involved in that situation. As we've all seen: it's messy.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-11-29 20:55 ]
And I agree with you gossi. I don't think the BEC person should be contacted in regards to general questions regarding the event but I do not believe she should be immuned from contact since she has to report to the owner of the company. I think that she could state that all those queries should be forwarded on to her Booster Boss. I have issue with the handling of the whole BEC and BE situtation given the past of both entities is rather tightly intertwined. This could have been easily resolved and dealt with by just posting a statement on BEC front page saying that all questions regarding the Flanvention were being handle by BE and that BEC would make no futher comment at this time. However, they chose to do the rash thing by taking down the site and then declaring the companies to be seperate and in no way connected, it made no logical sence and only added fuel to an out of control fire.
Yeah, the whole thing has pretty much been a PR disaster from start to finish.
Damn, I feel so bad for you guys. But I must also say I admire the So and Nor Cal Browncoats for their efforts with the Backup Bash. I've been going to cons on and off for some time now and I've never heard of any thing like this. They are truly BDH's.

I'm also hoping once December 1st comes BE will give full disclosure as to why this happened even if the con comes off. I mean some of you guys are making transatlantic flights knowing you may well be attending an impromptu con. You are owed! But you already know that.

But I'm also predicting if it does come down to Backup Bash--you guys are going to have a metric buttload of fun.

Anyway, I hope this weekend goes as well as possible for all involved.
I am just going to take deep calming breaths on all your behalfs. This just sounds like a big mess that will be open to speculation until they announce something on Friday. It might behoove them to make some sort of statement before then because the range of theories is pretty wide. I hope they sort it out for all the attendees sakes.
Well i think with the folks at booster bash, although an apology would have been quite approrpriate and necessary to sooth the tempers a bit, an explanation, well I dont fault them for not posting an explanation yet, since they are busy right now to secure financing of flan 2. I think they would be(and should be) focusing all their efforts on making sure flan 2 goes ahead, rather then trying to spend time explaning how they got into the mess.

However, once Dec 1 comes around and they have to cancel...well I hope they are prepared to do some answering.
well I dont fault them for not posting an explanation yet, since they are busy right now

I'm less concerned with a full explanation right now than I am with the approach of, for example, apologizing for their website troubles, but not expressing any apologies whatsoever for suddenly thrusting the 500 ticket-holders of this sold-out event into an unexpected and very-last-minute tailspin of complete uncertainty and shock. That's one of the nails in BE's coffin, no matter what happens with Flan's ultimate disposition.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2006-11-29 23:14 ]
Sean Harry is a mensch. And not too hard on the eyes, either.;-)
gossi - My point was never about money, people were told not to contact BEC because it was not part of BE but since it is owned by the same person, one would think that it would be a legitment way of contacting BE through it's BEC contact. It would simply be seen as another way to get the promoters to respond.

It's like knocking on the door of a house, if you get no response but you know someone is there you look around and try knocking on another door or window, until you get an answer. The fact that they desided to lock the door is one thing, but they then desided to say people were knocking at the wrong house altogether. Well that is just not right, especially when you know the same people are inside.

Like I said before it's about ownership, like the movie studios have many companies but they ultimately report to one group of people, or in this case 1 person.


I disagree. What you're describing sounds like you think it would be okay complaining to Fox about a decision by FX to cancel a show - technically they're owned by the same company (Newscorp) but the operate as separate entities. I would fully expect FOX to ask that people please direct their comments to FX. Likewise, I think its perfectly reasonable for BEC to ask you direct all you comments to BE.

From what I recall, the contact info on BEC went to those in charge of the day to day operations of BEC, who are not the same people as the promoters. Why email them, with the expectation that they spend hours of their time forwarding the messages to the BE promoters, when you can just email the BE promoters directly?
Just posted by someone on the BE forums:

What about allowing us to finance the shortfall? I'm sure as long as we are not talking hundreds of thousands of dollars here, most of the 500 of us would be willing to pay a little more to keep our Flan.


