Dear Showmasters: An email complaint with regards to the complete farce that was London Film and Comic Con, Saturday July 12th
Myself and my other half visited London today (Sat 12 July) with the intention to attend London Film and Comic Con at Earls Court 2, and having arrived at the venue a 9am, thought we would have no trouble queueing to buy tickets. Unfortunately we were wrong.
Considering we were in the queue no later than 9:10, it’s not unreasonable to believe we would be in the hall by midday. Having attended several other conventions (including MCM and NYCC), I felt this was a safe assumption. However, by midday we were still out to the front of Earls Court, winding our way through the barely managed human soup of hopeful convention goers.
By 12:30, we had discovered through our own investigation that the convention venue had reached capacity, and would now be operating on a “one in, one out” admissions system. Disheartened as we were, we still believed we were in with a chance of getting inside.
By 1pm, people began to abandon the queue. We spoke to several hopefuls who had all traveled to attend, some with young children, one family we spoke to had traveled from Cardiff and in their own words noted “we have been in this queue longer than it took to get the bus from Cardiff to London”. Others we spoke to had booked the day off work specifically. Another said he made a habit of attending as many conventions as he could to get autographs and noted that this queue was the worst he had ever experienced.
By 1:30, we finally saw more convention staff, who were sadly informing the people in the queue about the “one in, one out” system, informing us that there was a great possibility we would not manage to gain entry to the convention. At this point many people got justifiably annoyed. Knowing these people had nothing to do with the planning and arrangement of the event, I asked them about complaints and they directed me to this email address.
By 2pm, having been in the queue in sweltering heat, with little to no shade, no food or drink stands, barely any word from the convention staff until recently, and having meandered through a queue held together only by the visiting masses with no staff in sight for the most part, I and my other half gave up. Disappointed and upset, we left the queue. Leaving a friend behind who was determined to get in having put some effort into a costume he wanted to display inside.
I took my money, and spent it in Forbidden Planet, which was absolutely PACKED with people in exactly the same situation as us. Having queued in the heat for hours only to be told “sorry, maybe next time”.
At 3pm our friend we left behind also gave up and left the queue, along with several other visitors.
Many people spent considerable time and effort to attend today’s event, and what must have been over a thousand (if not thousands) of those people were left outside, in the baking sun, with no word from event staff on what was going on, and no idea if they were going to get in to an event they had all been looking forward to. Many visitors today were young children, many were in heavy costume, and I would be amazed if you didn’t have people passing out from the heat today.
It cost myself and my other half £84.60 to travel on the train from our home in Deal (Kent) to the convention today, and while that may not seem like much, is actually quite a bit to us, and I don’t think I am being unfair when I say that as the sole intent of our visit to London today was to attend an event so poorly managed by you, that it left what must have been over a thousand people effectively stuck out in the sun for up to 6 hours only to be turned away, that I request a reimbursement of our train fare.
I would greatly appreciate a response to this email, although I do understand that it may be one of many such complaints you receive on this matter. I feel that today Showmasters let down a great number of people, and needs to show some accountability for that fact.
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