Aethertopia 2019 Cancelled Days Before It Was Set to Open

Tampa based steampunk event Aethertopia was scheduled to open its doors in just a couple of days for their 2019 event. Described as an immersive maker focused experience, volunteers and staff were already hard at work this week making sure everything would be ready at Florida State Fairgrounds for this weekend.


Unfortunately for those looking forward to the event, their will be no Steampunk makers in the Hall of Entertainment June 29th and 30th this year.

Earlier today, the event organizers officially announced the cancellation of Aethertopia 2019. Organizers explained the cancellation was due to a massive drop in ticket sales, and that the event couldn’t financially go forward. While their official policy states that they do not give refunds, organizers have stated that they are putting this policy aside due to the (almost literal) last minute cancellation, and that refunds will be coming for attendees down the line.

Honestly, I’ve written a lot of these stories over the last couple of years. Heck, I literally wrote one yesterday. So many convention organizers seem to wait until the last minute to call off events it’s downright baffling. The good news at least, as we’ve seen in these recent cases, is a trend is starting of cons trying to be transparent about why this has happened. It’s a small consolation to the vendors who might have been relying on the events for their livelihood, but as long as the promised refunds go out it’s better than nothing.

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.”

3 thoughts on “Aethertopia 2019 Cancelled Days Before It Was Set to Open

  • October 27, 2019 at 1:31 pm
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    Usually, “no refund” policies mean attendees don’t get their money back if the attendee choices to not attend the event for which they have paid. In this case, the entire event was cancelled by the organizer. The “no refund” policy does not apply when the organizer cancels.

    Reply
  • October 27, 2019 at 1:31 pm
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    Thank you for covering this cancellation, it affected a lot of makers and vendors who paid for the event. So far refunds have not been forthcoming – just a promise to try for refunds in maybe a few weeks or months, and the organizer has stated that he doesn’t think he’s obligated to pay refunds anyway. Now he’s announced that the event wasn’t cancelled, just postponed. The event was definitely cancelled. This could be a mechanism to dodge responsibility for cancelling the event and use the money for his next try on a different event. It’s disappointing.

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  • October 27, 2019 at 1:31 pm
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    I think way too many organizers are banking on late registrations and when they don’t happen… PANIC!

    Reply

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