Ryan Kopf’s AnimeCon.org Sends Weird, Overreaching Statement To Banned Attendee

Ryan Kopf and his company Chrono LC (which operates under the name “AnimeCon.org” and manages Anime Zap, QC Anime-zing!, Anime-SPARK!, AniMinneapolis, Meta Con, Con Alt Delete, and Anime Midwest) don’t exactly have the most sterling reputation. I won’t spend a lot of time rehashing stories that have made their way around the con scene, but you can just Google Mr. Kopf’s name yourself if you want to look into it more.

So if you were a part of the AnimeCon.org staff, knowing your organization’s past PR problems, you’d probably go out of your way to avoid creating any bad publicity or anything openly laughable.

Well unfortunately AnimeCon.org’s staff isn’t as smart as my hypothetical “you.”

You see, a guy named Daniel got banned from AnimeCon.org events — and I’m not here to debate that. I don’t know the guy, and maybe it was justified and maybe it wasn’t. The circumstances in which this gentleman got removed are not really at issue. No, what’s at issue is the message an AnimeCon.org staffer sent Daniel informing him that he was banned.

Because it is bizarre, overreaching, and wholly unenforceable.

AnimeCon.org Banned MessageDaniel posted a screenshot of this interaction to his Facebook page, and I first heard about it when a friend forwarded it to me.

In the message, AnimeCon.org staffer “Erica Bleed” sent the following message to Daniel:

This is a friendly notice that you are banned from AnimeCon.org events.

Reason: Admitting to attending conventions without a badge.

~
People who attend conventions without badges are always the worst offenders of harassment, drugs, and underage drinking. We do not tolerate ghosting of any events.
~

Important: You will be *arrested* for being on hotel property during any AnimeCon.org events. This includes a private hotel room or any other space. We do press charges. We have police officers on duty at our events that will be available to arrest you at your convenience.

AnimeCon.org’s conventions are among the safest, best organized, and most harassment free events attendees could visit. We take issues like this very seriously. We take pride in being open to communication and working with the community. This message has been recorded and may be used in court as evidence.

Your Rights To Appeal
It is our discretion to choose who we allow at our events and in our hotels, and our hotels fully cooperate with our efforts to create a fun environment. We listen to any appeals and requests for information you send us, and we will always give them due consideration. You may contact us for more information at animinneapolis.com/contact

Now, I’ve been attending cons for over twenty years, staffing them for almost as long, and organizing my own events for over a decade. While I am the only one of my siblings who isn’t a lawyer, I have interacted with quite a few hotels and know the ins and outs of the types of contracts conventions have with them.

This has literally been my world for quite some time.

With that in mind, there are a lot of things that jump out at me about this statement. Frankly, there are so many, that I’m just going to hit the highlights.

First off, I will say that it is well within AnimeCon.org’s rights to ban anyone they want to. As long as it’s in their attendee policies, they can say “Bob Smith Can’t Come” even if it’s just because they don’t like people named “Bob Smith.” That said, there are lots of stuff they can’t do which they stipulate in this statement.

AnimeCon.org cannot (under their current operating model) ban you from entering public areas of the hotel, nor can they ban you from private hotel rooms they are not directly paying for. If you have directly reserved a room with the hotel, you have a personal contract with the hotel regardless of whether or not it is part of a room block reserved by AnimeCon.org. AnimeCon.org has no power in that agreement, meaning you can be present in your own room, the room of someone who is allowing you to be their guest, and any publicly accessible spaces required to get to said room.

While the hotel can ask you to leave, they likely won’t because they have no vested interest in doing so.

So, if AnimeCon.org attempted to have you arrested for entering the hotel without direct consent of hotel staff they would be likely breaking the law themselves. I also find it kind of amazing that the various hotels they’ve worked with are all willing to fall in line to a T. AnimeCon.org doesn’t run huge events, so they are hardly in a position where they can arbitrarily order hotels around. I’ve rarely found consistency in the hospitality industry when it comes to how they acquiesce to demands, and while maybe one or two might fold to an annual convention, considering the number of venues they contract with, I find it incredibly unlikely that all of them would.

