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
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.