Surprising No One, Fan Fest London Cancelled Days Before Event

The Walker Stalker/Fan Fest brand has been having a rough go of it lately. We first talked about their financial issues last spring, and since then they’ve had the Better Business Bureau call them a “scam,” last minute con “postponements,” incidents with guests which got pretty bad, management shakeups, and most recently a disastrous Nashville event where management seemed absent and one of the guests ended up covering costs. It’s not been great.

Needless to say, what we have now isn’t good news either. Earlier today, on the organization’s official Fan Fest page, it was announced that their London event (scheduled for this weekend) will no longer be taking place.

London,

Unfortunately, Fan Fest London at the Excel is cancelled.

As it’s early here in the US, we wanted to get this statement up, confirming the cancellation, and we will post a more thorough statement later today once we know more.

As it’s early here in the US, we wanted to get this statement up, confirming the cancellation, and we will post a more thorough statement later today once we know more.

Inquiries should be directed to info@fanfestevents.com

Fan Fest Events

The repeated sentence appears in the original post.

The organization said that it will release a more detailed statement later today (and we will update this article when it comes out), but I don’t think this is exactly surprising. Last year their UK based company went into liquidation (which should not be confused with their previous UK based company also having gone into liquidation). I think a lot of us were surprised that the convention was even going forward to begin with.

No word yet on refunds (though that may come in the promised statement), but conventions usually end up cancelled this close to their dates because they’re out of money. It’s very hard to refund people when there’s no money left to refund. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but just that I’ve seen enough events go down this road before where I’m not all that optimistic.

Fan Fest still has Fan Fest Chicago on the schedule this April, run by their US based company Walker Stalkers LLC, and I think a lot of us are wondering if that will still happen too. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Update (2/17 9:30am): We should note that the original statement put out by convention has been edited. Originally it included the following:

Unfortunately, overnight, we were informed by the Excel that our event is cancelled and we have learned this morning that we have been removed from its event calendar.

We don’t know why the statement was changed (as it seems to put blame on the convention center), but hopefully the expected longer statement will elaborate on these details.

Update (2/17 8:15pm): We’re still waiting on an extended statement from Fan Fest/Walker Stalkers LLC, but actor Manu Bennett has made his opinions on the organization quite clear.

Update (2/18 8:00am): While we’ve yet to see the promised longer explanation, the original post has been updated with this:

London,

Unfortunately, Fan Fest London at the Excel is cancelled.
…..

Update: If you purchased tickets in the past 3-4 weeks, the refund has been processed and will be returning to your card.

If you purchased tickets since the end of October, we have started the process on those too. If you purchased tickets before the end of October, we will have an update later this afternoon (US time). We also hope to have a greater refund update for all events in the next couple of days.

Inquiries should be directed to info@fanfestevents.com

Fan Fest Events

While the promise of refunds is nice, we’ve seen this from other conventions where they’ve never materialized. While Fan Fest/Walker Stalkers LLC has done refunds before, we know that even in the best of situations that they’ve sometimes taken a good amount of time to fulfill them.

Update (2/20 8:45am): Apparently Fan Fest/Walker Stalkers LLC is just planning to keep updating their one Facebook post, as it now additionally includes the following:

Update: We know that this negatively impacts so many people and we are terribly sorry. We tried up until the very last moment to execute the event and things beyond our control on Friday, and then through the weekend, put the company in a position where it couldn’t move forward.

We are working to provide an update to the remainder of the refunds and are still hoping to have something in the next day or so.

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 writes and draws the webcomics UnCONventional and The Chronicles of Crosarth, which 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.”

2 thoughts on “Surprising No One, Fan Fest London Cancelled Days Before Event

Leave a Reply to Trae Dorn Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *