TanaCon: How a convention thrown in retaliation ended in mass chaos, cancellation
TanaCon: How a convention thrown in retaliation ended in mass chaos, cancellation

TanaCon had the entire conventional markings of a primary-year conference; a distinct loss of group ebbed and flowed inside the experience, but diehard YouTubers weren ’t too frustrated by way of the amateur vibe — at first.

Via 10 a.m. Friday, whilst TanaCon price tag buyers had been advised through control company Excellent Occasions that reputable registration might start, the parking zone behind the Anaheim Mariott Suites hotel was once already lined with fanatics. there were about a thousand other people there, all talking excitedly approximately YouTubers they deliberate to meet after they got within the hotel foyer. Shane Dawson, actress Bella Thorne and, in fact, Tana Mongeau, the convention ’s host, had been a few of essentially the most well-liked creators scheduled to seem.

The Southern California sun used to be blistering, with no color anyplace in the parking zone. no one from the development organizers or lodge group of workers provided water, however none of that appeared to topic. people who had covered up because 6 a.m. were admittedly feeling slightly worn down by way of status in line, were nonetheless excited there has been an alternate to VidCon, arguably the most important conference for YouTube creators within the international.

“It ’s a greater version of VidCon evidently,” a large Shane Dawson fan and TanaCon attendee who didn ’t want to percentage their identify, instructed Polygon even as waiting in line. “Well, I Will Be Able To ’t say that needless to say as a result of I ’m no longer inside yet, however the concept of it is better for sure. Simply the volume of get admission to we ’re going to get. and price sensible! A community badge price tag for VidCon is $A HUNDRED AND FIFTY. I were given VIP tickets for TanaCon for less than that, and money to spare for merch.”

The fan added that what VidCon “did to Tana used to be simply so flawed,” alluding to the collection of events that led to TanaCon ’s creation in the first position.

The Whole Lot appeared tremendous, but in just a few hours, TanaCon would devolve right into a chaotic madness that left attendees and critics on Twitter calling it the following Fyre Competition or DashCon.

A “fuck you” convention

Tana Mongeau is a popular YouTuber with more than 3.FIVE million subscribers and a powerful following on Instagram. Extra importantly, she ’s an influencer with a big group of highly recognizable influencer friends. Her videos switch again and forth among problematic tales (some of that have been called out as exaggerated or general lies) common vlogs, and collaborations with the ones aforementioned well-known buddies. Mongeau has painted a model of her international that people need to be an element of, singlehandedly making a stage of FOMO (worry of missing out) culture, making everybody need to be a part of her interior circle.

Mongeau published a couple of videos in advance this 12 months that known as out VidCon for now not giving her a “featured creators” badge final year. That badge would have supplied more safety for Mongeau strolling through public spaces close to the conference. Now Not having the badge helped create what Mongeau called a chaotic, bad experience.

“If I were working an adventure that used to be based upon creators meeting their lovers, and all of the premise of your event, where all the project statement of your event is the place creators and lovers can in the end meet, if this writer shows up with hundreds of thousands of fans and hundreds of individuals are there … why wouldn ’t you just print any other dull little fucking badge,” Mongeau stated within the video above.

Former VidCon CEO and YouTuber Hank Green addressed Mongeau ’s video and her frustrations, and asked that Mongeau ask her enthusiasts to not harass a VidCon workforce member, who was on the receiving finish in their backlash.

“the web video community is fortunate to have an enormous collection of talented and standard creators, and VidCon is fortunate to find a way to work with so many of them,” Inexperienced wrote in the feedback element of Mongeau ’s video. “the only unhealthy part about that for VidCon is that, seeing that we will be able to ’t feature everyone, creators who have active, enthusiastic groups who are superb and make implausible stuff now and again finally end up unsupported in public spaces, developing situations which can be dangerous for creators and fanatics alike. We paintings to maintain scenarios like that from escalating.

“We understand that this would appear overboard from the surface, however it ’s the decision we felt used to be right,” Inexperienced said.

Nonetheless, Mongeau was once dissatisfied about the perceived color she was thrown, and her quip approximately running a practice temporarily become a truth. Mongeau and her team started working on creating TanaCon, an event that got here together in a couple of months. the idea that was moderately easy: everyone and nobody could be a featured creator. TanaCon would be a fan-first, creator-targeted revel in — something that she believed VidCon wasn ’t capable of offering.

“i needed to throw a con where people are a featured author,” Tana mentioned at the same time as on stage sooner than a panel at TanaCon, so much to the uproarious make stronger of her fanatics. “i wanted a con for bad bitches. TanaCon can be not anything without bad bitches.”

