Tumblr Convention "Disaster" Unfolds at Illinois' DashCon

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Tumblr Convention "Disaster" Unfolds at Illinois' DashCon

dashcon

Mismanagement, cancellations, confusion and accusations of fraud fly at gathering of Tumblr users

DashCon, a startup fandom convention that aimed to be "the largest gathering of Tumblr users to date" took place over the weekend at a hotel in Schaumburg, Illinois... and has been widely described as "a complete disaster" with social media having been flooded since Friday night (July 11th) with reports of organizational ineptitude, poor planning, chaotic crowd behavior and shady, possibly fraudulent, financial doings.

Late Friday night, blogs and videos from attendees began hitting the web describing the dissolution of committees, disorganized (or nonexistant) panels, nearly-empty event rooms and alleging that minors were being admitted to sexually-explicit 18+ events. In addition, the convention's most prominent celebrity guests, the Welcome to Night Vale podcast, canceled their appearance after discovering that DashCon's organizers were unable to pay them as had been agreed. The convention staff offered to compensate those who had reserved seats for Night Vale with entry into a raffle and "an extra hour with the ball pit." (Ball pit pictured above.)

At one point, panicked attendees were informed that the hotel hosting the event was demanding an additional $17,000 (owing to a supposed misunderstanding over whether DashCon would be required to pay before or after the weekend) or the con would be immediately shut down. An "emergency" fundraising drive was organized largely via PayPal (meaning that the money would not actually have been immediately available), the funds from which were for a time (and may still be) unaccounted for - as the hotel staff apparently denied having asked for it. (Blogs listing various other purchases and/or causes that $17k could've gone to instead appeared immediately.)

Meanwhile, as the fundraiser debacle was unfolding, there were reports (and scattered video record) of confused/upset attendees having turned their ire on the hotel and its staff... by "protest-singing" songs from Les Miserables, flashing "Homestuck gang-signs" and throwing up the Mockingjay Salute from The Hunger Games.

The hotel has not issued any sort of public statement. DashCon's organizers have begun issuing statements, though the situation appears to still be unfolding.

Sources: i09 Observation Deck, The Geekiary, ONTD

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Whut? All understood is that a bunch of random people showed up and made a mess of a hotel.

Typical Tumblr, a place where nothing is done and all you see is people whining.

A WHOLE HOUR IN THE BALL PIT?! That's like way better than a whole year in Disneyland!

Sounds about right for a Tumblr convention.

So all in all a great success

The ball pit is hilarious! :D Imagine spending 60+ dollars on your ticket, expecting to see the Welcome to Night Vale crew and being offered an extra hour in the ball pit after WtNV canceled their performance. Totally worth it? Money well spent!

EDIT: I just want to point out that this wasn't an official Tumblr convention. The site is in no way affiliated with this event.

EDIT2: This also wasn't a "SJW con". It was a con for different fandoms, like Sherlock, Dr. Who, Teen Wolf, Vampire Diaries, MLP etc.

Yeah, this seems about what I would expect from a gathering of people who would attend a convention for Tumblr. Of course I highly suspect that they are currently trying to figure out a way to blame the entire thing on straight white men as a whole.

The best comment comes from 4chan with: "DashCon did more damage to Tumblr than our raid" ... And I certainly have to agree.

Hdawger:
A WHOLE HOUR IN THE BALL PIT?! That's like way better than a whole year in Disneyland!

I hear your convention was a disaster. No worries, we got a coupon for a free hour in the ball pit. :D

The ball pit is the best part about all of this.

Hey Escapist, can we have a ball pit for expo?

I know it's going to be done to hell in this thread, but I don't care, it needs to be said:

This seems pretty much appropriate for a Tumblr convention. Tumblr is really the only (popular) social media site that I have genuine problems with. The site is crawling with disingenuous hypocrites, each engaged in a constant uphill battle to prove they're more "unique", more "socially aware", and more "quirky" than every other Tumblr user.

Can't be a complete disaster if they managed to pay the ball pit for an appearance.

The only upside to all this was that it was in Schaumburg IL and there's a Medieval Times there. Worse to worse they could have went and ate some really small chickens with their hands and got shit faced watching dudes on horseback do this and that. Maybe buy a replica sword on your way out and call it a night.

