The wheels have begun to come off of Galacticon IV, slated to be held July 31st – August 2nd in Seattle, Washington at the Seattle Center. The fourth installment of the primarily Battlestar Galactica focused convention was to feature a wide range of guests from both classic as well as the re-imagined series in addition to stars from Babylon 5, Firefly, and a cast reunion from Land of the Lost. Early today Aaron Douglas posted on his twitter that he was suddenly no longer slated to appear at the convention. Soon after he posted the comment “…at least 8 other names are on the website that aren’t going to be there”.
Fans and attendees who had already begun packing or traveling got the word and rapidly took to Twitter and Facebook to try to find out what was going on. Soon after, a representative for Kate Vernon and Michael Hogan also posted that their attendance had been cancelled by the convention.
Event producer, Daniel Allan, then posted a message to the event’s Facebook page:
Greetings all. With great sadness I must report that we have cancelled a great number of guests. This was done to protect the integrity of the convention. Our website will be updated very shortly. We still have a great lineup of guests and the show will go on!
Further emails have suggested that the advent of the issue was that the Westin Seattle, who was the host hotel for the event, had required the event’s producers to pay the contracted pre-event amount for the rooms and when the payment was missed, the event was in breach and was facing increased rates. Event management expressed that rooms were being offered them at $700 a night, however web searches showed rooms still available for $275 per night. With in the past two days event producers began attempting to shuffle people to other hotels, but with limited success.
It was at this time that the event made the decisions to begin contacting some of the guests and canceling their appearances. In the case of Edward James Olmos, event staff privately expressed that he had proactively recused himself from the event after the others of his cast began being cut. For reasons as of yet unknown, the Galactica focused event had scrapped all but three of the re-imagined series guests (Michael Trucco, Leah Cairns, and Nicki Clyne), while keeping all other guests from other shows, with the only non-BSG actor impacted was Noel Guglielmi.
Shortly after 10:00 p.m. Allan again posted on the event page, this time to announce that he had been asked to resign from the event and was turning the event and it’s operations over to the Battlestar Galactica and the Battlestar Raven fan clubs, the former being led by the Allan’s business partner, Shawn O’Donnell. As of this writing the attendees had been upset at the mass cancellations, but with this things have changed their tone to anger and rage as the perception of Allan’s bailing on the already troubled event.
Various staff members continue to reassure attendees that the event is in fact still on, and intending to open as planned on Friday. Many fans, some of whom, have already arrived in Seattle are settling in to make the best of it. Some events are still planned regardless, as they are unrelated to the actual convention itself, such as a charity benefit for the C3 Foundation in the form of a birthday party for Babylon 5 star Claudia Christian. One of fandom’s most shining qualities, hope, is never entirely lost, and with the talent whom are still slated to attend, the fan community will come together to make the best of the situation. If fandom survived the ill-advised Galactica 1980, surely it will also survive Galacticon IV.