Insider Leak From Crystal Mountain PonyCon by


Editor's note: The following comes from an anonymous staff member of Crystal Mountain Pony Con in Utah. The stories and information posted here are unverified. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his.

Crystal Meth Pony Con 2015 violates Salt Lake City 

~Anonymous
I'm on staff for our local pony convention called Crystal Mountain Pony Con which is now in it's 3rd year of operation. I read some of your articles from last time, and things haven't gotten any better. I joined the staff a few months ago and me, along with a lot of other local bronies are extremely disappointed in the way that the 3 (barely 2 now) conheads are running things. I've been able to get behind the scenes of this so called convention and need to tell everybody just how bad things are here. This is a long one...



The date was changed yet again. Originally the con was going to happen over the 24th of July weekend which was a horrible idea to begin with, because the 24th of July is a Mormon holiday that's bigger than the 4th of July here. Even though a bunch of the local bronies told the conheads that holding it on the weekend of the 24th would be a VERY BAD idea, they ignored us and scheduled it for that day anyway. Well, something must have scared them because a few months later they completely backpedaled and said how there was some kind of error in scheduling so they decided to schedule it for this weekend, the 17th and 18th of July. The same weekend as Trotcon.
Another couple rounds of funding from indiegogo were launched with only one of them being successful. The other didn't even get within $1500 of it's goall. Even with the money they received, they could have had a decent con at last year's convention space (the Red Lion Hotel), but...
The conheads, in their infinite wisdom, and without any regard for just how little money they had, decided to blow all of their money on moving to a much much more expensive convention space. More than half of that money is most likely going towards the convention space alone. A good chunk of it is also going to fly SupaCrikeyDave out here because they recruited him to do artwork and animation. Completely disregarding the fact that we have so many talented artists here locally already, and they've even received many applications and proofs of artwork from these artists but for some reason decided to import art instead of reach out to one of the many ready and willing artists we have here. It's nothing against SupaCrikeyDave, he's an amazing artist, but for a so-called "community" convention, they aren't so much about the community after all.

In fact, despite local outcry after the traceponies scandal, they've also decided to invite Drawponies to exhibit "his art" this year, and they have also paid some of his transportation costs out here as well. They are going to deny this completely, but keep in mind that they not only asked him to come, but they offered to give him a spot directly in front of the entrance to the main convention space. But of course, you won't see his name published on the website or on the facebook pages because they don't want certain news outlets to pick up on it.

Speaking of the website, it's slow as shit and completely lacking in updates over the past several months. Only in the last couple of weeks has it been updated. This was because the web designer they hired sat on his ass and did things the cheap way. But see for yourself http://crystalponycon.com/
Another issue is that one of the "guests", Too Rad Cosplay was only invited because one of the conheads has a hard on for her and threatened to have a royal hissy fit if this guest wasn't invited. That's the only reason. Oh, and her transportation was also paid in full.

Aside from that, last week an event outside the con was held called the Crystal Mountain Pony Gala. It was organized at the very last minute because the community caught the conheads in another bullshit story about how they asked the community if they wanted a gala event or a rave, and apparently everybody said rave. The problem is, the "community" in this case was only a small panel of 5 people that they asked during an outing at a mall, and not the 2,000 or so members of the Utah Bronies, a.k.a. "the community". Upon realizing their mistake, they begged a local brony event organizer with a lot more experience running events than the CMPC conheads, to throw something together at an event hall across town, which he did, and then the CMPC conheads proceed to take every credit for this person's hard work, not even so much as offering to help pay for the event.
But the thing that pissed me and many others off the most was tonight. This was our night to set up for the convention tomorrow. I arrived at the scheduled time of 6pm for our staff meeting and setup only to find that none of the conheads were there. About 20 minutes later our head of security showed up and had the doors open so that the seven or so vendors who had shown up early to set up could be let into the vendor hall. When the other conhead showed up he went right to the main events hall and told all of us that we needed to sit there for the next couple of hours as he briefs us on all of the information we've been asking for the last couple of months, at the last goddamn minute.

