Memphis In 2023 Worldcon Bid Has Folded

Memphis in 2023
Kate Secor and Cliff Dunn, chairs of the Memphis In 2023 Worldcon bid, have announced that the bid is being withdrawn from consideration. In an e-mail to their supporters, and in posts on their website, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, they posted the following statement.

Thank You for Your Support Over the Last 2 Years

It is with great sadness that we let you know that the Memphis in 2023 bid has folded. The challenges and uncertainties surrounding the pandemic have severely hampered our ability to run the campaign we had been hoping to so it has led us to fold this bid. We thank you so much for all of your support and appreciate that you believed in us. Those of you who are still due t-shirts, we will be mailing those out to you soon.

When the site selection ballot is released by DisCon III, you will see a WITHDRAWN watermark over our listing on the ballot – that is what DC III has told us they will be doing. We are going to throw a thank you party at DisCon III and invite you to come by and let us toast you and your support. We look forward to seeing so many of you that we sadly haven’t seen in so long.

Our very best,
Kate Secor and Cliff Dunn

The remaining Worldcon bids for 2023 are for Chengdu, China, and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

17 thoughts on “Memphis In 2023 Worldcon Bid Has Folded

  1. Why did Memphis perceive any more uncertainties and challenges than Winnipeg? (Chengdu, of course, has the resources of the entire PRC behind it.)

  2. Michael J. Lowrey: Why did Memphis perceive any more uncertainties and challenges than Winnipeg?

    Winnipeg, and whatever they have, or have not, been able to do, is irrelevant to Memphis.

    The Memphis bidcom has been unable to do site visitations to determine the suitability and accessibility of the hotel and convention facilities. They have been unable to commit to a contract, not knowing whether circumstances two years from now will make an in-person convention feasible, whether there would be enough attendees to cover their room block commitment, or whether they were going to be stuck with a huge bill they didn’t have the funds to pay.

    They have been unable to spend the last 2 years throwing parties and fan tables at conventions, recruiting volunteers.

    If Winnipeg feels that they are able to overcome those issues, that’s great. Certainly Canada’s response to the pandemic, while far from perfect, has been light-years better than that of the U.S.

    Much as we’d all like things to be back to normal 2 years from now, I think that’s a pipe dream… a very far-fetched pipe dream. And I can understand why bidcoms might not be willing to risk their mental and physical health trying to make an impossible situation work.

  3. Why did Memphis perceive any more uncertainties and challenges than Winnipeg? (Chengdu, of course, has the resources of the entire PRC behind it.)

    Tennessee is the state that decided teens can’t get vaccines without parental consent, and vaccination can’t be actively encouraged by the state, such as by sending out promotional materials Any vaccines, not just the covid vaccines.

    I would guess it’s probably not the only reason, but they may have looked at the pushback Dragoncon and DisCon III have gotten over covid vaccination policies in places where the civil authorities aren’t quite that screwed up, and not been encouraged. Especially if they have any internal disagreement at all on vaccine policy.

    I wouldn’t think it’s the only reason, but it could well be a significant contributor.

    Edited to add: What JJ said.

  4. “Tennessee is the state that decided teens can’t get vaccines without parental consent, and vaccination can’t be actively encouraged by the state, such as by sending out promotional materials Any vaccines, not just the covid vaccines.”

    I would under no circumstances visit such a state. Because that is just plain unmitigated Evil.

  5. As well as all the possible Covid issues, and Memphis not being able to promise a facility…

    Generally to run a worldcon, it helps to have both people with experience running an event that size and it helps to have people who know the city.

    Memphis reportedly was trying to run a worldcon with minimal to no overlap with the local SF group who could give them on the ground info. Winnipeg has both; many of the people involved in the Winnipeg bid are people central to Winnipeg’s own SF community, and there are people with Worldcon experience, and at least a couple of people are in the overlapping part of that Venn diagram.

  6. I was a Friend of that bid. I hope they use whatever money they have left over to support a present or future Worldcon.

  7. My thanks to Kate and Cliff for stepping up, and also my admiration for making a tough decision.

  8. I’m sorry to hear the bid folded. It would have been nice to have a Worldcon within easy driving distance. On the other hand, their withdrawal makes it a lot easier to decide who to vote for.

  9. @Lis Carey

    Tennessee is the state that decided teens can’t get vaccines without parental consent

    This is an absolute falsehood.
    In 1987, the Tennessee Supreme Court (in Cardwell v. Bechtol) adopted a “Mature Minor” exception to the common law rule that requires a physician to obtain parental consent before treating a minor. In short, for kids 14 and over, there is a presumption that the patient is capable of making his or her own medical decisions, and a physician may treat them (including giving vaccinations, for Covid and other diseases) without notifying the parents.

  10. The Con Bid told Twenty-three “Please don’t take my life.
    I got two little smofs and a darling, loving wife.”
    That bad year, O cruel Twenty-three

  11. @bill–

    This is an absolute falsehood.
    In 1987, the Tennessee Supreme Court (in Cardwell v. Bechtol) adopted a “Mature Minor” exception to the common law rule that requires a physician to obtain parental consent before treating a minor. In short, for kids 14 and over, there is a presumption that the patient is capable of making his or her own medical decisions, and a physician may treat them (including giving vaccinations, for Covid and other diseases) without notifying the parents.

    I’m not talking about something that happened in 1987. If I thought you were genuinely confused on this point, I’d dig out the cites for you, but, sadly, I don’t.

    So I’m not wasting my time on your weaselly arguments. In 787, internet access isn’t much better than stone knives and bearskins. So it would take too long.

  12. Tennessee halted all vaccine outreach for a month. Nothing else changed. It was a crappy thing to do, as was firing their director of vaccine-preventable diseases. Part of the what led to her firing was a memo in which she stated existing state policy, namely, that teens fourteen and up had the right to some medical care without parental permission. The rights of teenagers as expressed in that State document remained the same before, during, and after that month. In other words, bill was absolutely correct when he said Lis was wrong. The state of Tennessee did a much lesser bad thing than Lis said they did and quit doing it shortly thereafter.

    I get so sick of deciding whether false propaganda rises to the level of requiring a correction. In other news, has anyone of any political persuasion whatsoever read any good science fiction lately?

  13. Thanks John. I liked Charlie’s story (read it back when it first showed up). I’m currently rereading “Black Sun” (as soon as I read it I wanted to read it again!) and reading “Project Hail Mary” for the first time, which is great fun.

  14. Pingback: DisCon III Opens Site Selection | File 770

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