Every year I read about the San Diego Comic-Con selling out its passes as fast as people can get online – as it did again last week but with fewer complaints thanks to a new system capable of accommodating the vast demand.
However, I was surprised to discover Gallifrey One, the annual Doctor Who convention in Los Angeles, performed the same feat on Friday, selling all its memberships in 75 minutes.
While Gallifrey One reportedly has an attendance limit of 3,700 and Comic-Con hosts over 130,000 – I was impressed just the same.
People who can’t get in are asking if the committee plans to move to a bigger facility. The answer is —
No. Gallifrey One is a fan convention. Let’s explain how fan conventions work. Every human being involved in this convention is a volunteer – we do this on our spare time. We are not paid employees. We are fans just like you, with one minor difference… we got off our butts and put on a show 25 years ago, and never stopped. Doing this sort of thing takes personal money; tons of meetings; hours behind our computers on evenings & weekends; valuable vacation time away from work; making promises to dozens of guests in writing that require large sums of money (and losing sleep over it in the process; ask our program director who literally doesn’t sleep for six weeks prior to the convention each year!); and so forth. We do this not for money (we certainly don’t make any; we are a registered California 501(c)(3) non-profit organization) but for the love of the show only. We do not and cannot serve the entire Doctor Who fan community. Our convention is, simply put, at the maximum size it can be that allows our all-volunteer staff to run it every February without it adversely impacting our jobs, our lives, our families (at least, any more than it already does)… and we have ABSOLUTELY NO INTEREST in growing the convention beyond its current size.
Good for them. (Though I’d probably find even 3700 people a bit too many for my own preference.)