*boggle*
I totally understand, onetruebix, about them not being 1% apologetic, its just well I just hope they get this resolved, but agreed, I dont expect them to be doing much business in the future.

And lol about the BE comment, but again since people do want to make sure their money doesnt go to waste(since it seems it will be if it is cancelled since refunds are highly unlikely), and people badly want to see the Verse actors, I understand the sentiment. Although I would think that the amount of money required, is probably not 1000 bucks, but something more....
I dunno, I think/hope there will be room for refunds. We (meaning we fans) just don't know how many.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-11-30 00:59 ]
Are you in contact with the BE folks, gossi? Or are you just speculating?
killinj > It was never an expectation, it was a simple point of example. If you want to contact the owner of a company you go about it any way that is availible. Unlike FOX and it's many levels and divisions, this wasn't like complaining to FOX about FX programming as it was trying to get Rupert's attention in general. The promoter of BE has 2 courses of contact BE and BEC. Anyway my original point was that it was unnecessary for the BE promoter to remove the BEC site completely instead of just posting a statement. By removing the site because you assume there would be harassment of those not involved only ended up involving those people anyhow because it set another fire of an already volitile situtation, that needed to be put out.

Either way you look at it BEC is and will be impacted by this outcome, because of association. It was up to whoever was in charge to come up with a way to approach it and make a statement, they did not do that instead they took the site down and then posted the 2 companys were not connected.

No matter how you percieve it, the actions of the BE promoter may have tarnished the reputation of the Charity by the course of action they took today, that explictily removed the site from circulation.

Said promoters were not responding to the outcry from customers in a timely manner, that is why people started seeking other avenues of contact.
RavenU, didn't you used to work for BE? And because this is a contentious subject, I am ONLY asking for my own edification and not to be inflammatory in any way, shape or form. :-)
Tam: should have labeled that. Pure speculation. I'm presuming they don't have $0 in the bank.
I can't say enough "YAY"s and "PROPS" for lexigeek + SoCal Browncoats. I was never planning to go to Flan2 myself, but I am so happy you are making life so much nicer for so many Browncoats. How hard do y'all *ROCK*?!! :-)
Ozlady > I was a supporter (vocal and adiment - when I have faith in people I am like that) at one time and I volunteered to do some photography for some of their past events, I also tried to offer them some advice on occassion. However do to a situtation earlier this year, I had to rethink my belief in things. I came to the conclusion that I could no longer offer my support or help to their organization or any of their events, based on my principles and feelings. I no longer have faith, honestly.

I did work with BE Charitable last year creating the "Conversations with the Verse" campaign for Hurricane Katrina.

[ edited by RavenU on 2006-11-30 00:58 ]
RavenU, that is really a shame. I am sorry that you were put in that position. :-)
So am I, Ozlady, so am I.
The promoter of BE has 2 courses of contact BE and BEC.


Unless you can contact to the promoter directly there's no reason to believe that an email forwarded from someone at BEC to the BE promoter would get any faster response than one sent directly to the promoter.

I agree that taking the BEC site down was not a good approach, I wasn't addressing that issue. I don't agree that people should use people at the BEC site to contact BE. I was part of the original group that ran Angel's Food Drive (I haven't worked with BEC) and I can tell you it would be hard to get my work done for the charity if I were bombarded with emails that were intended for someone else within the organization.

Besides, you can email directly without having to access either site. I haven't seen one person Whedonesque ask for their email address. That info was fairly well known among those who participated regularly on their boards and its info that could easily be passed around on browncoat boards.

Based on the responses from BE posted here, they're unable to answer individual emails at this time so contacting BEC isn't going to do you any good anyway.
Take my cash, take my Flan,
Make me sleep out in my van.
I don't care, I'll still play;
Hitch-hike to Burbank all the way!
- by Cedric (of the Bedlam Bards)

I want to really thank lexigeek and everyone who is working so hard to ensure that Browncoats do not end up bereft and defeated, wandering alone out on the edge (ie in Burbank).
I wasn't planning to attend because of the cost. I've been to lots of comic shows but even the most expensive comic show (in Chicago) is only about twenty dollars to get in the door.

