For those of us invested in the YouTube creator community, "TanaCon" has been at the forefront of the conversation as of late. TanaCon was supposed to be a free version of the popular VidCon convention, put on by YouTuber Tana Mongeau. The 20-year-old creator intended to create this convention as a stab at the VidCon team for not including her as a featured creator at their event, promising free tickets and the chance to meet your favorite YouTube stars in a casual setting rather than a large orchestrated event. It took place right across the street from VidCon on the same weekend (June 22-24).
The first day of TanaCon quickly fell apart as the venue reached a state of exceeding maximum capacity, leaving thousands outside in the heat for up to six hours. Fans documented the failed convention through Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter. After deciphering through the mess, here's what you need to know.
1. Though Tana emphasized that it would be a free convention with a small number of VIP tickets to purchase for a fee, only 200-300 free tickets were sold.
When TanaCon was in the making, Tana promised her YouTube subscribers that this would be a free event compared to VidCon, a paid convention. She wanted her convention to be accessible to her fans and offered 1,000 VIP tickets as a special package. However, it came out that 5,108 VIP tickets were sold and only 200-300 free tickets had been given out.
2. The maximum capacity of the hotel where TanaCon took place was only 1,000 people.
The contract between Good Times, the company pairing with Tana to put on the event, and the hotel stated 1,000 people as the estimated attendance, not 5,000 as both Tana and Good Times claimed. This explains why it was so crowded inside the venue and accounts for the reason why thousands of other people were left standing outside in the sun for hours.
3. Security was far and few in between. Bags were not being checked.
Fans noted the lack of security at the event and were concerned about the fact that there were not extensive security measures taken in the form of metal detectors or bag checks. People entered the venue with unchecked bags, which Tana claims she wasn't aware of but had emphasized the importance of to her team while planning the event. Good Times also claimed that there were 91 security guards on site but documentation revealed there were only 25 security guards.
4. There were supposed to be two lines, one for free ticket holders and another for VIPs. T
Since there were only intended to be a relatively small number of people in attendance (the estimated 1,000) and a smaller number of VIP tickets, fans were told that there would be two lines to make the process easier for those with different tickets. The reality was one long slow-moving line in the blazing heat.
5. There were never 20,000 people in attendance.
Halfway through the event when it was made clear that the venue was over capacity and there were an overwhelming amount of people lined up in the parking lot, the number 20,000 started floating around. Tana claimed in a livestream that day that there were 15,000 people there and kept pushing these larger numbers as the reason that the event failed. The police later put out a statement saying that there were only 4,000 people outside and about 1,000 inside.
6. The TanaCon team promised certain creators would be in attendance but did not check the VidCon schedule to see if there would be any overlap, which there was.
A big selling point of TanaCon was the opportunity to meet popular creators for free or a cheaper price ($65) than VidCon. But before the event even began, fans noticed that there was a conflict; some creators that were participating in events and panels at VidCon were scheduled to be at TanaCon at times that were directly in the middle of the VidCon events taking place.
7. The GoodTimes company in charge of putting on the event with Tana consists of one sole person.
This whole time, Good Times Entertainment was thought to be a well-established company that was able to handle this type of event. It was later revealed that the company consists of just one person - 21-year-old Michael Weist, along with his parents' money.
8. That sole person is responsible for refunding $325,000 in ticket sales.
Due to the fact that the entire convention was canceled on the first day, the team behind TanaCon is now responsible for refunding the fans who paid for tickets. The price? A whopping $325,000. And since Good Times entered the contract with the ticket seller, Michael Weist is responsible for refunding that money on his own.
9. GoodTimes is preparing to attempt to put out a documentary about TanaCon with footage of their own.
In Shane Dawson's three-part series about the failure of the event, Michael Weist revealed that his team had been filming behind the scenes footage that he now plans on releasing as a documentary, one that he describes as "emotional and awesome."
10. Someone's getting sued.
There are news reports swirling about a class action lawsuit against Tana herself, Good Times, and one against the hotel where the event was held propagated by Michael Weist, who says he was lied to. Anyone looking forward to TanaCon next year?