This isn’t the first time people have talked about AnimeCon.org and Ryan Kopf making overreaching statements about their power to remove people from the facilities they rent though. There have been other reports relayed from witnesses, but this is the first time we’ve heard it come directly from an AnimeCon.org staffer in writing.

Now, let’s just look at that Staffer really quickly. First off, I do want to say, that to the best of my abilities I have confirmed that “Erica Bleed” is a representative of AnimeCon.org.

I know that might sound silly, but you can understand why I might be skeptical.

Ms. Bleed interacts regularly with known AnimeCon.org staffers on Facebook like Erica C. Wise (who many have theorized this is the same person as, but I’m doubtful of), and pretty much posts about AnimeCon.org stuff publicly.

Erica Bleed

In truth, I really had no reason to doubt the veracity of the account, until I stumbled across another Facebook user named “Erica Woodbridge.” Now could Erica Woodbridge from New York just be an old account for an Erica “Bleed” who lives in the Midwest? Yep. Absolutely.

But it’s still a bit weird.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 11.13.39 AMScreen Shot 2014-07-31 at 11.13.52 AM

Now I could go make jokes about how AnimeCon.org events are supposedly “the safest, best organized, and most harassment free events attendees could visit,” or criticize the bizarre logistical leaps they try to make in equating badge thieves with those who harass, do drugs, and enable underage drinking (all of which I’ve had to deal with over the years — and without fail the worst offenders have usually been people who paid for badges).

But then we’d be here all day, and I figure that’s what the comment section here and on Facebook is for.

What’s important though is that AnimeCon.org has gone on record issuing unenforceable threats in an attempt to intimidate a now former attendee. And that?

That’s just not the smart move ever.

  • Joseph Opsahl

    In July 2011 I brought up to Ryan Kopf the idea of a general geek convention called Meta-Con. This was a convention that I had been planning for a couple of years, and was asking him for ideas in regards to pricing, contracts and getting guests. (this was all via email and I still have the emails saved)

    Two months later he had registered the name and started writing up hotel contracts and advertisements.

    As he had the experience and made it seem like he was helping me I didn’t put a lot of thought into it and assumed that he was doing me a favor by helping start something that I had wanted for many years.

    After the registration and contracts were created Kyle Mattson, Brandon Stigsell and myself completely planned the convention, as well as AniMinneapolis 2012.

    At the time Ryan had us convinced that his conventions were not-for profit.

    We later found out this was not the case, however we continued to help to support the community.

    During another one of his midwest conventions a girl came to Operations and stated that she had been raped, the police were called and a report was filed.

    After hearing news of this we decided to drop off from helping with all future conventions that he was associated with, at the time we were trying to get a non-profit off the ground and did not want to be associated with an alleged rapist.

    After we resigned the police report was posted online, this was not posted by us nor did we endorse it, none the less Ryan threatened us with legal repercussions.

    And it has not ended. Him and his staff have made it their goal to “ban” anyone we are associated with from his conventions, threatening them, illegally detaining them and spreading lies about them.

    These are the reasons I am against supporting anything that deals with Ryan Kopf. He is a liar, a scam artist and an all around horrible person.

    I have been mostly quiet about all of this, due to the threats that he made, but enough is enough. A week does not pass where I do see not a post about him harassing one of my friends.

    • Terence Clark

      While it doesn’t excuse the behavior, a brief search of his name in the national sex offender registry comes up with nothing. That’s not necessarily a total clearance in that the case may be pending, he may have been charged with a lesser offence that doesn’t require registration, the charges may have been dropped, or the database may simply be incomplete. But so far as I can tell he is not, in fact, a convicted offender. Erring on the side of caution is advisable, to be sure. But given it’s freely accessible public records info it does at least merit a check.

      • We should all be clear — while a police report was filed against Mr. Kopf last year, charges were not pressed.

        At this time, Ryan Kopf has not been convicted of sexual assault in any jurisdiction.

        • Terence Clark

          Thank you for the clarification. That was what I suspected, but didn’t have a definitive answer on it. I felt there were enough people making the claim that it was at least worth questioning the merit of the claim, especially given how serious such a charge is.