Am I crazy to want to come to Cali now? I mean just being in the same room with all the Browncoats strikes me as being 95% of the fun of a show like this anyway. I am looking into flights....without having the added expense of $500+ to get in the door, the Backup Bash might be within my budget.

Further, (I know it would be an absolute logistical nightmare to try to disburse the money but...) I'd be happy to donate something Verse related (i.e. a stack of comics or a dvd set) for the specific purpose of having a Browncoats auction to raise money to help defray Flan ticket holders' loss. (Can't let the signal stop on our watch!)

Like the rest of you, seeing this unfold is tourture.
Y'know I was having a similar thought. I'd almost be willing to fly down for this backup bash, even though I wasn't attending the Flan.

Maybe the So/NoCal Browncoats should plan the future cons :)
I LOVE CEDRIC!

The first smile that I have had in many, many hours.

Because, frankly, this waiting is just brutal. A yes; a no... just some answer from those who must not be named would be helpful. We've seen no apologies for anything other than a traffic jam in cyberspace. No explanations. No battle plan to fix the many fiscal errors.

I'm one of those sad folks who spent two arms and the proverbial leg to have lunch with our BDH. I feel so cheated. I feel so taken.

But in the midst of that...

I would like to thank all you amazing California-type Browncoats for Flan B. I look forward to meeting some of you and seeing what this community is really all about. What a group we are!

I'm proud to be a Browncoat, because this coming together in the face of adversity is what we are all about... what we've always been about.

[ edited by kimiesan on 2006-11-30 02:48 ]

[ edited by kimiesan on 2006-11-30 02:49 ]
I'm proud to be a Browncoat, because this coming together in the face of adversity is what we are all about... what we've always been about.

And the crime. Don't forget the crime.
... without having the added expense of $500+ to get in the door, the Backup Bash might be within my budget.


I'd almost be willing to fly down for this backup bash, even though I wasn't attending the Flan.


We were actually just discussing this amongst the organizers. The priority for this event (assuming Flanvention is, in fact, cancelled) will be those people who had purchased tickets from Booster. Flan is sold out, so if all 500 people who had tickets to Flan show up at the Backup Bash, we will be at capacity. (Obviously, only so many people can fit in the facility.) However, it seems likely to me that not every person who has a ticket to Flan plans to come to the Backup Bash.

So, the bottom line is that while others are welcome to come, we can't guarantee that we'll be able to accommodate everyone (or anyone, for that matter), given the space we have to work with. We are going to set up a Web form as soon as we can to let people indicate whether or not they are ticket holders, and whether or not they plan to come. This will give us a better idea of what kind of numbers we're going to be looking at, and whether we can accomodate anyone who didn't already buy a ticket.
And the crime. Don't forget the crime.

But of course... because "any one you walk away from, right?"
Lexigeek - oh absolutely, Flan ticket holders should take priority. I actually can't logistically make it down anyway, but I just found this whole thing suddenly more appealing than the Flan :)
I agree, Zeppo Even though I am local I had no desire to attend Flan, but Flan B has me almost wishing that I could go.
I was thinking along those lines. Flan B is more compelling to me than Flan A was. I must say, all this has made for a compelling drama. I feel like even helping out, but I'm, well, like 800 miles away. Granted, many others are traveling longer distances, but, they're likely not going to ramble like I am right now.
Tamara, me too..me too.

ps..it is me Danielle =)
SillyD, as Summer once said to me, "I know who you are, silly."
I must say, all this has made for a compelling drama.


A compelling drama? No, it's not that. It's a travesty, for everyone involved.
SillyD, as Summer once said to me, "I know who you are, silly."

Name dropper.
"Name dropper"

Unashamedly so. :) I never get tired of that story or the time...

