You’ve probably heard of VidCon, the annual convention for YouTube creators and fans that’s been around since 2010. But this year, YouTuber Tana Mongeau decided to start her own convention: TanaCon. And oh, boy. Buckle your seatbelt for this one, because we’re about to take a wild ride.
According to Newsweek, Mongeau was upset with VidCon because she didn’t have her own meet-and-greet area for fans organized by the event, resulting in her getting mobbed by people. So she decided to partner with a production company called Good Times to hold TanaCon the same weekend as VidCon, and brought in other YouTube creators—some of whom were also scheduled to appear at VidCon—right across the street from VidCon. She also promised something that VidCon didn’t have: free tickets.
THOUSANDS of free tickets were gone in two fucking minutes. what. i’m sobbing. i’m sobbing. i’m sobbing. i’m actually sobbing. i don’t even know what to say………….. https://t.co/Pk5Mhn7U1x
— TANACON (@tanamongeau) May 26, 2018
Here’s where things start getting a little strange. “Featured Creator” tickets were free, but fans could also pay $65 for a “Featured Fucking Creator” (FFC) ticket, which boasted a goodie bag and fast pass for meet-and-greets, among other things. While Mongeau claimed that thousands of free tickets had been claimed, Twitter user @cacasmiddlename pointed out that people had only seen evidence of purchased FFC tickets, and not a single fan had come forward saying they’d gotten a free ticket, suggesting that Mongeau and Good Times had scammed people to make them think the event was sold out.
like I’ve been saying from the beginning, I think Tana vastly overstated the amount of “free tickets” there would be. This is 100% a paid event, not tana’s charity con #TANACOM pic.twitter.com/DaCt2QN6kW
— LIL BITCH (@cacasmiddlename) June 22, 2018
To make matters worse, the Marriott hotel that TanaCon was held in was not at all big enough for the amount of people that showed up—estimates are as high as 20,000, Select All reports. Many of those fans waited for several hours outside in the heat and sun just to get inside, but were told that the venue had reached capacity and that the event was canceled. And during all of this, there weren’t vendors selling food or water outside or inside in the venue, so fans were hungry and angry, leading to a recurring chant of “Refund! Refund!” Which is fair—I definitely wouldn’t want to pay $65 for a sunburn and an empty stomach.
The gift bags that came with an FFC ticket were also reportedly underwhelming: The bags only included some stickers and condoms, which seems in poor taste when the main demographic is young teenage girls, not to mention not anywhere close to being worth $65. And the “fast passes” that were part of the FFC experience also turned out to be a sham, since they weren’t guaranteed to meet the creators they paid to skip lines for, nor even be guaranteed to be at the front of the line—people with free tickets and FFC tickets alike all stood in the same line.
— Madeline Karnes (@madeline_karnes) June 23, 2018
For more on what fans experienced, you can read @cacasmiddlename’s whole Twitter thread on the experience—it’s quite a journey.
Day two of the event was canceled completely, but Select All reports that fans weren’t notified, many showing up at the venue only to be turned away by employees. After all of the drama, both Mongeau and Good Times took to Twitter to apologize, with Mongeau claiming fans would be refunded. There’s still no word on whether those refunds actually went through, however.
REFUNDS will be issued, even if i write the check out of my own pocket. merch will be sent to ticket buyers, if anyone travelled far feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss compensation, from me personally.
— TANACON (@tanamongeau) June 24, 2018
Some other YouTubers who attended the event, like Shane Dawson and James Charles, defended Mongeau on Twitter, but acknowledged the disaster of it all.
please don’t speak on a situation you know absolutely nothing about. that’s all & stay safe
— James Charles (@jamescharles) June 22, 2018
A REAL friend will call you out when you’re wrong, no matter how much it hurts.
— James Charles (@jamescharles) June 23, 2018
i wasn’t involved in the planning of the con so i have no idea what their plan is next but i do know that if u came to see me i will do my best to make it up to you somehow. i promise. and i know tana just wants you happy as well. it’s been a hard day for everyone involved. :( https://t.co/Kh5YEzVTYm
— Shane Dawson (@shanedawson) June 23, 2018
Both Dawson and Mongeau have said on Twitter that they plan to make videos about TanaCon to give their side of the story, Dawson even saying his will be a three-part series. I know I’ll be waiting like everyone else to watch those videos, but I have a feeling Mongeau and Good Times won’t be let off the hook so easily.
Looks like you win this round, VidCon.