          • Joseph Opsahl

            Correct, he is currently an alleged sex offender as no charges have been pressed.

            But the overwhelming response from the community and multiple people coming out with similar experiences to what is in the police report meant that being associated with him would impact the reputation of our non-profit. At the time we were running many events.

          • Terence Clark

            That’s reasonable.

  • Joseph Opsahl

    Also Erica Bleed could very well be Ryan himself. He used to go as “Molly Blue” for press releases and convention related emails.

    • Honestly? I don’t really care if Erica Bleed is real or a sock puppet. It’s wholly unimportant, as all I care about is that the account in that name is an official representative of AnimeCon.org.

  • Safety Staff

    Hey, I’m on staff at some AnimeCon.org events – don’t know how to prove that. I’ve seen them kick people out of the hotel before, with the hotel’s security staff’s assistance. I don’t think they did it on their own, there was an old guy in a suit (who I’m pretty sure worked for the hotel) there. I take issue with your statement “While the hotel can ask you to leave, they likely won’t because they have no vested interest in doing so.”

    I think future business with that convention is quite the vested interest. One person’s $100 hotel room versus an entire convention’s $100,000 account.

    • Conventions are in a weird position money wise for hotels. While they guarantee long term, annual business, they are far less profitable than weddings and other events. Also, most hotels are aware that they were chosen because they happened to be available that weekend. In the power dynamic between convention organizers and hotel staff, the hotel staff has the power and they know it.

      And of course hotels will kick out GENUINELY disruptive elements. And if the person isn’t staying in the hotel AND they get kicked out of the con, the hotel has no problem assisting with that either.

      But if a person has done nothing to be disruptive to the hotel, it’s highly unlikely that the hotel wants to bother with the hassle of evicting someone who literally isn’t causing problems for the hotel itself.

    • Kellic

      is this in Bloomington Minnesota? At the Doubletree? I think I may know the guy you’re talking about his name is Gaylord. Of course he no longer works there.

  • Joe Heilman

    Yeah, it seems like this is going too far. You’re absolutely right–you can’t legally force someone out of a convention. Especially if they have a room at the hotel.

    I made a comment about Mr. Kopf “being a dick for scheduling his cons too close to other cons.” He sent me a Facebook message that completely avoided the topic. It felt more like an upsell to his cons.

    Yeah…excellent customer service. And this is coming from someone that has been in a customer service position for 5+ years.

  • Tigress

    While a convention can keep a banned attendee from entering the convention areas of the hotel, they can’t make him leave the premises unless he’s done something to violate hotel policies, like threaten or attack people or cause property damage.

  • reviewer007

    Drama about anime cons…. what a surprise.
    To both sides:
    Try it…
    Go to court…
    See what happens….

  • Sheng Xiong

    I haven’t been following the story of Ryan Kopf closely, but people catch news of things fast & it spreads.

    I made the mistake of briefly making one of my status updates a Public post, stating that I don’t attend the listed conventions, for reasons that there’s too much discrepancy with the owner being an “alleged” rapist.
    My friends posted their opinions/distaste for the cons & immediately, news traveled fast. My friends were being messaged/”harassed” by Ryan Kopf himself & staffers that my friends’ opinions were wrong & they were intimidating & combative towards my friends.

    Also, a handful of my Public Profile Pictures on Facebook were reported Nudity during all this happening, which obviously were not Nudity in any way. This was musing, as it’s petty behavior & proving that this discrepancy is very real, something is not right here. Why would someone go to such great lengths to prove their innocence OR make a cover up in such an abrasive, cult-ish, condescending manner?

    Thus, I’ll continue to support a “discrepancy” that leans little towards the “seemingly” obvious.

  • reviewer007

    The more I read in the responses, the more it seems that this is not about this Kopf character and more about capitalizing on the comicon event.
    Taking advantage of a horrible event to go after someone else is hardly the way to win converts.

    • What the hell are you talking about? No one has brought up the events at SDCC in the comments nor is it referenced in this article.

      • reviewer007

        The timing says it all.