Nevermind.
menomegirl ah, but, travesties are still compelling. Whether or not we're a ticket holder or a member of BE, we're all checking this thread. And, it's certainly not a comedy.
k8cre8 That's the truth. I don't view this as a comedy and I know nobody else does, either. Sorry I lashed out at you but I don't see this as entertainment.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2006-11-30 06:09 ]
You could say it's a comedy of errors, but the punchline most probably isn't going to be very good. I think this is, in fact, a movie starring both The Rock and Adam Sandler.
Posted from Denise:

"Today was a positive day on many levels. We are working with The Hilton, the actors and lenders and we feel we are making some good progress. We know everyone is in a state of high anxiety. So are we, simply because we have always put on kick ass conventions and want to continue doing just that.

Thank you to everyone who has offered help, well wishes and prayers. Your positive energy and faith are so deeply appreciated, it's hard to adequately express our gratitude."

kimisan beat me to it.

[ edited by RavenU on 2006-11-30 04:47 ]
D'oh, beaten to the punch on the latest update from Denuse.

Still no apology or humility, tho.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2006-11-30 04:48 ]
Still no apology or humility.

That really bothers me.
Speculation: If they say sorry, they admit they've done something wrong.

Nobody should have to be speaking to lenders for a sold out convention. Of course, they have to in this case.

I wish them the best of luck.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-11-30 04:55 ]
I am TOTALLY speculating here, but isn't it possible that if the BE gals had chosen to cancel their two previous undersold cons that a) guests would have pulled out from Flan and b) people would have been so up in arms and/or trying to dump their Flan tickets that it would have actually caused more chaos than is occuring now? If they (mis? hard to say) used the money from Flan to finance those cons, knowing they had other financing in place which then subsequently and unexpectedly fell through, is it possible that they were just unlucky and overly optimistic? It's certainly not good business, but if they were certain the financing were going to go through (hell, I had a refinance deal on my house fall through and I have MAD good credit!) and they wanted to make as much of the fandom happy as possible... you can see how a good intention went south. The fact is that BE hasn't ONCE been dishonest or canceled guests at the last second or done anything to make anyone believe that this isn't just some horrible confluence of events that is probably worse for them than it is for you/us. Keep in mind that one way or another they WILL be responsible for refunds and deposits and probably partial payments to the stars (and lord knows what else) AND they have probably lost all hope of any future conventions by having this situation play out as it has to date even IF Flan 2 is the best convention in the history of conventions EVER.

I don't work for or with BE, I won't be going to any conventions any time soon (see above re. refinancing and add two bar/bat mitzvahs next year! :-) and I have no stake (sorry, bad Whedon pun) in any of this. But having helped organize large fan events in the past and having found out after the fact that some of our funding may have come from...suspicious sources, all I can say is that sometimes- even with the best of intentions- things don't go as planned and it is sometimes without any malice, misintent or even malpractice on the part of the organizers.

I am NOT saying people don't have a perfect right and reason to be upset, but I'd be a bad person if I didn't present an alternate view, one which might allow for walking away at most disappointed and sad with money refunded rather than angry and resentful and litigious.
isn't it possible that if the BE gals had chosen to cancel their two previous undersold cons that a) guests would have pulled out from Flan and b) people would have been so up in arms and/or trying to dump their Flan tickets that it would have actually caused more chaos than is occuring now?

It seems unlikely to me. The previous two cons sold less than a hundred tickets between them if I've read the reports right. Clearly those people would be upset, in much the same way that the people who had nanocon tickets were upset but why would it cause actors to pull out of flan which was pretty well sold out by then? BE could point to poor sales to explain the other cancellations and point to the good sales for Flan as a reason for people not to panic. Truthfully, I'm struggling to think of a situation that could lead to more panic than we've seen with the news this week.
I'm sorry OzLady, I don't buy it. If I (I am a ticket holder for Flan2 and I have been paid in full for months) heard that Booster Events canceled a convention that had only sold 50-100 tickets, then I would think it only makes sense. What doesn't make any kind of sense is to take so much money from the big successful convention in order to finance the small unsuccessful one. BE had never had a reputation for being dishonest or disorganized, and I don't think fiscal prudence would have gotten them such a reputation.

I am hoping that tonight's 'up-date' means they have figured out some way to salvage this situation. I hope I'm not getting my hopes up for nothing.
isn't it possible that if the BE gals had chosen to cancel their two previous undersold cons that a) guests would have pulled out from Flan and b) people would have been so up in arms and/or trying to dump their Flan tickets that it would have actually caused more chaos than is occuring now?


I don't buy this. I attended the first of the two undersold cons, and was planning on attending the second until they started cancelling guests. Those two cons made me aware that there was something very wrong at BE, and made me hesitant to put out money for Neptune Noir this early, but I never thought it would effect Flan 2. After all, Flan was sold out, and appeared to be the one sure fire profitable con for them.
The fact is that BE hasn't ONCE been dishonest or canceled guests at the last second

They have cancelled guests at the last minute. It is fair to them to defend their good points, but unfair to ticket holders to actually twist the truth to their benefit. I'm sure they feel awful right now but they can always go bankrupt and not lose a penny - not, unfortunately, a position their customers are in.
menomegirl - You're right, it's not entertainment. Thanks for your patience. I wasn't offended. I wasn't meaning it that way. Mostly, I guess, my point was that I, like many others, care about the outcome. I care about the people on both sides. I've been there. I've run large events, and I've attended large events. I know what it's like on both sides. I wish that this had all gone off without a hitch. I wish no one had to disappoint fellow fans with a last-minute announcement that things aren't going well, and I wish no one had to have been painfully disappointed. Hopefully, it'll stop here, and the event will proceed as planned. If not, I'll be sad for those involved, and with all the disappointment and pain, but, I'll also be proud that some good will be salvaged from the wreckage.

gossi - comedy of errors? Quite possibly, yes. Maybe if they did get that movie with The Rock and Adam Sandler, Universal would green light Serenity 2 with the tax breaks from such a huge flop.

If it ends up as a Flan B, well, I can imagine those that go will have a terrific war story, and the attendees will all bond over the event that was, the things that might've been, and from now on they will all eat their apples with their knives. Story value. Not as good as it might've been, perhaps, but, they'll have a look about them. Other Browncoats will look at their haunted eyes, and know. Thay'll nod and say, yeah man. I was at Flan B....

OzLady, have I told you lately, that you rock? No? Well, it's totally true.
Seeing as their reputation seems pretty seriously damaged by what has already happened, I don't see why anyone would be willing to lend them money at this point. Since the Flan money has apparently already been spent, they are going to have to use money from future events to pay off this loan, making all future events even shakier than they are already perceived to be. I know I would not be willing to pre-pay them for anything.
Ozlady, much as I appreciate your attempt to take a reasoned overview of this matter the facts just don't stack up . BE *have* cancelled guests at very short notice and haven't yet refunded fans for the last cancelled convention.

With the ticket monies that fans have aleady paid up front the costs for this event should have been more than comfortably covered . They evidently aren't .

BE is a limited company ( although since they've seemingly let their registation lapse I'm not sure of the standing of this) therefore their liability is also limited .

I just hope that something can be sorted and that the next thing we see isn't the all too familiar tale of fans waiting in vain for refunds.

And even if refunds are provided it does nothing to alleviate the financial loss caused by lost flights and hotel bookings .

I'm delighted that the fandom are trying to salvage something and have a good time anyway but the fact remains that they shouldn't have to.

I'm glad that BE are feeling more positive about getting smething sorted but the fact remains that a convention company is a business and a business that can't cover it's overheads on a fully sold out event is a business that has made serious miscalculations and errors, lost the all important * good will and customer confidence* factors and is thus not a business which would seem to represent a good risk to financial institutions.


I'm sorry that I seem unsympathetic to BE, I'm sure this is a terrible time for them. But in this case my sympathies lie squarely with their customers .