Uhura:
The ball pit is hilarious! :D Imagine spending 60+ dollars on your ticket, expecting to see the Welcome to Night Vale crew and being offered an extra hour in the ball pit after WtNV canceled their performance. Totally worth it? Money well spent!

You know, if it turned out that this whole thing was an elaborate prank ogranised by someone from /b/ or wherelse, I wouldn't even blink. I mean for fuck's sake, a ball pit!?

I wonder what a MTG draft there would be like....

OMG Trigger warning guys. Do not read if you are offended by terminal stupidity...

Besides the mandatory "sounds exactly like a Tumblr convention". I kinda ask myself who had this brilliant idea? I mean I'm not into any of this but it sounds to me as stupid as a "We use FB, we might as well have a Con"

Ninjamedic:
You know, if it turned out that this whole thing was an elaborate prank ogranised by someone from /b/ or wherelse, I wouldn't even blink. I mean for fuck's sake, a ball pit!?

Yeah, I know what you mean. The whole thing sounds absurd. It makes a bit more sense if you consider that a lot of the people involved organizing the event were apparently teens and the two co-owners of the DashCon LLP were a 32-year-old novelist (or "novelist") and a 20-year-old uni student. It doesn't sound like that either of them had any IRL experience in organizing an event like this. In that sense I'm not that surprised that the event turned out to be such a trainwreck.

Super Not Cosmo:
The only upside to all this was that it was in Schaumburg IL and there's a Medieval Times there. Worse to worse they could have went and ate some really small chickens with their hands and got shit faced watching dudes on horseback do this and that. Maybe buy a replica sword on your way out and call it a night.

Wished I'd have known about that, I ain't that far from IL right now, and that actually sounds like an experience...

Redlin5:
The ball pit is the best part about all of this.

Hey Escapist, can we have a ball pit for expo?

Someone needs to come up with ball pit con. No guests, no panels, just room after room of ball pits.

Ashley Blalock:

Redlin5:
The ball pit is the best part about all of this.

Hey Escapist, can we have a ball pit for expo?

Someone needs to come up with ball pit con. No guests, no panels, just room after room of ball pits.

And then follow it with a bleach and decontamination convention.

Hold on, sexually explicit events at a convention?

That just peaked my interest

I've been following this wonderful trainwreck on tumblr...

I swear, by the inglorious wonders of 4chan, then the /b/ raids on tumblr leading up to this haven't done a fraction of the damage that this event has done to tumblr.

I found this post, which highlights SO MANY of the hilariously horrible things that happened there - as well as how it was mis-managed leading up to it (It is supposedly written by one of the poor souls who had been part of the founding and organization of the event, but managed to get out before the con started)

http://augustinesycamore.tumblr.com/post/91592502875/here-goes-i-decided-to-write-up-my-personal
- apparently there was absolutely no actual management of the event. People could just form comitees ad-hoc with no central oversight, and no-one holding anyone responsible for anything.
- one committee member (some 13yr drama queen) supposedly threatened suicide after being deposed as a committee chair

To quote the poor soul:

"This is a convention being run by teenagers with no amount of good experience running anything. From the beginning it was shitty, disorganized, messy, communication was HORRIFIC, etc. literally no one except for the mods (Roxanne in particular) knew what was going on, and she would often make changes with no warning. I'm not surprised it turned out like it did, the mods when I interacted with them were VERY unprofessional and irresponsible, and more than once I was bothered by the fact that they were handling so much money."

Conversely, this was the con schedule: http://axelkatten.tumblr.com/post/91597186818/fierzzz-lets-stop-beating-around-the-bush-with

It must be purged with holy prometheum.

Oh, and someone pissed in the ballbit when it was empty (before the balls were added?) and posted pics online of it later.

Not even 4chan could come up with madness on this level (...their real world events tend to be eerily well organized, Chanology anyone?)

This is pure internet gold. Who thought this was a good idea?

Super Not Cosmo:
Yeah, this seems about what I would expect from a gathering of people who would attend a convention for Tumblr. Of course I highly suspect that they are currently trying to figure out a way to blame the entire thing on straight white men as a whole.

I've gotta ask, I get that "blame the entire thing on straight white men as a whole." is from something and it must have some meaning, but I'm lost as to what it is.
I've seen several statements like that from other people and it's really jarring.