TanaCon Tana (middle) on-level within the primary ballroom at TanaCon. Julia Alexander/Polygon

That was once the message reiterated within the day via Mongeau, her friends and even people within the crowd. People in point of fact believed that TanaCon wasn ’t simply an alternative to VidCon, but it was once the one conference that actually took fanatics ’ absolute best interests to heart.

“everyone is so supportive of every different here,” Emma, a young fan who controlled to get inside the resort after four hours and didn ’t want to give her last identify, told Polygon. “We don ’t even realize one another, however we ’re bonding over aiding Tana and coming out here. I ’m making extra pals here than I ever have at VidCon, and so far it ’s a very excellent environment. It ’s manner better than VidCon at this time.”

That was around 1 p.m. Thousands of people who bought badges were nonetheless waiting within the parking zone trying to get in, and it still wasn ’t too packed inside. It was once slightly quiet. there was fairly a bit of room for people to sit down and walk round the principle ballroom.

Outdoor was once a distinct story. Reports of individuals getting nauseous or feeling faint from heat exhaustion began making the rounds on Twitter. Other Folks had been getting antsy, but most fans Polygon spoke to in the morning and early afternoon had been prepared to wait it out to show give a boost to for their favourite creators.

“Just knowing that I ’ve watched Tana for therefore lengthy, getting the danger to finally see her and meet her and reinforce her personal convention is vital to me,” Kerry, a tender fan who also didn ’t need to share her ultimate identify, informed Polygon while standing in line. “I ’m simply so pleased with her. TanaCon is fucking better and VidCon fucked up. TanaCon is such a big development for her, and prefer, I ’m so happy with her for taking a stand.”

TanaCon Kerry (left) and Isabelle at TanaCon. Julia Alexander/Polygon

“Tana worked so arduous for VidCon after which they only fucking banned her,” Isabelle, a chum of Kerry, said, reiterating what Mongeau stated in a prior video. “That wasn ’t honest. Why not just say a big ‘fuck you ’ to VidCon? She doesn ’t want them.”

A Few enthusiasts had been indignant on behalf of Tana, and that resulted in a very physical show of support at TanaCon. Other lovers just desired to get a close-up selfie with Dawson or Thorne. as the afternoon progressed, it was apparent to everybody that the whole thing was getting out of control. Thousands upon thousands of unregistered lovers confirmed up within the automobile parking space, and studies unfold on Twitter that they tried to rush the door.

Pre-registered lovers, individuals who waited in the warmth for a couple of hours, began yelling and complaining, not easy refunds for his or her wasted time. Mongeau used Twitter and Instagram to take a look at to quell other people ’s frustrations, however provided few updates as issues were given worse, however it sooner or later all got here to a head when they were advised to close down the event for the day. It became an enormous safety concern, Mongeau tweeted, and those were concerned that if issues were given out of hand, it might lead to someone getting trampled.

THE WHOLE LOT WRONG WITH TANACON: an ongoing thread pic.twitter.com/Dd5LbBUl7R

— LIL WHINGE (@cacasmiddlename) June 22, 2018

“In a gathering right now virtually done ensuring day after today shall be safe and arranged for each person who has a price tag,” Mongeau tweeted early Saturday morning. “Sadly what made nowadays so chaotic used to be 15,000 unticketed other people showing up outdoor.. should you have a price tag i would like to meet you and give you a promised show. Each And Every one that entered their telephone quantity with their price tag will be texted knowledge and i might be updating you once I make certain everything can also be performed thoroughly. Ticketed people. No out of doors mobs.”

Though outside mobs were a part of the issue, people also expressed considerations over the loss of space throughout the lodge for the pre-registered enthusiasts.

“It ’s truly worrying,” Emma said, sitting on the ground within TanaCon ’s major ballroom. “We keep getting switched into different rooms. It ’s so worrying. nobody is aware of what ’s happening.”

TanaCon the primary ballroom at TanaCon filling up around 1:30 p.m. Julia Alexander/Polygon

It felt adore it went from being painstakingly empty, as safety and event organizers attempted to figure out find out how to get everybody in, to overwhelming in a break up 2d. Other Folks stored piling into the area and it used to be transparent there wasn ’t enough space to carry everyone in line, not to mention the heaps of fans who showed up unannounced. It ’s a stark distinction that ’s nearly comical; what started as a useless con within briefly became a riotous affair.

A mad, chaotic dash

Videos of TanaCon at its busiest have emerged given that the event, showing folks operating in groups down packed halls and trying to make sense of what came about. Security guards are noticed in the video under operating via a crowd of teens, trying to figure out easy methods to corral everybody adequately even as breaking up huge groups that were forming.

Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 video.