        • AshesOfDreams

          I got this message on Tuesday is what the timing says. You have anything to say that isn’t just incitement fodder.
          You’re trying to negate the validity of an issue by claiming it’s piggybacking on another event. Pretty sure that’s what they call the straw man argument.

          • Actually, it’s more the illusory correlation fallacy than a strawman.

          • AshesOfDreams

            I stand corrected.

          • You were correct enough in pointing out “reviewer007” is off his rocker.

            Because based on his logic, *any convention news* that happens this week must be related to the SDCC Cosplayer story.

    • AshesOfDreams

      This has nothing at all to do with the events at SDCC. This is an isolated Midwestern event. Just because it involves Convention related issues does not make it the same.

  • Guest

    Going on this topic, they are just very happy to pull the trigger on banning anyone
    even remotely talking smack about the con and even ban people from working
    other cons. A convention work in northwestern Indiana (Ramencon) is reportedly
    an instant ban for staffing and in some cases, even attending a Kopf-con.
    Apparently he does it against most Anime Central related staffers too.

    Personally, I made his ban list because I take a legit police report (as stated
    in a previous comment made by someone else here) seriously rather than just his
    word. Why? I never trusted it one bit after various encounters with him and
    when I staffed several of his cons. On top of that, IT WAS A LEGIT POLICE
    REPORT (which was verified by a friend who works in law enforcement). He also
    likes to curveball a lot of other cons as well and will tend to attempt free advertisement
    at various cons by walking around with fliers and other sort of AnimeCon.com
    merch without having a table in the artist alley/dealers hall, which most cons
    will frown upon.

    I was brought onto Anime-Zing in Davenport in 2012 to assist in heading the
    security/public safety, whatever you prefer to call it. He instantly lost
    respect because when a buddy of mine and I went to talk to him, he didn’t
    recall who we were “because we weren’t important enough for him to care to
    remember our names,” and we were people in charge of handling one of his
    departments.

    At Anime-Zap in 2013, he sneaked his way into a CLOSED room because of a
    medical emergency, which according to my friend who is an EMT, when a closed
    medical is called, only those related to the situation can enter the room
    (someone can correct me on this if I got it mixed up), and him sneaking in was
    against HIPAA laws, which the said person did not realize and could have
    pressed charges against him if so deemed proper enough.

    I worked for roughly three of his conventions, attended another but was
    promoting another convention at a booth. During the three that I worked, the
    convention would provide a meal or two a day. However, I (along with numerous
    others) was never notified of food ever arriving for staff. How would I know
    that food was there? I would randomly walk into the con-ops room and there
    would be pasta or pizza there, but it was about 90% gone. So I had to either go
    buy my own food or eat out of the con “sweet” which as most people
    know, consists of free ramen, rice and soda. However, with the shape that room
    stayed most of the time, which at times was pretty ungodly gross, sticky, and
    messy… I elected to eat out.

    More respect (what was left of it at least) for Kopf was lost when a friend of
    mine offered to do badge art, program book art and other projects for him. Kopf
    was interested in the offer because he had seen her art and thought it was done
    well. However, Kopf was unwilling to give her any sort of compensation for the
    work she would do. She wasn’t looking for any sort of money, but maybe a badge
    for taking time out to get the artwork done for him and that was it.

    I learned about a month ago that I was not banned, but because of some choice
    comments I made about Kopf on social media (which I have absolutely no regrets
    about), I was banned. I did enjoy him starting out his message with “Hey
    buddy” and that I would “act nicely and friendly toward him in
    person, but then talk shit about him behind his back” Again, after his
    choice words at Anime-Zing that I didn’t matter to him as a volunteer who was
    looking to help advance and better his cons, all respect was lost. He only
    seems to respect those super close to him (and probably pays them generously to
    be his lackeys) and everyone else can basically go to hell.

    Also, I have heard through the grapevine that he is now planning
    on heading up cons in Atlanta, Nashville and Norfolk. Wonder if the Midwest is
    just getting too much for him?

  • T.K.

