Galacticon 4 appeared on the Seattle events calendar only a few months ago. It’s billed as the world’s largest Battlestar Galactica Con, and presented an incredibly promising line-up, including a large number of cast members from both the original as well as the rebooted shows, along with stars from other genre shows, including Firefly and Babylon 5. Galacticon is hosted at the Seattle Center, a large, well-known venue. This is its fourth year as a convention, the first convention co-produced by Richard Hatch, the original Apollo himself (as well as Zarek in the reboot). There’s major media and news coverage, including articles in the Seattle Times and other outlets. What could possibly go wrong?
As it happens, apparently everything. One day, a mysterious message appears on the Galacticon Facebook page, indicating a cancellation of a number of guests due to losing a block of hotel rooms, including the majority of the cast of Battlestar Galactica (the TV show namesake of the convention). Fans exploded in anger and frustration and, doing their due diligence, found conflicting reports about what was happening. Several guests, including Richard Hatch and, most notably, Aaron Douglas, who took the time to respond to a number of individual fan queries, indicate Galacticon actually uninvited all of those guests. Photo opportunities had been pre-purchased with guests who no longer are in attendance. VIP tickets, at $275 a pop, were sold out. People had made expensive vacation plans, attending from out-of-town. Speculation continues as to whether any refunds will be offered, the exact reason behind dropping a third of their guest lineup, and if the convention’s actions constitute fraud. There’s even rumors the convention may declare bankruptcy. Thus far, very few of these questions have been answered.
What has the convention done so far?
- Daniel Allan, executive producer, has been asked to resign. All authority for the convention was transferred to the Battlestar Galactica Fan Club and the Battlestar Raven organization.
- Some guests were asked back, with Richard Hatch confirming his renewed participation.
- Aaron Douglas specified that while he was asked back, he would only come back if all of his cast mates were also asked back, and that was clarified to not be the case.
So the con re-invited me today. I said sure if they invite the rest of cancelled BSG. They said no. Pub crawl it is! See you all Friday.
— Aaron Douglas (@theaarondouglas) July 30, 2015
Aaron Douglas is still coming to town and doing a “Find Chief” pub crawl unaffiliated with Galacticon.
There’s still no deflection of bankruptcy rumors, and no official updates about refunds, aside from for Richard Hatch’s acting class (which it’s unclear if that is still happening, now that he has returned as a guest).
Is there a lesson to be learned from all of this? Can this convention recover and put on a great event?
One thing’s for sure: there are a lot of upset fans and not a lot of answers.