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  • Listening to: The sound of my tears hitting the keyboard
  • Reading: Artist Alley Feedback
  • Watching: My money fly out of my wallet
  • Playing: The Aki COn Feedback Drinking Game
  • Eating: My pride
  • Drinking: The strongest shit I could find on a Sunday
Not unless you ENJOY being treated like a mangy, smelling animal, who gets relocated to...wait for it...a PARKING GARAGE.

I am not making this up my friends. This years AA and vendors hall at Aki Con was set up in a parking garage. Now, before you go saying, But Shondrea, I've been to conventions set up like that, it's not a big deal! Let me explain.

This was a parking garage with a dripping roof. As in, about 100 buckets strung up to the ceiling to catch the dripping water. Which was dripping in along rust and mold covered holes. Oh, and these buckets filled with reeking, moldy water? They were DIRECTLY ABOVE THE TABLES. Oh sure, they were ALL OVER the garage, but many were strung in high traffic walk ways, or directly above merchandise. Does this sound OK to you?

It gets better. It wasn't heated. The pitiful heaters they did have were sporadic, and went out and quit at least once.

Oh, and those buckets? Failed pretty well. We had several drip, if not DUMP OVER onto customers and the floor. Oh. And there were extension cords and power outlets all over. I know of at least one melted power cord, and one betting pool on when the electrical fires would start.

It was cold. Not, oooh chilly put on a jacket cold, but, I can see my breath cold. Because they turned off the heat at night. And the lights. It was lovely. Not to mention the humidity and water RUINED many peoples prints, including my own. And business? No one did well. Everyone I spoke to, artists AND vendors, either did not make any money, barely made back the price of their table, or did as poorly as HALF what they did last year. And many people didn't even see fit to return on Sunday, myself included.

But here's the best part. Here's the REAL juice right here. THEY LIED TO US ABOUT IT. In email they told all vendors...I mean, the ones who actually GOT emails, that we would need to be careful of hooow we displayed our things, so as not to damage hotel walls. We were not in the hotel. But it gets worse. When I personally asked a staff member, a higher up staff member, over the forums where to find this so-called Exhibitors Entrance into AA, I was told, AND I QUOTE-

"At the convention in the new opened area of the Hilton :3"

Oh. How cute. AA is at the Hilton (The Hilton with broken toilets, filthy environments and torn bed sheets) I would never have GUESSED it was at the Hilton!

No. That's all the reply I got from her. I asked SPECIFICALLY where we would be put, and that's what she told me. The next reply I got was simply, "go to pre reg. You'll find out there." (Oh, by the way, they lied to us about pre-reg too)

So yeah. There's that. And don't believe me? Here, have a look for yourself…

Play the Aki COn Feedback Drinking Game. Take a shot every time you see the words, Fire hazard, cold, dripping, ruined items, flared arthritis, refund and mold. Then, finish your drink once staff does a half-assed attempt at damage control five pages in, while the rest of the staff is too chicken to own up to their mess.

Seriously. Click that. We took pictures. I'm so effing sure someone peed in one of those buckets.
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KuroTatsu Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012
just wanted to say I feel bad for the shit that you guys endured. I wish I had been able to do more to help your cause, I provided pdfs of the forums and after they went offline thought that I should have done those in normal and not print view :(
SilverGodYouko Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2012  Student General Artist
This whole ordeal is just horrific. I planned on getting my very first AA table this year but decided against it when staff was unresponsive. Now to hear this all (I read all 25 pages of the feedback on the forums), I'm glad I didn't but sickened for what you and others went through.

And just when I went to give Aki-con my two cents on what they did in my previous forum post asking for info, I find that it and almost the entire forum have been locked down. It's unbelievable.

As I already said to Nuriko-Kun here on DA, I hope you and the other artists either take the head of Aki-con to Small Claims Court or form a class action lawsuit to right this situation. It's appalling how you were treated and are continuing to be treated.
Dynneekx Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012   Digital Artist
The AkiCon staff should feel ashamed of themselves. That's not your everyday level of "ConventionX was terrible."

That's just... that's a health hazard.
MagicBunni Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Shondrea, before I met you up at your table, I had been down front at the little food area (yes, festooned by buckets). You missed when the fire trucks showed up at the garage and the fire crew came in -- 7 to 10 men. This was Saturday. They stood in the front of the garage just... staring at the crowds for whole minutes before they started trying to circulate the room. No one from staff went to meet them. They were just sort of "WTF have they done here?" I had no idea those buckets (there were dozens and dozens of very large buckets on the ceilings) were dumping out on people... though I had to assume, as it rained both Friday and Saturday, they were. There were pools of water and wet pavement over the floor after all. I spent a lot of time telling my sister to watch her step and avoid the wet flooring. I was also thinking about what this would do to watercolours (several artists were painting these lived) and prints.

It seems that the anime crowd was almost utterly relegated to the garage. I can see why a Con would never book with these people again, for certain. It looked like their only fire-safety system for that capacity of a crowd was the moldy buckets. I don't remember sprinklers. You'd expect more from Hilton staff than a shrug and a flippant "Roofs leak. It happens."
Shondrea Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Magic bunni, would you be interested in adding your voice to Someone set it know, after the con's webpage starting BANING people. We're trying to amass a collection of evidence, testimony, and most important, PHOTOS. If you or anyone you know has photos, we'd love them!
MagicBunni Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Already done, though I have no photos.
Neoconvoy Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012  Student General Artist
Thta's just horrible. They should be ashamed of giving people such a disgusting place.
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Submitted on
October 29, 2012