    Going on this topic, they are just very happy to pull the trigger on banning anyone
    even remotely talking smack about the con and even ban people from working
    other cons. A convention I work in northwestern Indiana (Ramencon) is reportedly
    an instant ban for staffing and in some cases, even attending a Kopf-con.
    Apparently he does it against most Anime Central related staffers too.

    Personally, I made his ban list because I take a legit police report (as stated
    in a previous comment made by someone else here) seriously rather than just his
    word. Why? I never trusted it one bit after various encounters with him and
    when I staffed several of his cons. On top of that, IT WAS A LEGIT POLICE
    REPORT (which was verified by a friend who works in law enforcement). He also
    likes to curveball a lot of other cons as well and will tend to attempt free advertisement
    at various cons by walking around with fliers and other sort of AnimeCon.com
    merch without having a table in the artist alley/dealers hall, which most cons
    will frown upon.

    I was brought onto Anime-Zing in Davenport in 2012 to assist in heading the
    security/public safety, whatever you prefer to call it. He instantly lost
    respect because when a buddy of mine and I went to talk to him, he didn’t
    recall who we were “because we weren’t important enough for him to care to
    remember our names,” and we were people in charge of handling one of his
    departments.

    At Anime-Zap in 2013, he sneaked his way into a CLOSED room because of a
    medical emergency, which according to my friend who is an EMT, when a closed
    medical is called, only those related to the situation can enter the room
    (someone can correct me on this if I got it mixed up), and him sneaking in was
    against HIPAA laws, which the said person did not realize and could have
    pressed charges against him if so deemed proper enough.

    I worked for roughly three of his conventions, attended another but was
    promoting another convention at a booth. During the three that I worked, the
    convention would provide a meal or two a day. However, I (along with numerous
    others) was never notified of food ever arriving for staff. How would I know
    that food was there? I would randomly walk into the con-ops room and there
    would be pasta or pizza there, but it was about 90% gone. So I had to either go
    buy my own food or eat out of the con “sweet” which as most people
    know, consists of free ramen, rice and soda. However, with the shape that room
    stayed most of the time, which at times was pretty ungodly gross, sticky, and
    messy… I elected to eat out.

    More respect (what was left of it at least) for Kopf was lost when a friend of
    mine offered to do badge art, program book art and other projects for him. Kopf
    was interested in the offer because he had seen her art and thought it was done
    well. However, Kopf was unwilling to give her any sort of compensation for the
    work she would do. She wasn’t looking for any sort of money, but maybe a badge
    for taking time out to get the artwork done for him and that was it.

    I learned about a month ago that I was not banned, but because of some choice
    comments I made about Kopf on social media (which I have absolutely no regrets
    about), I was banned. I did enjoy him starting out his message with “Hey
    buddy” and that I would “act nicely and friendly toward him in
    person, but then talk shit about him behind his back” Again, after his
    choice words at Anime-Zing that I didn’t matter to him as a volunteer who was
    looking to help advance and better his cons, all respect was lost. He only
    seems to respect those super close to him (and probably pays them generously to
    be his lackeys) and everyone else can basically go to hell.

    Also, I have heard through the grapevine that he is now planning
    on heading up cons in Atlanta, Nashville and Norfolk. Wonder if the Midwest is
    just getting too much for him?

    • Molly

      Your comments are based on a lot of things that are just not true. AnimeCon.org will be providing free attendee badges to any AnimeCon.org event in 2015 to any RamenCon or Anime Central staff members who request one upon verification of their staff status, excluding those people who are banned (there are only 5 or 6 of them). Interested people can email molly at animemidwest.com

      “he sneaked his way into a CLOSED room because of a medical emergency, which according to my friend who is an EMT, when a closed medical is called, only those related to the situation can enter the room”

      The CEO, who is responsible for the safety of the entire attendee body, shouldn’t be allowed to assess a medical emergency? Puh-leaze. Also HIPAA only applies to Health Care Providers and their affiliates.

      ~~Replying to
      A convention I work in northwestern Indiana (Ramencon) is reportedly an instant ban for staffing and in some cases, even attending a Kopf-con. Apparently he does it against most Anime Central related staffers too.

      • Wait, Molly@animemidwest.com? As in “Molly Blue?”

