[Convention] Another Last Minute Con Cancellation – Epic Icon Comic Con

Epic Icon Comic Con cancelled

Epic Icon Comic Con in L.A. was cancelled. Epic Icon Comic Con was originally scheduled to run this weekend (May 4-6). The official cancellation notice was on Thursday, April 26.

This was a small convention that never hit my radar. According to the website, their two headliners were Christopher Lloyd and Tom Wilson, both from Back to the Future. Other names included Jack O’Halloran (Non from Superman II), actor Aaron Smolinski, voice actresses from Frozen Livvy Stubenrauch and Eva Bella, and special effect artist David Alan Barclay.

No one else is listed, yet if you follow their Instagram posts they had a whole slew of guests related to Back to the Future.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On top of the Back to the Future group, they also had cosplayer and cosplay groups, artists and vendors. None of which are listed.

Tom Wilson cancelled two weeks ago, which is mentioned on their website, which means that they were updating it. However, the only mention I saw of the cancellation on social media was through fan inquiries. Epic Icon Comic Con said they were refunding Tom Wilson tickets, however I haven’t received confirmation of anyone getting money back.

Short Notice Cancellation

On  April 26th fans were greeted with these notices:

Epic Icon Comic Con
On the website

 

Yes, the Eventbrite page is still up, and it appears you can buy tickets. The ticket prices have been escalated to an outrageous amount and the purchase page states the event is cancelled.

Event Brite Epic Icon Comic Con

It’s nice to see that this event made it so you won’t purchase the tickets.

Eventbrite Page Cancellation and Refunds

I have spoken to several who claim to have purchased tickets, however no one has seen anything regarding a refund yet.

There is a reason the page is still up, despite the event cancellation. The organizers need this page if they want to issue refunds, or if they want to issue them with minimal hassle.

The one nice thing about Evenbrite is that they are very easy to use…if you are an organizer. Eventbrite provides detailed instructions on how to cancel an event. The instructions include emailing your ticket holders; they even provide an easy tool to do it with. They then go on to show you in detail how to issue refunds.  It is time-consuming because they don’t have an option to issue bulk refunds, which means you need to issue each refund individually, but it’s not hard.

Where Conventions Get in Trouble

If the organizer used the Eventbrite payment system, then the money is still in Eventbrite’s control. Per Eventbrite, they will start processing the organizers payout 4-5 days after the event ends, then process a bank transfer for the amount minus fees. If the event went through, then the organizer won’t see the money for about two weeks after the event.

For a cancelled event, the organizer has to process the refunds individually. Unfortunately, the Eventbrite page does not state how long it takes for them to process the returns after the request by the organizer. The page does state:

“When a Consumer requests a refund and the Organizer does not respond by either refunding or denying the request after seven (7) days, Eventbrite may execute the refund on behalf of the Organizer.”

It also states:

“In the event that Organizer fails to honor a refund that a Consumer believes is due under the applicable refund policy and/or the minimum requirements set forth above, that Consumer may request that Eventbrite initiate a refund by contacting us. ”

“Eventbrite will endeavor to complete its review within thirty (30) days of being contacted by the Consumer.”

If the organizer used Paypal, then the organizer already has the money and has frequently spent it. Which means  there is probably nothing to issue refunds with.

“Consumers should note that if an Organizer has selected a facilitated payment method such as PayPal® for an event, Eventbrite will not have control of the funds and Eventbrite will need the provider of the facilitated payment method to cooperate in order to obtain a refund, which may not happen.

Failure Reasons?

Bad Advertising

For a decent size Back to the Future reunion, this convention did some poor quality advertising. I spoke with several cosplayers in the Los Angeles Cosplay community and none of them had heard more than rumors about this convention. No one recalls seeing advertising.

First Year Convention

This is a first year convention and we have no idea who was running it. They could be a complete newcomer to the con scene, or a repeat con artist, we just don’t know. I could not find any business registered under the name Epic Icon Comic Con. According to Eventbrite, the event is organized by “Greatest American Heroes.” Interestingly there is/was an event on Eventful listed for the the same weekend and location called “Greatest American Heroes Comic Con.”

Both conventions also appear in the Eventful event calendar for the Los Angeles Convention Center

I haven’t found a business registry under the name Greatest American Heroes either

Poor Location

The cost of the convention, combined with the cost of parking and the ease of getting to the convention center would have deterred a lot of people. This is a first-year convention and they don’t know if it’s good. It’s a lot of money to spend.

This is an expensive place to rent, which adds to the overhead and lowers any profit margin they may have.

Vendors

So far, I have not found local comic artists or vendors who were participating in this convention. As far as I can tell, they didn’t sell much, if any, vendor space. So they definitely didn’t have the money to pay for the their guests.