I'd also be more inclined to feel sympathy if there was an apology , a dialogue between customers and company ( answering e mails is a simple courtesy) and much more information.


For example if ticket holders took the advice they were given to cancel flights and then on Friday BE announce that the convention is going ahead I would expect all customers who could no longer attend to recieve a full refund .
Hmm. I was unaware that guests had been canceled at the last second! Since it takes FOREVER to load the site right now and I have a day of substitute teaching in grades 7 and 8 looming large, can someone catch me up, please?

k8cr8, and YOU my dear, still have the rockin'est handle on the 'net! :-D Nice to cross paths again over here!
Having worked with Vicky and Denise back in the days of AFD, I imagine they're both quite humbled by this experience and I do detect a sense of that in the posts about their difficulties and the efforts to correct them. My heart goes out to them.

However, my greatest sympathies are for the fans. I don't want to see fans have to go through another disappointment. We've all been through alot. For everyone's sake I hope the convention will go ahead.

I am comforted by how fans have banded together. That old expression "what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger" definately applies to this group.
What is confusing me about them working with lenders is,not only is why do they need lenders for a sold out convention? but how do they plan on paying those lenders back? I know that should not really be a concern right now. But I start to think they are going to have more conventions and raise their prices even more and I already think their prices are WAY WAY WAY high, for what you get. That is just my opinion.

I really hope this works out for all of you. It just breaks my heart that this has happened to such a great bunch. The Browncoats are the coolest bunch of people out there. I am proud to be one.

Tamara: I love that!! And it works for me being silly!!
BACKUP BASH UPDATE:

The update from Denise at Booster yesterday did sound positive, and as we've said from the beginning, the best situation for everyone would be to have Flan go off as planned. That said, we are still making preparations for the backup bash, until we hear officially that Flan is back on.

We have set up a web form at www.sfbrowncoats.com/backupbash to gather specific information about numbers of attendees, and to allow people to sign up for updates by e-mail.

If you bought a ticket to Flanvention, please take a moment to let us know whether or not you will be attending the Backup Bash, should Flanvention be cancelled. We are hoping to get input from all of the ticket holders, so we can keep everyone in the loop as events unfold. There is an option on the form to sign up on the mailing list to be updated with information as it becomes available.

If you didn't buy a ticket to Flanvention, but want to join us at the Backup Bash, let us know, too. Flanvention ticket-holders will have priority, of course, but for every ticket holder who decides to stay home, there's a seat open for someone to have an unexpectedly exciting weekend!

If you would like to donate toward the funding of the Backup Bash, we have a special PayPal account set up for the event, and added a "make a donation" link on the web form. We'll add it to www.californiabrowncoats.com as soon as possible as well. Should Flanvention not be cancelled and the Backup Bash not happen, all donations will be refunded.

While we're keeping our fingers crossed for Flan, we're still working on making this the best backup bash ever, so stay tuned!

[ edited by lexigeek on 2006-11-30 18:00 ]

[ edited by lexigeek on 2006-11-30 18:22 ]
I dont think it needs to be said again, but dammit I feel like doing it, lexigeek,all the norcal and socal browncoats, and anyone else helping out with the bash, are all BDH's in my books.
Lexigeek, you guys rock hard. Could you alert folks here once you have the PayPal link up? I never had any possibility of attending Flan, but by heaven I want to help save something for the people who invested so much, emotionally and financially, in this, even if I can only help a tiny bit. It is so heartwarming to see how Browncoats rally round.

I'm another who sees this as a drama, not in a cheap, cheesy sense, but as something I care about and keep checking back on to see how things are developing.
Yes, please do provide a link as I'd like to contribute. I'm not even going and I've had tears in my eyes for the past two days about the paces devoted fans have been put through. You're a great group of folks, you are.
Could you alert folks here once you have the PayPal link up?


Thanks Gill. The PayPal donation button is now available on www.californiabrowncoats.org. Again, all donations will be returned if Flan goes ahead as scheduled.
I've already gotten one e-mail blaming me for this (kidding, of course). It was shortly after I pulled out of going to Flan 2 that this was announced.