        The same account that at least one former staffer already said was a fake person earlier in these comments?

        Wow… Dude… Not even remotely clever.

      • Sheng Xiong

        “You’re comments are based on a lot of things that are just not true.”

        These are not “comments”, these are their first-hand experiences of interactions with Ryan Kopf that I assume T.K. is sharing in their post.

        There is nothing “not true” about how awful someone feels after being disrespected & betrayed to their face.

        What should be said is an apology & offering up a way to make it up to T.K. by giving them a badge to said cons & letting them have a part in running the said department. This is customer service, I worked in it for 4 years. This is what an honestly concerned con representative would do if one of their attendees/associates were being mistreated by their own reps.

        They would not tell them that they’re wrong & they should feel bad, like how my friends were treated in my previous post. Unfortunately, as T.K. states, the bond is tarnished. Thus, complete departure with any involvement with said cons.

        Ah, but, I guess, policy & professionalism it’s subject to change, depending on who the “offender”/person is.

      • Terence Clark

        “The CEO, who is responsible for the safety of the entire attendee body, shouldn’t be allowed to assess a medical emergency?”

        No, they ARE allowed to ask later or ask medical personnel on scene not directly involved in the patient’s care. An inquiry which the medical staff are within their rights and responsibilities on behalf of the patient to deny. Once medical personnel are on site you are responsible for and allowed access to precisely squat in terms of medical care. Your title, in terms of HIPAA, may as well be diswasher.

        “Also HIPAA only applies to Health Care Providers and their affiliates.”

        Yes, so someone attempting to access the healthcare details of an individual in a situation in which the space has been closed off is, at best, subjecting the healthcare personnel present at the time to possible lawsuits. So at best you’ve avoided legal repercussions yourself, but exposed everyone present to it. Good work.

        • AshesOfDreams

          Yes, I work in the medical industry too, and I was thinking a similar thing. You may not have to worry about HIPAA, but you would be putting the medical personnel there at risk of being fired and potentially worse.

    • Homsikpanda

      if you’re unimportant enough for him to remember you/your name, how is he going to remember your face/name when it comes to banning you on sight? I mean…don’t you generally need to have some type of reminder of who is banned so you’re not just banning people willy-nilly like?

  • Tiffany

    We have police officers on duty at our events that will be available to arrest you at your convenience.
    ~
    So… was it not obvious that this was clearly meant to be a funny? Because that was funny as hell.

  • AshesOfDreams

    Yo, this is Daniel from the article. Just to clarify, this message was sent to me in response to posting on my friend Sheng’s, who has posted below here, status. This is the “offending” post.

    • David Capito

      This seems really tame. This isn’t an admission of attending the conference at all, and I imagine plenty of people will be at the Hyatt visiting friends.

  • Kellic

    Ehhh. Yes and no. I’ve worked con hotels for 4 different cons. What they are saying is a half truth. the hotel is not going to have you arrested. The convention can’t have you arrested. Depending on the convention’s relationship with the hotel, they can have you kicked out of the hotel depending on the circumstances and quite honestly the contract. as an example if you have a run of house contract with the hotel, filling up the majority of the hotel rooms and function space. The hotel may be much more lenient about kickinging out a ghoster. And the thing is even if you are in the common areas, and not function space the common area is owned and operated by the hotel. They can tell you to get out. If you don’t then they might consider the police.
    And since you are not allowed in the function space either that only leaves a hotel room. If you are invited into a hotel room by one of the members there’s really nothing the hotel or the convention can do. Well actually there is. Its a magic spell us SMoFers have in our magic bag of tricks. =D
    In any case this is overacting douchebag behavior. And unprofessional quite frankly. It’s part of the reason I stopped going to any of their conventions. It wasn’t any one specific thing. Just the convention stopped being fun, when the staff stop having fun. and I’ll be honest it has been lately obvious the folks who volunteer at some of these cons aren’t having any type of fun. Running convention is hard work. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun doing it. These folks don’t.

  • Paul Langland

    The more I read these comments and what people say. I feel disgusted by the man who is in charge of these cons. It also amuses me and sickens me to see all these little antics. I hope karma serves justice to these staffers behind these actions.