Is there anyone outside of the typical Tumblr community who did not see this coming? Because we can all see how it is online, and see it play out in reality... It's way too funny actually, way too funny. In a sort of sad way, so many people screwed out of cash.

Just what I'd expect from a website like Tumblr. Bunch of morons, naive teenagers and man/woman-children trying to organize something themselves? Good luck with that.

Pretty hilarious. Somebody urinated in the ball pit supposedly

DugMachine:
Somebody urinated in the ball pit supposedly

If that was the worst thing that happened in the ball pit they should probably count themselves fortunate. I worked at a Discovery Zone in high school and there wasn't a month that went by that we didn't pull actual human shit in some form or another out of our ball pit. Ball pits are filthy FILTHY places best avoided at all cost.

We had two sets of balls and a couple times a month we would take out the old set, put them in these giant fish net bags and drive down to the local do it yourself car wash where we'd hang the bags up and spray them with down until the water coming out was clear. It NEVER started out clear. Usually it was a tan or brown. If you ever have kids you should never let them near a ball pit.

NiPah:

Super Not Cosmo:
Yeah, this seems about what I would expect from a gathering of people who would attend a convention for Tumblr. Of course I highly suspect that they are currently trying to figure out a way to blame the entire thing on straight white men as a whole.

I've gotta ask, I get that "blame the entire thing on straight white men as a whole." is from something and it must have some meaning, but I'm lost as to what it is.
I've seen several statements like that from other people and it's really jarring.

There appears to be a lot of over the top, extreme feminists on tumblr, and there is also a huge backlash against minorities of any type who are pretty much all standing up for themselves and seeking recognition. Between the two, there's an extra huge dose of vitriol going around for anyone who makes the mistake of identifying as an equality activist, feminist, whatever. Pretty much any time you see the term 'Social justice warrior', a term I would never have thought DIDN'T apply to me, you can assume it is from one of those two groups. IMHO, usually the latter using tumblr as a mask to sling crap.

The part about the protest songs, gang signs, and mockingjay signs had me in stitches. I surprised the tumblr people didn't start pulling macro/meme images out on their phones too.

Look, I know that Tumblr is the punching bag of the internet right around now, but can we not indulge in sterotypes?

erttheking:
Look, I know that Tumblr is the punching bag of the internet right around now, but can we not indulge in sterotypes?

I can see where you're getting it, but this ain't so much stereotyping as it is seeing the way the most well-known Tumblr communities ways of dealing with things online actually see work out in real life. Or more accurately, to see it crash and burn so hard. A much needed reality check, in a way.

First of all this is hilarious (though unfortunate for anyone losing money on it) and the internet is having a ball with it--including and especially Tumblr.

But please for the love of god Escapist Community, can we get past this idea that Tumblr as a whole exists as some hivemind of social extremists who lurk in the proverbial shadows to pounce on anything they think will drum up controversy. Because unless you're making an active effort to turn your user experience into those things, Tumblr is cat pictures, food porn, actual porn, and anime gifsets.

Which are incidentally what this con was basically supposed to be.

erttheking:
Look, I know that Tumblr is the punching bag of the internet right around now, but can we not indulge in sterotypes?

You didn't quote anyone so I assume your referring to the original post. If so, what in it was a sterio type?

Cowabungaa:

erttheking:
Look, I know that Tumblr is the punching bag of the internet right around now, but can we not indulge in sterotypes?

I can see where you're getting it, but this ain't so much stereotyping as it is seeing the way the most well-known Tumblr communities ways of dealing with things online actually see work out in real life. Or more accurately, to see it crash and burn so hard. A much needed reality check, in a way.

I'm not following. A reality check on what?

Also I think it's worth mentioning that just an hour ago something on my Friend's Tumblr went up poking fun at this whole thing.

http://kitkatinahat.tumblr.com/post/89739085499/sameatschildren-co8alt-thief

Eric the Orange:

erttheking:
Look, I know that Tumblr is the punching bag of the internet right around now, but can we not indulge in sterotypes?

You didn't quote anyone so I assume your referring to the original post. If so, what in it was a sterio type?

Half of the post in the comments are indulging in sterotypes about Tumblr, I was mainly addressing the comments in general because there were too many to quote.

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