My reasons for not going were purely financial. BE wasn't paying my way, as I'm not a big enough guest, and my money situation sucks right now, so I couldn't afford the plane fare for self and Terri.

Suddenly, I'm glad I hadn't committed to this. I already got burned by another Whedon-related show -- this a Buffy convention in Burbank -- that was cancelled at the last minute after I'd bought a nonrefundable plane ticket. *sigh*

FWIW, I had a great time at Flan 1, and if it does go off, I'm sure it will be a blast for everyone.
Denise from Booster has posted this with regards to loan offers;

Hi guys- we do have solid offers on the line, but we're not ignoring anyone. Trust me, if there's an offer of help, we're going to pursue it. However, we are literally on the phone, the computer, faxing, cell phoning, filling out forms- well, you get the picture. I have a backlog of calls, emails, etc. to answer. I appreciate you posting this information here- thanks and I'll update you as information becomes available to me.
No krad it really is all your fault.

jk

But on another note does this thread hold the record for the most post yet? I mean I know it beat the fanboy radio one but is there any threads this year or ever that is as big.
I think there's one which got to about 500 posts RavenU, but that was some time ago.
It's certainly one of the biggest non-Joss posts I've ever seen.
Yeah, without a Joss post this is the longest I believe. Let's face it, Joss could post about his left toenail and it'd get 100 replies.
However, this thread is extremely interesting. I've been checking it way more often than I ought to be for news on the situation, even though I'm not going and never was.

I usually don't care to read 100 posts about how 'Yes, my toenail is the same way! OMG, we're like the same person now! It's so cool!' ;)

*coughs* Not that a site dedicated to the man's works shouldn't have that happening.
But I really want to discuss his right toenail, dude. That's the one that's supposed to be in charge of casting Wonder Woman, from what I heard on MTV today. ;-)

And, while I'm here -- continuing props to lexigeek and crew for setting up the Paypal alternative. So many people who are not going to Flan2 still wanted to be involved in helping our fellow Browncoats, and that's a great way to do it! :-)
Don't know these people, don't much care to. But I can read what they have posted - their own words - and what they have posted reflects not concern for their customers, not responsibility for the situation, but pleas for sympathy, deflection of responsibility, and disdain for those customers attempting to find information. That is what makes their transgressions unforgivable - whether Flan II goes on or not. That they keep playing as though they are the victims here, as though "financial difficulties" have fallen upon them like a natural disaster, is just symptomatic of the arrogance and incompetence that have created the situation in the first place.
"Yeah, without a Joss post this is the longest I believe. Let's face it, Joss could post about his left toenail and it'd get 100 replies."
I'm so proud, although I don't deserve all the credit for this long and surprisingly entertaining thread, I couldn't have done it without the help of ... er ....
Do you think we could talk Joss into posting about his left toenail? Cause I really would have been happy if the plan of this convention had gone smoothly.

I also want to say again how grateful I am to Lexigeek and all the others who have worked their collective tails off to insure that with or without Booster Events we will have a great time in LA next weekend!
If they do get the last minutes funds they need, the next question that needs to be asked is how ackward will next weekend be for all in attendance?
Yeah, without a Joss post this is the longest I believe. Let's face it, Joss could post about his left toenail and it'd get 100 replies.


Well Flangate certainly has had a lot of discussion but I think there have been a couple of longer non-Joss threads. And this thread has been helped by the fact that it's been a very slow news week otherwise so it's remained on the front page longer than most news items.
True, RavenU, but I'd rather have an awkward Flan than no Flan.
I believe that will depend on many things, Raven.
I'll be too busy sighing with relief to feel ackward. Plus, there's that whole, "I'm working Flan" thing, so I'll need to get over it, pronto.

If Flan does go on, I'll be so happy I won't be able to feel anything other then, well, happiness.
For those of us who have been, um, vocal, I expect a fair amount of ackwardness.
Not to mention lessons on typing and spelling, bix (TOTALLY teasing you; I am the Queen of Typos :-)!