  • Dragonessa

    Hey there!

    Another story about Kopf already? I swear I see stuff about him pop up on Tumblr every once in a while these days ever since the whole rape rumor/allegation crap that came up last year.

    I didn’t know anything about the rape stuff until the day before the day I was supposed to leave for Anime Midwest last year and I couldn’t back out because I had six people sharing a hotel room with me that weekend that probably would have killed me had I backed out so last minute.

    However, I remember meeting Ryan way back at Youmacon 2012 (that is a con he goes to a lot, just throwing that out there for those who attend that particular con) and he actually was pretty nice to me. We cracked jokes at each other (primarily Hellsing Abridged, since he was cosplaying as Alucard – though why in the world he uses crappy orange tinted goggles rather than oh I don’t know GLASSES like the character actually wears is beyond me. The only time he physically made me uncomfortable was when I cracked another joke (a line from the OVA series in which Integra states she has “100% virgin blood”) and he pretended to bite my neck like a vampire. I promptly told him to back the hell off and he did so peacefully.

    I saw him again at Anime Midwest when I attended last year and that con was certainly not up to the level a supposed third-year con should be. Ryan himself seemed to be doing his job but there were hardly any other staff members, it took over three hours of waiting in line on Saturday to get to the “ConSweet” and on the last day of the con I had a full on anxiety/panic attack that required paramedics to come and make sure I was ok. Con staff did hardly anything for me other than give me the littlest glass of water imaginable. I don’t remember Ryan being there then, but I remember the Con-Ops room looking like a damn tornado went through it, food boxes everywhere and junk all over the place.

    I was also friends with Ryan on Facebook for a little while after Youmacon 2012 and then promptly unfriended him after the rape allegations came up. I also sent him a very polite note explaining my reasons as to why I no longer wanted to be friends and that there was a picture of me and him that I wanted him to delete (a pic of me and him standing next to each other in cosplay on the last day of Youmacon 2012) because I didn’t feel comfortable having pictures of me with a now alleged rapist floating around. Instead of politely acknowledging my request in return – he blocked me and I think the picture is still there, though of course I can’t tell anymore because I can’t find his actual FB account thanks to being blocked.

    Other than that, I have no longer had any experiences with Kopf and no longer want to attend any of his conventions. I did have a fun time at Anime Midwest last year though because Steam Powered Giraffe was amazing. As for my stance on the rape stuff; I believe in “innocent until proven guilty” though I strongly believe in being very cautious around him.

  • alec

    Funnily enough, my friends were forcibly checked out from their hotel at Con-Alt-Del last night, which is illegal. After having property stolen from them out of their hotel room by con staff, which is also illegal. After having been harassed for being friends/roommates with a staff member who left her volunteer shift an hour early (either because she was tired, misunderstood the shift times, anything… but not inherently an unforgivable offense). I got flack for visiting their hotel room and hanging out in the lobby without a badge, neither of which are illegal nor enforceable “offenses,” but I left anyway when they demanded me to. They actually didn’t think to ask what my name was so they could formally “ban” me from their shady events as I was escorted out.

    Whats funny is that accusation that badgeless “ghosters” are heavy drinkers, drug users, and general ruffians when I didn’t drink/smoke/etc the whole night. People without badges aren’t going to want to draw attention to themselves and get kicked out, duh. The “worst” thing I did (aside from the apparent carnal sin of not buying an overpriced single-day badge) was go to a hotel room where there was free food and people were being a bit loud at 9-10pm.

    They’re still pulling this shit a year later. What a fucking joke. Why the fuck did the hotel even let them do what they did? How many other people got roped into pointless drama during the weekend and scammed out of money? Sure validates my decision not to waste $40 on a saturday pass for a shitty con I got “kicked out of.”

  • Bernhard Warg

    I just noticed the message to Daniel says the police officers “will be available to arrest you at your convenience.” I’m sure it’s a typo, but now I’m imagining “Hey, officers? could you come back to arrest me in a few hours? It’s not convenient for me right now.”