The scene in the video above happened in the major foyer of the Anaheim Marriott Suites resort, a space that wasn ’t supposed to be overtaken via TanaCon attendees. Fans have been anticipated to remain inside a small ballroom that would possibly hold 1000 people, uncomfortably. across the slim hall was a smaller room that might cling 50 other folks, with chairs coated up into a couple of rows directed at a monitor. Simply at the back of the rooms was a merch table, promoting t-shirts, jackets and sweaters for $150 to $THREE HUNDRED.

People walked round apparently, but upon figuring out that this was once the extent of the conference, began to wander within the lodge. Despite The Fact That there has been security, a lot of the preferred creators attending TanaCon walked freely throughout the lodge space, leading to enthusiasts rushing round trying to grab a selfie with other people. It felt like pressured chaos; there wasn ’t sufficient room or actions to keep folks entertained for hours on end, so fans started exploring somewhere else. there has been one bathroom space in the hotel lobby that enthusiasts were allowed to use, however other people on Twitter complained of lengthy strains and needing extra space.

Unorganized is the most productive word to describe the con; it surely looked like one thing thrown in combination in a pair of months.

“…as a 19 year antique together with her first convention, in months that we did everything pretty much as good as shall we for 5,000 folks,” Mongeau tweeted. “Not 20,000. So now we’re making it safer for any capacity.”

Safety and security is one among the largest issues surrounding conventions like TanaCon and VidCon. Jim Louderback, VidCon ’s new CEO, advised Polygon that following a couple of incidents within the prior — together with a scavenger hunt led through Logan Paul remaining year that ended in absolute chaos and unsafe stipulations — safety is the number one priority. Louderback said it ’s easy for lovers to get over-enthused, and that may lead to some prickly eventualities.

“We ’re also going to be on the lookout for parents who won’t assume they ’ll draw in massive crowds, but when something does occur we will be able to easily get to the purpose the place it ’s like, ‘What will get you a safe house? ’” Louderback said. “If we can, we ’ll arrange these extra based meet-ups. you’ll be able to in fact meet enthusiasts and say hello in some way that ’s dependent, and that isn ’t going to result in a loose-for-all. 150 or TWO HUNDRED folks working over as a result of so-and-so is over within the corner chatting with lovers has the possible to result in large issues. We paintings in reality exhausting to be sure that that doesn ’t occur.”

TanaCon a safety protect looking to transfer people out right through TanaCon. Polygon

TanaCon didn ’t have the same level of safety or organization that VidCon, a convention in its ninth 12 months, has realized to build around the event.

In Spite Of security shifting folks outdoor the building at TanaCon, reportedly following orders from the fire marshal to close the whole lot down, other folks didn ’t depart. They frolicked within the parking lot the place Mongeau and pals, like Thorne, stood with microphones speaking about trying to salvage the location. People stood round hoping to grab a selfie with any author who glided by, revealing the actual center of one thing like TanaCon — probability.

It ’s something that people have complained VidCon doesn ’t do neatly. VidCon cost a hefty price — on most sensible of the $ONE HUNDRED FIFTY community entry charge for non-creators, press or business people, and there are a limited amount of spots. It ’s disappointing for plenty of con attendees, especially folks who traveled from out of state or usa, not to get a meet-and-greet with their favourite YouTubers. TanaCon introduced at the premise that virtually everybody may just meet virtually someone for a far cheaper price, and that ’s a large this is why such a lot of hopeful teenagers showed up in the first place.

“No Longer everybody can find the money for VidCon, and there ’s so much of controversy going on with VidCon,” a young fan named Sally, who didn ’t need to percentage her last title, advised Polygon. “I Will Be Able To ’t come up with the money for that. But I Can have enough money this.”

Now, with TanaCon cancelled, people are in search of refunds and answers as to what occurs subsequent. Twitter is filled with tales from TanaCon goers who paid loads of bucks in airfare, lodge keep and an extra $65 for VIP tickets, only to be left thinking about how they ’re supposed to get their money back. The lack of verbal exchange is startling for plenty of, and it ’s induced creators like Shane Dawson to promise refunds from his own pocket if Mongeau ’s management corporate doesn ’t come via with refund options.

even though TanaCon objectively went dangerous, Mongeau isn ’t giving up on the speculation of internet hosting some other convention. She instructed DramaAlert ’s Keemstar that creators deserve a space to satisfy with fanatics outdoor of participating in VidCon. It ’s something that Mongeau told her fans on Instagram and Twitter, too, apologizing for now not being neatly enough ready. But she promised to continue making an attempt.

“The Whole Lot will probably be made proper regardless of what,” Mongeau tweeted. “Never giving up. Creators deserve a voice. for free. this is concerning the fans and that ’s what it will likely be about.”

Polygon has reached out to Good Times for more information approximately future TanaCons and the present refund state of affairs.

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