I am betting that if things go off more or less as originally planned it won't be as awkward as you might think. Once friends see friends and new attendees start enjoying themselves, I will bet dollars to donuts that a good time is had by all, even those having to work. :-)
And that goes for those who have not been vocal as well, bix - I think there will be quite a bit of ackwardness going around if this is a go. I believe that it will ulitmate taint an already tarnished event.

There might be some OzLady, but I don't think that all the good feelings in the world will take the edge off the event felt by some. I also expect the guest will go above and beyond to eliviate the ackwardness but to some extent it will have a week to fester in some, I hope the BE people know how to handle it.

[ edited by RavenU on 2006-12-01 00:05 ]
I don't think anyone other then BE needs to feel akward. I've yet to see anything unreasonable posted here or on thier site by anyone. Anger has been expressed, as well as calling BE to the carpet, but given the situation, that's understandable. And some of their former cheerleader/friends have been just as critical, so there will be akwardness for them.
theonetruebix, I think we have nothing to be embarrased about, in my opinion only the Booster Events organizers would have any reason to feel awkward. If the event DOES go through then I will rejoice with my friends, and go out of my way to express my gratitude to Lexigeek and Cedric and everyone else who stood by us. I have been extremely vocal in a situation which called for loudly and clearly making my opinions known. As Willow said once: "a vague disclaimer is nobodies friend."
Not to mention lessons on typing and spelling, bix (TOTALLY teasing you; I am the Queen of Typos

I didn't typo. I was using the same "ackward" usage already used above. :P
LOL! Fair enouhg! :-D

*face palm* I meant to do that! I was being ironic! Yeah!!!

[ edited by OzLady on 2006-12-01 01:56 ]
Heh, I just realized that my poor spelling-challenged self just trusted you all to have spelt "akward" right. Shows me. :D
Well. I hit the button twice. Guess I shouldn't have grinned at y'all. :)

[ edited by menomegirl on 2006-12-01 02:52 ]
My reasons for not going were purely financial. BE wasn't paying my way, as I'm not a big enough guest...
krad | November 30, 21:15 CET

Says who? I was really disappointed when I heard you weren't coming. You were one of the people I was most looking forward to meeting, and I'll be on the lookout for future opportunities.
OzLady said:
Hmm. I was unaware that guests had been canceled at the last second! Since it takes FOREVER to load the site right now and I have a day of substitute teaching in grades 7 and 8 looming large, can someone catch me up, please?



While this topic had the headline about NanoCon being cancelled, if you clicked on it, it also gave the info that the BEScared that was being held the VERY NEXT DAY had just cancelled over 2/3 of their guests:

NanoCon cancelled. Due to low ticket sales, Booster Events have sadly been forced to cancel their Gina Torres con, due to take place over the weekend of December 2nd.

They also had to cancel the appearances of John Kassir, Julie Benz, Juliet Landau, Andy Hallett and Dennis Christopher at BE Scared, their event taking place this weekend.

They have, however, announced Michael Fairman (Niska) will attend Flanvention II (Burbank Hilton, Dec 8-10), and Larry Bagby (Larry in Buffy) will attend Booster Bash II (Louisville, KY, June 8-10 2007).


And I've never been impressed with BE's supposed skill at running a convention. The thing is... other than the registration table and semi-regulating the autograph and photo lines, I saw very little evidence of the organizers or staff doing any actual work. They seemed to just leave it to the hotel staff and the guests themselves to do most of the actual programming operations, and when help was needed, like when James Leary needed a VCR, nobody in charge was anywhere around to help, or knew whose responsibility that was. So, an hour later, still no VCR, and he had to just describe what was on the tapes he wanted to show, even though there was a Fry's Electronics across the street. That's just one of the examples. Mostly the con just seemed to be running despite the lack of anyone in charge being anywhere around.

[ edited by deanna b on 2006-12-02 03:09 ]

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