dbskyler: (ten_fez)
It's been really interesting to read the press about Comic-Con. First of all, it's really interesting to just see how much press there is about it, and how easy it is to find. Comic-Con is so mainstream now, there are stories about cosplay showing up in my regular news feed.

I love the idea of Comic-Con, but I'm not sure if I would actually love being there. I just read an article on what it's like to sleep outside overnight in order to get into a "Hall H" panel the next day. That just seems ridiculous to me. What's the point of paying a lot of money to get into the convention -- not to mention all the other hurdles you have to jump to even get access to Comic-Con tickets -- only to not actually get to see the convention unless you're also willing to sleep outside in a line all night? (In case you're interested, the article is here: http://www.theverge.com/2015/7/12/8937951/comic-con-hall-h-line-horrors)

Now don't get me wrong; some of what goes on in "Hall H" sounds pretty cool. For example, I heard that those who got into the Star Wars panel got to go see a surprise Star Wars concert immediately afterwards, with free light sabers and the San Diego Symphony. I would have loved that. But even if I had known about the concert ahead of time, I wouldn't have slept overnight in line for it. If I go to a convention, I want to experience the convention. And to me, experiencing the convention is not about spending all of my time in a line.

It just seems that more and more, these really big conventions are about exclusivity: "I got to be one of these people!" And that's an atmosphere that I really dislike. It makes me wonder if I do in fact want to go to Comic-Con. In the meantime, since I'm not one of "the chosen," I'll make do with videos of concert performances of Star Wars music, like this one, look out for local pops concerts where I can enjoy the music live, and celebrate that I can still get a good fandom experience without sleeping out overnight on a sidewalk.
dbskyler: (tardis)
So Gallifrey One put a cap on their attendance for this year's February convention, and now it is November and they are already sold out. I am sad to hear this. Not sad about missing the convention -- there was no way I could attend this year (previous commitment for the weekend) -- but sad because this is a mark of the convention changing, and moving towards a different type of event from what it had been. Some people might argue that it is a better event, and perhaps in some ways it is, or will be, but I still grieve for the olden days of just last year, when I showed up on a Saturday and simply paid my admission at the door.

You see, ages ago I lived within driving distance of San Diego, and a friend of mine told me about this thing called ComicCon. I had never heard of it, but it sounded interesting, so I decided to go. And just like that, I went. I showed up at the door on the weekend -- it was probably a Saturday -- and paid my admission and walked in. Nowadays, memberships to ComicCon are ridiculously hard to get; I think they pretty much sell out the next year's attendance during pre-sales at the current convention, so that the only way to get to attend ComicCon is by already attending ComicCon. This leads to a closed, privileged group going repeatedly, and no one else ever getting to go. I think that is a sad thing, and a bad thing for fandom. I am glad that I can say I went to ComicCon once, even though it wasn't the huge media event back then that it is now. Perhaps it wasn't as good, but it was accessible. And what's the point of a huge fandom party if run-of-the-mill fans never get to go to it?

I really hope Gallifrey One doesn't travel the same road, but I see them heading in that direction. I suspect that the demand for tickets this year was heavily influenced by the fact that there was a cap on attendance, and now that it's become sold out, the situation is only likely to escalate. They will certainly cap it again next year, and it will likely sell out again by November, or possibly sooner, because people will be worried about it selling out and will therefore rush to buy. And if the cycle continues, then at some point the tickets will be seen as so scarce, next year's tickets will sell out during this year's convention, just like ComicCon. After all, who wants to miss out on a scarce ticket?

If you're trying to make money, this is a great way to run things. Create a demand by warning people that they better buy now or they will miss out, then watch the value of your tickets escalate like magic. But I think it's a very sad situation, and I will miss being welcomed just because I showed up.

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