Oh, and we come to find out that the conhead who was over cosplay, the one who had Too Rad shipped over here, she won't be here until late Saturday. Just a few hours before the con actually ends.

I come to find out that there are other staffers in the hall who were told that they weren't needed in the meeting, even though they all played rolls in the con. Staffers like the con-ops person, the registration people, and even a couple of the DJs and the game room guys. While they were out in the hall, I kept getting messages that they had people, mostly vendors and artists, coming up to them asking what is going on, because they had no idea where they were supposed to set up or be at 6pm, now 7pm.
It's not over yet. We also have no official staff badges. We have attendee badges, gopher badges, security badges, guest badges and that's it.

That's because staffers were all told that on top of the huge price increase for the 2 day con this year, we staffers also had to pay $25 for our badges. Some of us didn't pay after all, thanks to the person bringing the badges leaving them in an open panel room for us to quietly swipe. But there were a few staff members who were unfortunately motivated to pay for their staff badge.

Let's also talk about how the panel schedule was changed yet again and updated yet again tonight. Last year it was moved around during the con so many times that people just gave up on their panels and left. It looks like this is happening yet again, as we currently have people either on the road or asleep who haven't yet heard their panels have been moved around again.
All of this, and the con hasn't even started yet.

You can expect another update or two from me over the weekend. I ask to remain anonymous at this time. But all you have to do to verify everything I'm talking about is look at the website, and look at the Crystal Mountain Pony Con's official Facebook page and Crystal Mountain Pony Con Open Group. A lot of this information is in there. 

Comments (32)

  1. Wasn't this last weekend?

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  2. It's like 75% of the PonyCons are shit.

    (I went to FE! as a vendor and my shit got stolen, sad cum)

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    1. A lot of cons these days are having huge issues with trying to get competent people to head them.
      FE was a flop because it was a little con trying to act like it was a much larger one

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  3. >Just take a look at the site.
    They could change that in response.

    Nigga should've taken screencaps.

    JIM! HN! YOU ARE JOURNALISTS! DO IT! BASIC AND NECESSARY!

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  4. oh I just love corruption and shady practices so much(sarcasm)

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    1. Yeah, does anyone else remember when the current conheads took over Crystal Mountain Pony Con in 2014, and they raised all of that money only to pull a Las Pegasus and run away with all the money like everybody said they would? Oh wait, they didn't, and they're still around running the convention.

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  5. I had my stuff up as a reward for their Indiegogo without any knowledge they doing so. These were left overs from last year when they took them from me at Bronycon said they were going to be donated to children's hospitals but was messaged by someone at the con letting me know they had them on the table for sale.
    So 2 years in a row they were misusing donated merchandise and I have my doubts what they told me about the other "donations" to the charity auction this year.

    It sucks when shit like this happens, but this is why I'm point it out. The attendees there were great, the con heads themselves need to be switched with people who know how to managed events.
    And that's what a lot of these cons are suffering from are people who can't manage these events. Honestly the best management I've seen for a con this year has been Midwest Brony Fest, and also the vendor hall lead for EFNW that guy is amazing and more vendor hall heads need to be like him.

    Sorry for the rant, I do love vending at these conventions, I just wish we'd be a little better about picking who's in charge

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    1. excuse all my grammer/spelling errors, I'm a horrible writer -_(\

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  6. I attended CMPC this year. I know some people on staff who were in a full blown panic on Saturday when both the conheads disappeared for the entire day. From what I understand, the entire con was basically being run by a combination of the security guy, the game room guy, and one of the DJs for several hours without anyone noticing. It was a highly disorganized mess and all the conheads could do is pay themselves on the back during the feedback panel on the last night.

    Something that was a huge problem was that there were 2 vendors halls, but nobody knew about the 2nd one. Because they "oversold" the vendor area, they had to put people outside the vendor room in an area with immediate exposure, and people ended up thinking that they were the only vendors at the con, when there was an entire room full of people just across the building that hardly anybody visited. What was even worse, is they out a huge name like Drawponies next to the entrance, so he's the very first thing people see when they walk into the hall, which was crowded because they packed those vendors in what is normally an open walking area. It was a horrible layout.

