This article comes to no surprise to Heroes and Villians, Walker Stalker, and Fan Fest fans. The company now going by “Fan Fest Events” is continuing to spark controversy after multiple event cancellations and fans screaming on social media about still not receiving refunds from previous years. Problems started long ago when it was reported that Fan Fest wasn’t going to return to San Jose in 2019. San Jose was the starting point for Heroes and Villians so it seemed weird that it wouldn’t return especially when they blamed the city for “no availability”. Considering SVCC has moved its convention date every year it’s occurred, many didn’t think that was the reason why. Months later, we then reported that Fan Fest was started to tread into hot water with fans. This was just the beginning of fans vocalizing that they were out money. Some people being out HUNDREDS of dollars for VIP tickets, photo ops, and autographs that never happened. Every time, Fan Fest would report that the event would be “rescheduled” and fans could “hold onto their tickets.” All while continuing to adamantly deny all allegations that they were going bankrupt.
Last year, Fan Fest attempted to sell items from their warehouse such as signed banners, celebrity banners, old merchandise, etc on eBay. Some people were smart enough to read the small print to realize that all funds made through these sales were going towards refunding other people. A clear indicator that the company was actually floundering. After checking out their eBay reviews a few months after the sale, it looks like a lot of bidders got screwed over by either getting their order completely canceled or never receiving it all together. A lot of fans online were quick to point out that Fan Fest canceled all the Paypal orders because they knew Paypal wasn’t going to mess around with them anymore after having to deal with ticket returns. Celebrities started protesting on social media that they weren’t being paid by Fan Fest and refusing to attend the conventions anymore. Chandler Rigg’s, Carl Grimes on the Walking Dead, own mother demanded on Twitter that her son’s photo be taken down after trying to get a hold of the event coordinators for days about him not attending. She “didn’t want fans losing any more money.” Clues just kept adding up that Fan Fest was a ticking time bomb.
Fast forward to this month, they’ve announced Fan Fest London 2020. Well, I should say “reannounce” because this is the second (possibly third time) this event has been resurrected from the grave. I wish I was joking but it’s true. Immediately, fans started hitting the Facebook page with comments asking where their refunds were and calling the entire business a sham. Other fans trolled the company about the likelihood that the event would even happen after the monstrosity of Nashville in January. One deleted commented read “Fan Fest Events is turning into the Fyre Festival of 2020.” We honestly couldn’t agree more. Within hours of their first posting about London, Fan Fest was quick to start deleting comments and quelling the fire. Yet over the week, they continued to tease fans about “upcoming announcements”. Fans threw back that you couldn’t even buy tickets for the event anymore at the time. With the event, less than a month away, shouldn’t the event still be selling tickets? Let’s be honest, it’s not SDCC, ECCC, or NYCC, the tickets don’t just sell out. Fan Fest stated that ticket information would be available later that week. They did eventually go on sale, but now fans who paid to have theirs mailed are out 10 GBP and the tickets are nowhere to be found. It was announced on Friday via Facebook in a now-deleted post that the tickets never made it to the post office and now EVERYONE must pick up their tickets at Will Call. That hefty fee? Can either be refunded to you or can be used towards a photo op? Yes, even I am rolling my eyes. To add icing on the cake, celebrities that Fan Fest had JUST announced as guests for London Convention the past few weeks were going on their own social media to say they weren’t actually attending. Pilou Asbæk of Game Of Thrones cited on Twitter that things had gotten “difficult post-Atlanta” and continued to apologize to fans who were still buying tickets to see him. He has made it crystal clear that even though Fan Fest still has him on the website as attending, he will NOT be there. Most of the Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead cast members have sworn off the company for good due to fan complaints and bounced checked from Fan Fest. Once again publicists and media companies were going on the defense saying their client wouldn’t be attending the event and that they’ve tried to contact Fan Fest coordinators multiple times without any answer.
Fans flocked to social media asking if the website would be updated with the correct guests so they could plan their trips. No update on the Fan Fest front at this point and the convention is scheduled to happen February 22nd and 23rd.
As of right now, they only have three events scheduled for this year:
- Fan Fest London February 22 & 23
- Fan Fest Chicago April 18 & 19
- Fan Fest New Jersey June 13 & 14
As noted before, Fan Fest has had one event already this year in Nashville, Tennessee at the beginning of January that was a complete mess. There were tons of guests who either canceled or confirmed on social media that they weren’t coming once announced. Frankly, this tweet with video pretty much shows how horrible the event was.
✅ NO BAG CHECKS
✅ NO ARMBAND CHECKS.
✅ NO TSHIRTS FOR PLAT/GOLD.
✅ CELEB GUEST PAYING FOR OTHER CELEB GUESTS ACCOMMODATIONS.
✅ STAFF BEING TOLD LAST CON EVER, TO SAY GOODBYES.
— (っ◔◡◔)っ 𝕄𝕚ᔕ𝕥𝕪 (@Tha_Mist) January 4, 2020
While he has yet to confirm the rumor, it is said that Dog the Bounty Hunter (Doug Chapman) paid to “keep the lights on” for the event. Some volunteers went so far to tweet that Dog’s Team personally paid for meals, transportation, and hotel stays because guests weren’t paid for or taken care of. The volunteers were also left out in the dust dealing with fan complaints and with no compensation. Previous employees of the company are now finding their names are blacklisted with specific vendors due to their association with Fan Fest. It has been discovered company founder, James Fraizer, has been banned to rent venues in multiple states for unpaid bills. Could this be why San Jose didn’t happen? Frankly, we can’t understand how they can still be a business and be allowed to sell/promote events.
The Walker Stalker Con website is also completely down. It is believed that Atlanta was the last big hurrah for that franchise. When you google the Walker Stalker Con site, there is a giant disclaimer that they aren’t affiliated with the show or AMC network. We can only imagine how many brands and businesses that have been affected by the irresponsibility of Fan Fest. The Game of Nerds strongly suggests fans to NOT buy any tickets for this event. While we have attended these events in the past and they were wonderful, the amount of complaints and things we have seen personally is too much for us to ignore. We want fans to have fun and spend their hard-earned money with companies who value them.
If you have been affected negatively by Fan Fest, Walker Stalker Con, or Heroes and Villians, please reach out to us. We will continue to write up people’s stories and interactions with this horrible company so that everyone is aware of what is going on.