New Plan Puts FantasyCon 2022 Back on Calendar

The British Fantasy Society’s annual convention will be held after all despite a week ago Lee Harris having announced that FantasyCon 2022 would not be possible this year because of financial issues.

The British Fantasy Society quickly ran a survey “the results of which have convinced us that a smaller event is possible.” They told members today that FantasyCon will go ahead this year, still on the same weekend and still in Heathrow, although it will be a two-day event rather than the usual three.

Join us at the Radisson Red Hotel and Conference Centre, Heathrow, on 17th and 18th September for two days packed full of panels, workshops, readings and book launches. Programming will start at 10am on Saturday and run until 3pm on Sunday. Anyone arriving on Friday evening is welcome to join us for an informal social in the bar, while Saturday evening will see the banquet and British Fantasy Awards ceremony. Ticket information is at the link.

The BFS Annual General Meeting will take place September 18 at 10:00 a.m. BFS members can attend the AGM, even if they are not attending the convention. FantasyCon attendees are welcome to attend the AGM but cannot vote.

FantasyCon 2022 Canceled

FantasyCon, the annual convention of the British Fantasy Society, has been canceled for 2022. Lee Harris, who was running the event on behalf of the BFS, informed their Executive Committee last week that it wasn’t financially viable.

The con website has announced:

We have some disappointing news.

Due to lower-than-expected membership sales, a traditional 3-day FantasyCon is simply not going to be possible, this year. We simply had too few people book to make the event viable.

This is hugely disappointing, but with Covid still an ongoing issue, combined with the current cost of living crisis, it’s perhaps not surprising that we’re not getting the membership numbers we need.

However, all is not lost. The British FantasyCon Committee are considering alternative options and will be in touch with members, soon.

Everyone who has paid for a membership, dealer table or advertisement for FantasyCon 2022 will have received an email and can expect a full refund to be processed asap.

FantasyCon 2022 had been planned for September 16-19 at Heathrow.

Lee Harris told Facebook readers:

We’re currently around £24,000 away from break-even point, and while memberships continue to come in, it’s a dribble, not a stream; we were anticipating the event would make a loss, but I’m sure you can appreciate that a loss of £20,000-£24,000 is too much to bear.

A traditional FantasyCon is simply not going to be possible, this year.

The British Fantasy Society Committee are considering a number of options for a smaller event, and will be canvassing BFS and FantasyCon members over the coming week to see what people would prefer.

The BFS also tweeted that they are looking into other possibilities.

[Via Ansible Links.]

2016 Salt Lake FantasyCon Cancelled

fantasycon_logoThe first – and so far only — FantasyCon was held in Salt Lake City in 2014 — coincidentally across the street from Westercon 67 on the same weekend. The chairs of the two events came to an understanding, which included reciprocating members’ access to each others’ conventions. Fantasycon drew over 58,000 attendees, Westercon… well, not as many.

FantasyCon founder Joshua B. Patel believed he was launching an annual event. However, even the con’s projected move to a more modest venue was not enough to keep the 2015 con from being postponed “to allow sufficient time for the logistics and creating of original art, including a 25-foot-wide, 15-foot-tall bronze water feature. ‘There was just not enough time … to maintain that unique vision,’ said Patel about attempting to schedule a 2015 convention.”

Now Patel has found it necessary to cancel the 2016 event as well. And last month he wrote a long letter appealing to fans to help “Fight for FantasyCon”.

Many people are asking what the status is for 2016. I’ve made sure to be completely honest with you from day one, so here is EXACTLY where FantasyCon stands as of today.

FantasyCon 2016 is not going to happen. The reason this comes to you now and not sooner, is I wanted to be certain and not go back and forth. I didn’t learn the financial backing would officially not be available until January 2016. My first thought the moment I learned the funds wouldn’t be available for 2016 was, “I need to tell our FantasyCon Family.” I’ve been working on this letter since then.

A little explanation: We built amazing creatures, creations, battle arenas, archery ranges, and experiences for all of our FantasyCon adventure seekers. We invited celebrities, Vegas performers, fire dancers, fire breathers, blacksmiths, glassblowers, aerialists, ballet dancers, musicians, full symphony orchestras, and the list goes on and on.

All of these amazing things came at a cost. The first event cost over 3.5 million dollars to put on….

We spent over 6 years researching and creating FantasyCon and everything was built to be a Nationwide and World touring convention. EVERYTHING is engineered to fit in semi trucks and on shipping containers to bring the magic of FantasyCon to a city near you!

Simply put, there’s not enough funds to hold another FantasyCon without additional capital investment. The investor that was going to help FantasyCon after the first event in 2014 doesn’t know if there is a big enough demand to hold it again. There have been other investors, but they want to destroy the magic, family focus, affordability, and charity aspects of FantasyCon. This much I had to refuse, as the heart and soul of FantasyCon is helping others through charity and providing affordable prices, so not just the wealthy, but EVERYONE can join the adventure!

My wife and I put our life savings into the first FantasyCon and the many charity events associated with it. We have NO regrets as we were a small part in helping tens of thousands of individuals and families ‘join us on an adventure!’ For us, FantasyCon’s Night of Dreams with the thousands of special needs guests and terminally ill children was the greatest part of the adventure.

I was teary-eyed (which you can ask my Sweetheart, never happens) as I watched countless children and families have experiences and adventures together that they would normally never be able to afford in this life. For some, this was the greatest and only adventure they were able to experience before passing on. I’m forever blessed and thank God for the opportunity to be a part of the many miracles that took place that night. It has changed me forever and is one of the main reasons I WILL NOT sell out to capitalists that only are in it for the money and not the people….

Patel outlines two strategies for gaining the necessary financial support .

If by September 2016 he can get 250,000 names/email addresses together, he believes FantasyCon can be crowdfunded.

We can fund the next FantasyCon without any investors required. We will launch a Crowd Funding campaign where we the fans can own and maintain control of the FantasyCon world. This also allows us to keep ticket prices low, keep all the amazing charity events, and finish making a beautiful Fantasy World for us all to enjoy. We can do it together!

Or with only 100,000 names, he could show the interested investors that people want FantasyCon to happen again.

The investors have already agreed to fund FantasyCon if we show this demand. The only down side is the investors will want controlling interest and will no longer allow the Night of Dreams charity night.

Those willing to help are directed to fill out the form on, and to follow the con on Facebook and Twitter.

[Thanks to David Doering for the story.]

Fantasycon 2014

FantasyCon 2014 will be held in September 5-7 at the Royal York Hotel in York, UK.

Guests of Honor confirmed to date are:

Kate Elliott (Author Guest of Honour) whose most recent series is the Spiritwalker Trilogy (Cold Magic, Cold Fire, Cold Steel), an Afro-Celtic post-Roman alternate-19th-century Regency icepunk mashup with airships, Phoenician spies, revolution, and the intelligent descendents of troodons.

Larry Rostant (Artist Guest of Honour) is a sought-after and respected artist. His work has helped promote the work of George RR Martin, Peter V Brett and Dan Abnett.

Toby Whithouse (Media Guest of Honour) has worked on Where The Heart Is, Attachments, No Angels, Hotel Babylon, Doctor Who, and Torchwood. He created the series Being Human.

Master of Ceremonies Graham Joyce is a multiple British Fantasy Award winner and a four-time World Fantasy Award nominee who won in 2002 for The Facts of Life.

The co-Chairs are Sophia McDougall and Lee Harris.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]