TanaCon, Tana Mongeau’s counter-event to last weekend’s Vidcon, became a total disaster, after 20,000 hopeful attendees became an unruly mob.
TanaCon took place at a Marriott in Garden Grove, California, literally down the street from where Vidcon was happening at the Anaheim Convention Center, but it became clear pretty quickly that they were not prepared to host an event of this magnitude.
Apparently, 20,000 people showed up for the event, after ticket sales were capped at only 5,000. But even if only the people with tickets had shown up, things likely still wouldn’t have gone smoothly.
@rainbowpupsf, who got inside Tanacon, tweeted –
#tanacon For everyone outside, the reason the line is not moving is literally because there is not enough room inside. It’s just one hall😒
— Shelby (@shelby_k_f_) June 22, 2018
She also said there was no food inside and only three vendors. People waiting outside had a tough time as well. It was 84 degrees outside, and there was no shade or water provided.
According to Marriott, the largest capacity space in the hotel fits about 1,000 people, so it’s unclear how Tanacon planned to fit in the 5,000 ticket holders, let alone the 20,000 who showed up.
As the event grew more disorganized and security was unable to wrangle the crowd, the fire marshal ultimately shut the whole thing down and everyone was ordered to leave.
— LIL BITCH (@cacasmiddlename) June 22, 2018
Eventually, Bella Thorne and Tana Mongeau came outside to try and meet disappointed fans. Starting at 9 am on Friday morning, @Cacasmiddlename on Twitter began detailing all of the major problems at TanaCon.
Among the many complaints: paid attendees were not guaranteed to meet any creators, (which was one of the main draws of Tanacon over Vidcon), some of the featured creators had been accused of sexual abuse, and that the entire thing was basically a single hallway with not nearly enough room for everyone coming.
After all this unfolded, Tana Mongeau took to Twitter with a long thread detailing how it all went so wrong.
She wrote: “my intentions with Tanacon were incredibly pure & i truly thought that i had everything on lock. i was told a lot that didn’t end up happening. i was truly under the impression that we were selling to capacity & took it as far as speaking with several ppl very high up at marriott.”
She called it a “bump in the road” that she takes full responsibility for and that she’ll be issuing refunds to people out of her own pocket.
Now, it’s worth going back to look at why Tanacon was initiated in the first place.
Tana Mongeau had not enjoyed herself at previous Vidcons and explained in an 80-minute video in April that she wasn’t going to be attending this year because of a series of grievances, most notably that they refused to consider her a featured creator. So, since Vidcon is so expensive and so crowded and frequently leaves people with millions of followers like Tana to wander around and get mobbed in the middle of the hall, she thought, “screw it, I can do this better.”
The idea behind Tanacon was to give fans a convention that’s cheaper than Vidcon with better access to creators.
And we totally believe that Tana was genuine in her desire to make Tanacon a legit event.
But the number of ticketed individuals who couldn’t get in, including people who drove for days, traveling from out of state, shows how hard it is to put on a convention that really gives access to everyone who wants it.
Despite Tanacon being readily compared to the even more disastrous Fyre Festival, Tana has defended the event, saying that she did pretty much everything she wanted to do inside the hotel’s doors.
That explanation isn’t likely to sit well with people who paid $65 for VIP tickets and weren’t even able to get inside.
Meghan Tonjes, friend of What’s Trending and veteran of Vidcon and about a dozen other creator events, chimed in on Twitter.
She wrote: “Let’s drop this narrative of ‘teenager only had a month to plan a con and is doing her best’. It was a month of planning to be shady on VidCon weekend. Takes any con at least a year with a team to create any of these events. It wasn’t gonna go well. Meeting people and inclusivity and direct access? All amazing. But, the audiences are just too big and too active to not have structure. Not everyone can meet everyone safely and 9 hour meet and greets are beyond exhausting for creators. It would have been more impactful for Tanacon to be well run, safe and thought-out than a semi-failed “fuck you” pop up.
What do you guys think? Was Tana’s heart in the right place or should she have known Tanacon was not going to go well? Let us know in the comments and follow us on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.