Galacticon 4 Implodes [UPDATED]

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Update 8/3/15:

Now that the convention is over, many are wondering as to the status of refunds. From comments on the Galacticon Facebook page, it appears Extreme Tix is processing refunds. We will update as we learn more.

 

An update from Michael DeVault:

In this post, DeVault vaguely addresses a situation in which a former employee is sharing “false information” without getting into specifics on the who or the what, so take that for what it’s worth. The new leadership are not being very free with information at this point, doubtless due to the mad scramble behind the scenes to get the show back on an even keel.

It does seem, however, that efforts are being made to get at least some of the cut guests “un-cut”. Richard Hatch posted a couple of updates on Facebook:

And it looks like Aaron Douglas is still planning to be in Seattle:

Developing…

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ORIGINAL STORY FOLLOWS:

Just days before Galacticon 4 was set to open in Seattle, WA, social media started buzzing with the news that many of the major guests had cancelled.

Only that’s not the entire story, apparently. According to Aaron Douglas, who played Chief Tyrol on the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, most of the reboot cast were all cancelled by the convention organizers at the last minute. This includes Douglas, Tahmoh Penikett, Rekha Sharma, Grace Park, Luciana Carro, Kate Vernon, Michael Hogan, Edward James Olmos, and Richard Hatch.

Noel Guglielmi and Kandyse McClure appear to have cancelled themselves in the wake of the massive block cancellation by the convention. They were not on the original list of cancelled guests that circulated early today, and Douglas mentioned that two guests had cancelled on their own. However, this has not been confirmed.

[UPDATE: According to this article at Examiner.com, Edward James Olmos withdrew from the event when it became clear his BSG castmates had been cut from the program.]

Daniel Allan, who was the organizer for the event, posted on Facebook that the main reason for the last-minute plan change was that the convention had lost their block of hotel rooms. Other information suggests that the pre-registration sales were not at the expected level. Less than a thousand tickets were sold early. The low level of pre-registration may have had an impact on the hotel guarantees, thus necessitating the cancellations.

When Allan posted information about the cancelled guests, he said it was to preserve the integrity of the show. Taking into account the context, “integrity” in this case would mean “the state of being complete or whole” as opposed to “the state of being honest and fair”. If the event was lacking funds due to poor ticket sales, they would not be able to meet their contractual obligations with the event venue, hotel space, and guests.

Richard Hatch, who played Captain Apollo in the original BSG and Tom Zarek in the reboot, took to his Facebook page to address the situation:

Hatch clarified that while he was involved in organizing the first Galacticon, he is not connected with the current organization. “I’ve not been involved with any Galacticon events since 2003 and have no say in what happens with this event. I’m truly stunned by what has happened and still trying to come to terms with everything. Believe me I would never let fans down in any way and feel horrible that I will not be up in Seattle to meet everyone that has traveled so far to attend this event.”

Hatch was also scheduled to host an acting workshop in a separately-ticketed event. Cheryl Dubuque posted on the Galacticon Facebook page that refunds for that session are already being processed.

Reaction from those still attending:

Many have taken to social media to encourage ticket holders to attend the event anyway, noting that a drop in attendance would be a financial hit to those still attending, guests and vendors alike. Galacticon still has plans for reunions of the Lost in Space and Land of the Lost casts, as well as Claudia Christian’s 50th birthday party.
In the wake of the announcements and fan blowback, organizer Daniel Allan has resigned. Posting the news on the event’s Facebook page, Allan detailed: “I have been asked to resign from Galacticon. In the best interests of Galacticon and the fans I have accepted this request. Effective immediately Control and Leadership of Galacticon will be Transferred to the leadership of the Battlestar Galactica Fanclub and Battlestar Raven.”Examiner.com contributor Bill Watters, who was Galacticon’s operations director from September 2013 to May 2014,  said, “I believe Allan had his heart in the right place. However from the outset, with minimal event experience he continually assembled a crew of staff who would try to advise him but because it was contrary to what he thought, they would clash and wind up leaving the team. It happened so often with so many experienced people that it couldn’t have all been just them, but rather the common untenable thread was Dan.”Director of operations Michael DeVault told The News Tribune that insurmountable logistical challenges led to the 11 celebrity cancellations. “Tough decisions had to be made in order to give the fans the best experience possible,” DeVault said, although he didn’t go into detail on the “logistical challenges”.“We are as disappointed as the fans who are planning on attending. We are fans, too,” DeVault said.DeVault also told the Seattle newspaper that “accommodations” would be made for fans seeking refunds, but he didn’t comment on what that would entail.DeVault addressed Allan’s resignation in an update on Facebook: “This move was not in any way, shape, form, or fashion meant to deflect responsibility or criticism away from him. Instead, this decision was undertaken as an act of contrition and in an effort to provide new, able, and willing leadership to step up and attempt to affect solutions to problems. New eyes and new efforts always bring new ideas and innovations. An entire new management staff is in place, and they are working quite literally around the clock to make this convention a success.”

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Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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