What Exactly Is Happening With Anime Southwest?

There are a lot of open questions surrounding Anime Southwest, the convention being run by Sukoshi Con this April 29th through May 1st in Denver, CO. While from the outside things initially looked hunky dory, in the last few weeks everything seems to have gone sideways for the con.

It started when the convention lost its venue. Out of nowhere the Radisson Hotel Denver Southeast decided it no longer wanted to host the event, and Anime Southwest had to scramble (finally landing at the Ramada Plaza Northglenn).

We’ve had sources tell us (and at least one person claim publicly) that the Raddison told them the venue cancellation was due to nonpayment. Anime Southwest head James Carroll denied this in the official statement put out by Anime Southwest’s staff. He insists that the Raddison actually cancelled the booking because of a bizarre misunderstanding about what exactly takes place at an Anime con rave.

If that’s true, that is about the weirdest thing I have ever heard.

After this shift, a large number of guests cancelled, including Horsedeer Productions, Laura Post, Lisle Wilkerson, Marissa Floro, Martin Billany, Steve “Warky” Nunez, and Warumono. You may be asking yourself why the venue shift within the same metropolitan area triggered this exodus of guests. It’s the sort of thing that’s downright baffling.

This is because it probably had nothing to do with the venue change at all.

One former Anime Southwest staffer told us that multiple people also quit the event around the same time, including at least one member of the guest relations team. While Carroll’s aforementioned statement claims staffers were fired, I was assured that this was not the case.

It was this staff upheaval that supposedly caused the loss of a large percentage of the convention’s guests.

Why exactly these staffers quit I leave to speculation, and I’m not sure if there’s a lesson here. In many ways I’m left with more questions than I began with. But maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, as we’re talking about a convention called “Anime Southwest” held in Denver… a city generally not considered to be in the Southwest.

Ponder that.

Trae Dorn

Trae Dorn has been staffing conventions for over twenty years, and is a co-founder of Wisconsin’s longest running Anime convention No Brand Con. Trae also wrote and drew the now completed webcomic UnCONventional, and produces the podcasts BS-Free Witchcraft, On This Day With Trae, Stormwood & Associates, and The Nerd & Tie Podcast. This leads many to ask when the hell they have time to actually do anything anymore. Trae says they have the time because they “do it all quite poorly.”

6 thoughts on “What Exactly Is Happening With Anime Southwest?

  • April 14, 2016 at 1:20 am

    My concern with this “misunderstanding” is that the Radisson, formerly the Red Lion, previously hosted Wasabi…. and they had a dance. And people in cosplay… not always “PG Rated” cosplay. They hosted wasabi for at least 2 years before it moved north.
    so….. suddenly they’re not okay with an anime dance?

    I’m supposed to be vending there, but I have been considering pulling out.
    According to other artists who have worked with this company in other states, that’d be a terrible idea… One woman (whose name I will leave out, for her privacy) advised that a couple years ago the whole show was cancelled, but none of the vendors received refunds.
    Another stated that she had to jump though hoops at a “First Year” show in another state and while the show wasn’t cancelled, it did VERY poorly… Very low attendance.
    Communication is also VERY poor, which I am experiencing -and- I received word of from former vendors.

    I was also advised that the company has “First Year In ______________” shows every year or so in a different state, which makes them -look- successful, but the shows tend to not do well.

    • April 14, 2016 at 2:22 am

      If you go to the facebook event page, there are emails that explain that the Radisson claims to their knowledge, those cons didn’t have a Rave.

    • April 14, 2016 at 7:11 am

      Hi James – your official statement was fairly comprehensive, so we assumed there wouldn’t be anything else you needed to add.

      Sorry about that if its not the case.

      We can always be contacted at tips@nerdandtie.com

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