    About the only things good about this con were the vendors when people started hearing about them, the game room, and the rave. A lot of the panels were good as well but one thing I also found annoying is that the conheads were sitting in on many of the panels, just to get more attention. They added absolutely nothing to the presentation, as clearly evidenced by the drinking is magic panel which I was hoping would be a break from the conheads but they had to shove their cocks into our face some more to remind us "HEY JUST SO YOU KNOW WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS CON SO WE HAVE TO REMIND YOU EVERY FIVE FUCKING MINUTES".

    In short, this con was horribly run. The conheads want too much attention. The layout was stupid and for a community con they sure weren't treating their community members right. They want to be a big con too soon. They don't have the money and they don't have the skills. You can't run a con like this with the staff they have. There are several people I can name off the top of my head who would be better at running this and hopefully the conheads know who I'm talking about. I don't see this con getting any better. I probably won't be attending next year.

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    1. The reason for the con heads sitting in on the panels was due to a few issues that were had with a few of the panelists last year. Either technical, or them bringing up topics that are definitely not PG (like the date rape discussion last year).

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  7. > huge name
    > Drawponies
    > mfw (tracing)

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    1. well he does have a very strong booth when it comes to conventions.
      Average attendees will blow large portions of cash on his table if he's their first stop because of how stuff he has.
      I do wish I could have the sheer number and types of products he does, it can be hard to afford that upfront cost that might eventually pay back

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  8. I always thought even if you didn't agree with the Traceponies scandal, it was still bad enough that he had really aggressive booth barkers who would wander out past his table and steal people from other ones. I saw it happen *countless* times. Eventually, people got so nervous of the high-pressure salesmen that they'd avoid the entire area surrounding his booth, including the vendors next to him.

    These cons that are defending him and inviting him in, either as a special guest or just as a vendor: why? At this point, why? Clearly the public opinion about the guy has shifted, and people are starting to loathe the "man-turned-corporation" that Drawponies Inc. has become. What good does it do you to have your name associated with that?

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    1. He learned his lesson. He apologized. He knew he made a mistake and was genuinely sorry for it. There was not a single brony at the con who was holding the scandal against him. Not even any of the other artists who came to the con.

      These booth barkers you speak of? I've seen other vendors with them. Call them barkers, salesmen, hype men, whatever. Others have them, but for some reason, people choose to zero in on Drawponies.

      Seriously, other people have moved on already.

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  9. Honestly I'm not even mad that they invited Drawponies - even with prominent placement, there will be people who will deliberately avoid buying anything from him due to the tracing issue - but at least tell the truth about who you're featuring at your con. To host a vendor that traces his artwork is one thing but I expect cons at least not to lie about it.

    To be perfectly honest, I don't see what such the big deal is about him tracing. When I first saw his artwork, I already assumed he traced, so for people to react in shock and outrage that there was proof he traced took me by surprise. If you ask me, it just stood for a reasonable excuse for people to point out all the other (actually legitimate) problems with tactics he used at conventions in order to sell more and other such things. But here's the issue: If the convention was trying to make a statement that tracing artwork isn't a big deal (which may be valid, or at the least have supporters), then they wouldn't be obscuring his name from the site or promotional material. Shows this particular con's true colors. (Although I'm not certain what the con gets in return...)

    It's really unfortunate that there aren't more people in the fandom who can run cons well. It's the biggest limit on the amount of good convention options available, and at this point they're spreading people across multiple conventions trying to cobble together good teams, which overworks the competent people as well. All I can hope is that it never reaches a critical point where major cons collapse because there are too few experienced staffers getting spread too thin.

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    1. They didn't lie, Drawponies was stated to appear on the con's guest page.

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    2. This is false. I checked the website regularly for updates to the schedule (that never showed up on the website or on the facebook group, but were hand written on printed schedules at the con) and there were many guests listed but drawponies was never one of them. OP really should have taken screen shots.

