2021 Seattle Westercon Disbands, LASFS Steps In To Fill the Gap

The Westercon 73 committee announced today they have abandoned plans to hold the convention which had been scheduled for July 1-4 in Sea-Tac, Washington. Kevin Standlee explained on the official Westercon website that the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, owner of the Westercon service mark, will help the Seattle committee wind up its responsibilities:

They are working with LASFS, owner of the Westercon service mark, to implement Section 1.9 of the Westercon Bylaws regarding a Westercon committee failure. Loscon 47, scheduled for November 26-28, 2021 at the Marriott Los Angeles Airport Hotel, will assume the mantle of Westercon 73, and has said that they will honor the memberships, both attending and supporting, of those members of Westercon 73 who do not request a refund from the Seattle committee. The 2021 Westercon Business Meeting will thus be held at Loscon 47, as will be the election to choose the site of the 2023 Westercon (Westercon 75).

Although the Seattle and Tonopah Westercon 73 and 74 committees creatively agreed last May to postpone their cons by a year to accommodate the state of Washington’s COVID-19 restrictions on large group events, with the passage of time the Seattle committee has suffered from attrition, and they did not feel they had the resources to do a virtual event.

The Westercon 73 committee chair Gene Armstrong (whose full statement is at the link) had this to say about the decision:

…Even though we were not at full staff we were doing pretty good and then Covid hit in March 2020, and the world stopped.

After waiting and watching it came to the point that we would not be having the con and working with Westercon 74 and our hotel we were able to shift the cons to the following years. So, we shifted and the longer this has gone on we started losing staff and panelist and in the last several months we have lost our chairman and I had to take over. Within the last couple months, we have talked about going virtual, but when I look back, we don’t have the pro’s or the staff to do a virtual convention. So, after talking to other convention runners and gathering opinions on the best course of action, it was decided that we will be shutting down Westercon 73 in Seattle as of now.

Westercon 73 members have these options:

We are offering partial refunds to those who paid more than $35 for their memberships (but would be grateful if you would consider donating it instead). Please contact Westercon 73 for assistance.

Those attending members who do not request a refund will have their memberships honored by Loscon 47, to be held Thanksgiving Weekend (November 26-28) in Los Angeles.

As for those with supporting memberships —

Since you have a paid membership with voting rights for Westercon 75 we will be working with Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society to make sure you will be getting your right to vote, unless you just want a full refund.

[Thanks to Kevin Standlee for the story.]

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10 thoughts on “2021 Seattle Westercon Disbands, LASFS Steps In To Fill the Gap

  1. Westercon 74 in Tonopah, Nevada continues with our plans to hold our Westercon on July 1-4, 2022. As Westercons are all independently organized, Westercon 74 is not affected directly by the Seattle committee’s decision. We’re sympathetic to the position in which Seattle found itself, and I’ve done what I could to help with communication between the Seattle committee and LASFS, owners of the Westercon service mark.

    Personally, I have agreed to continue as Chair of the 2021 Westercon Business Meeting, which will now be held at Loscon 47. Linda Deneroff has also agreed to continue as 2023 Westercon Site Selection Administrator, and the election will now be held at Loscon as well. Loscon 47 will thus also be Westercon 73.

  2. It’s unclear to me from these statements whether Westercon 73 is going to forward membership monies to Loscon (for those who plan to attend thst convention). From Gene’s statement, the only two options secre refund or donation.

    Also, there’s a typo in Kevin’s statement Loscon had taken on the mantle of Westercon 73, not 74.

  3. Yeah, I typoed it. It’s fixed on westercon.org now. So many numbers, typed so many times! I’ve been updating websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter posts for multiple groups all afternoon!

    Westercon 74 Tonopah remains unchanged in Tonopah, Nevada, July 1-4, 2022. Westercon 73 moves to Loscon.

    Seattle and LASFS are discussing the exact arrangements between the entities.

  4. I already have a paid membership to LOSCON and the Westercon in Seattle. If the extra money goes to make a really great LOSCON, I am with that. If the money goes to make a really great Westercon in Tonapah, NV, I am with that. Anybody know where the extra money is going to? Looks like they are not going for a virtual Westercon as originally planned.

  5. I suspect any “extra” money will either go to SWOC or to pay a very large hotel penalty (if the State of Washington reopens to large events before the July 4 weekend). I suppose you can request that your money go to Loscon for a membership (if, and once, they work out a deal) and then either give the membership to someone or tell Loscon to keep it as a donation. We’ll have to wait and see how things play out.

  6. I know how much LASFS hates to step in on these things*, but glad to hear that they have. I wonder if the budget will stretch later this year for LosWestercon attending? (right now our plans are not to leave home till Chicon)

    *having been in the epic meeting at Westercon 64 to decide the locale of Westercon 66, at which Kevin had to herd credentials for several hours till it was finished. Behold the power of a fully operational Standlee armed with Robert’s Rules of Order!

  7. Pingback: LASFS Statement About 2021 Westercon | File 770

  8. lurkertype on April 12, 2021 at 7:09 pm said:

    Behold the power of a fully operational Standlee armed with Robert’s Rules of Order!

    I’ve watched the recording of the 2011 Westercon Business Meeting a couple of times, and should something like that ever happen again, I know how I could handle it probably faster and without nearly letting the meeting walk itself into a parliamentary corner. Ideally we should have gone into Committee of the Whole (or one of its variations) immediately after the alternative sites had presented their proposals. The COTW could have then discussed, debated, and held test votes to find out who had enough support. That way, when the meeting proper voted, it would be less of a nail-biter whether there would be the necessary majority to avoid deadlocking the meeting, which came perilously close to happening.

    It wasn’t something that one gets much practice doing!

  9. You may be interested to know, Kevin, that the third General Session of the virtual California Democratic Party Convention last weekend went into COTW because we failed quorum and so did business in committee until enough delegates were hit over the head, I mean, gathered into the “room”.

  10. Pingback: Westercon 75 Still Without A Home | File 770

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