The Worldcon 75 committee was unprepared for the turnout on the convention’s first day and has responded to numerous complaints about overcrowding and inability to attend program items by announcing the “Closure of membership sales”:
The first day of Worldcon 75 has seen repeated problems with the capacity of our programme rooms, which have led to people being unable to get into items that they have wanted to see. We apologise to our members for this, and deeply regret the disappointment that this has caused.
The overcrowding has resulted from unexpectedly high membership and day pass sales in the last few weeks – a remarkable success for the first Worldcon to be held in Finland, but one that has caused serious and unforeseen logistical issues today.
We are therefore taking steps to reduce the problems. With immediate effect, we are closing the advance sales of day-passes and all attending memberships. We are sorry that this will disappoint potential attendees over the rest of the convention, but believe that our obligation to those who have already paid to attend the convention must come first.
Recognising that not everyone will have the opportunity to see this announcement before arriving at Messukeskus to pay for admission on the door, we will still offer a very limited number of day passes (100) on each of the remaining four days of the convention. However, this limit will be closely managed to avoid further exacerbating the problems.
The Trade Hall will continue to be accessible to the public without charge as has always been Worldcon 75’s intention. However, if the numbers in that area approach the safety limits, we will again take action to prioritise the existing membership and close public access to the Trade Hall.
In addition, we are in urgent discussions with the management of Messukeskus to obtain further programme space within the venue, which will become available over Thursday and Friday.
By limiting any potential further increase in numbers, and by creating additional space for programme items, we believe that we can alleviate the issues experienced today, and allow our members to enjoy all that Worldcon 75 has to offer.