Galacticon / Daniel Allan – Some answered questions and moving forward 2


Galacticon

Galacticon

In the aftermath of Galacticon and what seemed to be a forever-deluge of emails coming through our Inbox with questions that should be answered by the organizers of the event, we decided to do just that. Out of the almost 3,000 Galacticon-related tweets/facebook messages, emails/… we drafted a top-tennish list of questions and allowed some time for them to be answered.

The questions are those asked by people like you and us; they were the top asked questions from people who attended the event, wanted to attend the event or people who plain and simple feel/felt duped. It’s not our intention to change anyone’s opinion – your opinion and experiences are our own – all we wanted to do was cut through all the one-way street Galacticon information and allow everyone a chance to voice their side of the story.

We decided to leave the questions/answers 99% unedited. So what you’ll see is a direct account of our exchange.

You can read our review of the Galacticon weekend by clicking.

BSG-M: The first explenation as to what happened was: “saving the integrity of the show”, then changed to “There was a problem with the blocked hotel rooms” – What REALLY happened at Galacticon?

Daniel Allan: Both answers are correct. 1 month before the Convention I requested (for the 4th time) confirmation from our guest hotel that we were still on for the original discussed terms. i.e. small down payment (about 25%) and settlement after convention and final bill the answer I got was that they would be requiring payment in full 2 weeks prior to Convention. when I told them that was impossible we began negotiations on how to resolve this impasse. bottom line was they were unwilling to honor the spirit of the original contract and we were forced to look for another hotel. (yes we did have a written contract but this contract had a caveat that said they could change the terms)

At about 1.5 weeks out we managed to secure the Home2 by Hilton and the Red Lion as our new Guest Hotels. although a little less expensive it was still barely affordable given the funds we had to work with. 4 days before the convention is when we were told that the Home2 would not honor the net 15 final payment they promised us only the week before and that we would have to pay in full on check in. This resulted in us not having enough money to bring all guests to Seattle and have a place for them to stay.

The term “Integrity of the show” was a mis speak on my part. I was in a position where it was either save the show by cutting some talent, or cancelling the show entirely. so when I said “Integrity” it was more about saving the convention.

BSG-M: Why did this only happen 3 days prior to the start of the show? Why were guests announced 4 days before this “implosion” (as it’s been called in the media) and why was a brand new schedule with new Battlestar-related talks released no less than 12 hours before this? Surely you knew there were troubles ahead?

Daniel Allan: 3.5 days prior to Convention is when I was absolutely certain that we had to make changes. Negotiations with the hotel and others was still ongoing. it was never our intention to cut all BSG people, we started out only planning to cancel 4 people that had been to Galacticon prior and the rest of the cuts were going to be NON bsg guests. we had roughly 36 guests coming and literally 23 rooms available.

BSG-M: If any of the reasons above count, why did this only affect cast members of the rebooted Battlestar Galactica, which many attested to us was the main reason of their attendance? Why – at a Battlestar Galactica convention – did you decide it was a good idea to cut loose the cast of Battlestar Galactica in favor of Land of the Lost and other shows? (we know 1 other was cancelled, but it’s blatantly obvious only new BSG were the target of your cancellation policy)

Daniel Allan: Thats silly, we never intended to cut the entire BSG cast, the cuts and cancellations were because of a misunderstanding which I am responsible for. some of the BSG cast members cancelled themselves. (no I will not divulge who quit) please keep in mind that the contract we had with all of them gave both parties the ability to cancel out so neither we nor they acted outside of any contracts, but it was a horrible misunderstanding all the same which resulted in them not attending.

BSG-M What’s Rex Mundi’s side of the story where a “cut list” was created months in advance “in case not enough tickets were sold” as widely argued in the media.

Daniel Allan: The “Cut List” was a discussion between top leadership at the time regarding who we might have to cut (myself and Shawn O’Donnell) and why we might cancel their contracts, should we not make the sales numbers we were expecting. That said there was never an official list of people that we would cancel out. however the bulk of that conversation was based around NON BSG guests.

BSG-M: Why not make an official statement through Rex Mundi or Galacticon immediately? Where was the communication that Rex Mundi prided itself in during the months of the guest announcements?

Daniel Allan: In times of emergency it is critical that IF you say anything that it be as truthful and non misleading as possible. Unfortunately we live in a time when the messages and rumors can beat you home by hours. I made the decision to bring in someone to speak for us publicly and to make certain that anything we put out was as factual and honest as we could be, given the uncertain things happening. That said the rumor mill has the ability to completely out gun anyone and people were already assuming a lot of things so adding anything else that might not be accurate or true would have made matters worse. take for instance my statement regarding “Integrity of the show” my meaning was not the same meaning you refer to, I meant to say the health of the show. or rather to make certain Galacticon happened at all, but people “Assume” I meant the honesty or truthfulness of the show. That’s just one instance of improper or misleading statement being made by me.