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  10. CMPC was highly disorganized and very poorly run. The conheads need a serious lesson on how to run a convention. It sounds like some of their staff would be better qualified to run this convention. The current conheads should just call it quits and hand off the con to the people in the community who could do a much much better job.

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    1. Hi. I'm one of the people that others have said should take over Crystal Mountain Pony Con, and I can tell you that the convention is already in very good hands.

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    2. I know who you are. You are very much respected in the community and with your experience a lot of us believe that you would make an excellent conhead. But if you say the current administration is doing a good job, then we trust your judgement. You should still be a conhead though.

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    3. Assuming this persons name starts with R and ends with Y then we're definitely not the only ones to think that he would make a good conhead. A lot of us are really surprised he isn't a conhead already. Crystal mountain would be stupid to not ask him to be a conhead this year because of his experience and a lot of UB would agree with this too.

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  11. "Too Rad Cosplay was only invited because one of the conheads has a hard on for her and threatened to have a royal hissy fit if this guest wasn't invited."
    LMAO which one though? I need to know so I can send out a formal rejection letter

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    1. I haven't had a lot of respect for cosplayers in the past.

      But you, you're pretty alright.

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    2. PRETTY SURE THEY SAID THAT BECAUSE YOUR EGO IS BIGGER THAN YOUR BOOBS

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  12. I've been on staff for several other cons both brony and non-brony. I've never seen a more disorganized mess than CMPC. This kind of thing would be acceptable as growing pains for a first year con. Not for a 3rd year.

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  13. This is not an article on the convention. The way this is written, it is a directed attack at the management of the convention and the convention itself. To those who say this convention is purely run, if it bothers you that much, and you want to go to a convention, start one up yourself and see how much effort it takes to gather capital, rent a hotel, organize guests and artists, find people to help you run the con, organize them, run a website, deal with people slandering your name, and make sure everything goes according to plan. The heads of convention, news flash, are obligated to do fuck all for you. This doesn't exist without them, and if you don't want to go, or don't like what's happening, you're perfectly welcome to leave.

    This is an unprofessional, needless, childish attack, and not a news article.

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    1. Found one of the con heads.Obviously you didn't put in the effort required among all those things you listed. You failed. Get out.

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    2. Actually, no. This is a good friend of mine who is as passionate about the con as the rest of us.

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    3. You are correct. This isn't a news article. It's an opinion piece from a staff member of the con, not Horse News. Good on you for pointing out what's directly said above the article.

      "You can't judge until you do it too!" has never held water. I can tell shit is shit without being an expert in shit. I don't need to be an artist to tell someone their scribbles suck. I don't need to be professional musician to tell a youtuber that their singing on a shittymic sucks.

      "The heads of convention, news flash, are obligated to do fuck all for you"
      They're obligated to do what they're getting money to do. And if they don't year to year, the simple result is that the con will die. As it should. Even though the con has passed to different heads the previous ones have hurt it for years to come.

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    4. The people who keep saying the con was a success are people who are close friends with the current conheads. Unfortunately they're the most vocal and thanks to the conheads having a lot of friends in the community, theirs are the loudest voices. There are a lot of people who were highly dissatisfied with the con this year but can't say anything for fear of the conheads using their social status in the community to ruin these people. Believe me when I say there are a lot of us who can't say anything because of how things are run around here.

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  14. Whoever wrote this obviously didn't pay attention to the whole "gala vs rave" poll that was put up. So many more people voted gala than rave.

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  15. Here we are almost 2 months after the convention and the conheads are already living up to their image:

    Zero activity on the official facebook page
    Little to no activity on the facebook group
    No announcement on a date for CMPC 2016
    But wait... we finally have a poll asking for everybodys opinion on the convention, what date it should be held next year and some ideas on people to invite back. Almost 2 months after the event. Surprisingly enough it was also most of the complaints and negative press about the con has died down. Smart.
    NO INTERACTION FROM CMPC CONHEADS AT ALL REGARDING THE CON

    Looks like we're in for a wonderful CMPC 2016!

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