BSG-M: Do you have a personal statement, other than what you already said above, you’d like to make towards the customers

Daniel Allan: I take full responsibility for how things turned out, please do not blame our staff, team and partners. I am the one you need to blame.

BSG-M: Do you have a personal statement, other than what you already said above, you’d like to make towards the talent that was cut/involved/had to be resourceful in reaching out to fans because of Galacticon’s negligence?

Daniel Allan: You are assuming Negligence, and no I have nothing to say to this group of people in a public forum.

BSG-M: What’s next? What can clients expect RE: Refunds/improvements/solutions/… Is there a future for Rex Mundi?

Daniel Allan: It is my intention to make as many fans as whole as I can make them given my limited financial abilities. This will take time but it will happen. as for the future of Galacticon, Currently there are no plans to move forward with anything by myself or Shawn O’Donnell. The Galacticon Franchise is for sale, and we have established criteria for that sale. Any funds received from a possible sale or licensing of the Franchise will go to cover repayment of those groups and people that need and deserve them. as well as a couple of charities that supported us 100% even when we were public enemy #1

BSG-M: If there’s anything else you’d like to add, feel free to do so. We know these might not be easy questions, but they are the questions many people are asking. We just want to give you a forum to voice your side of what happened.

Daniel Allan: To those fans, staff and Celebrities that continued to support us through very difficult times, I really appreciate you so much, IF Galacticon is reborn I give you my promise that it will be run by people that have proven experience, financial backing and a clear track record of success running conventions.
I will not be moving forward with BSG or Galacticon once I have finished my obligations to the Galacticon and the BSG community.

———-

* As always, the BSG-M is completely independent and not related to/affiliated to any organization, including Rex Mundi or Galacticon.


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2 thoughts on “Galacticon / Daniel Allan – Some answered questions and moving forward

  • Undead Pup

    Nice try. The reality is they had over 2 years to plan this event. They didn’t sell enough tickets and therefore didn’t have enough money for the actors or the hotels.

    Mistake #1 Ticket Sales. What were ticket sales 2 years before event? 1 year before event? 6 mo’s? 3 mo’s? 1 month? Only 300 people showed up at Galacticon so we know those ticket sales were under 1,000. How much capital were they working with? $50-75k? Was that enough to pay the guarantees for 20 celebrities? No. EJO charges $60k alone. The others are probably $3k – 6k. So They needed at least $120k to guarantee the actors. They signed more actors then they couldn’t afford! They knew that far in advance.

    Mistake #2 The Hotel. Do I believe the story about the hotel? Sure. That just made a bad situation worse. Too bad they didn’t have enough money… maybe they shouldn’t have picked one of the most expensive hotels in Seattle? Just a thought.

    Mistake #3 Bad Assumptions. They were hoping ticket sales would be 10x the pre-sales. Hope is not a plan! You cancel all the actors why would anyone show up?? So how could they possibly make up the money at door sales?

    Mistake #4 Location, Location, Location. You couldn’t even see the door from the street. Terrible signage. Again, how can you get those door sales if no one knows where you are? Plus, the location had to be expensive. Plus, it was 1 1/2 miles from the hotel?? Whose brainchild was that? How were people from out of town suppose to travel to the convention? Plus, panels were all over the place! Some actors had walk a mile to get to their panels. What a terrible choice on location. They could have done this event at the Hilton by the airport. It didn’t have to be downtown Seattle!

    Mistake #5 Lies. Aaron Douglas (a new BSG actor) was the first actor to be let go. He was NOT at Galacticon 3. He was cut because they figured “hey he cancelled on us at G3 so no love lost there”… then once that happened the other new BSG actors walked. Why? Because Aaron was shooting a movie during G4, he begged the director to have time off to go to G4, the directors agreed… then they cut him from G4 3 days before the convention.

    Mistake #6 Didn’t ask for help. They had so much expertise around them all they had to do was ask. But they never did. Richard Hatch co-produced the first Galacticon. He’s been doing conventions for decades. Did anyone call him and ask for advice? No. How do we know this? Look at his Facebook page. He was shocked when they cut him from the line up. A good leader surrounds him/herself with experts. One person cannot do it all. But Dan wouldn’t listen to advice. He had to do it his way. His pride kept him from asking for help.

    Why did it fail? Because the management didn’t know what the frak they were doing. THAT is the truth.

  • Mark Sanders

    I’m not buying Daniel Allan’s explanations for the Galacticon 4 failure either even though I know from experience hotel/convention properties can be difficult to negotiate and work with.. Galacticon 3 in Houston was my first convention, but I believe it was well done regardless. There were some small issues by comparison, but still well worth the experience. Perhaps combined efforts with Comicpalooza made it possible for Galacticon 3 to be a great convention in Houston. I still have tremendous love for Battlestar Galactica, and hope Galacticon or an equivalent dedicated event can be restarted and run by competent and experienced people. A restart may be even more challenging with Richard Hatch’s recent passing, but I believe he would want this remarkable saga to continue.