[For the first entry in the GamerCon 2017 series, check out here. So far, we’re already after covering how the organizer of the event, Ferdi Roberts, knowingly oversold the event, and once the inevitable backlash was direct his way, he issued a classic non-apology and attempted to re-direct any and all blame to the Dublin Convention Centre. DCC quickly responded, issuing a statement seemingly hinting at the fact that Mr. Roberts undersold the event when booking the Convention Centre. He then proceeded to oversell the event, consequences be damned, and refusing to take any blame for the chaos he created, blaming DCC for his wrongdoings. The story continues.]
After the curtain dropped, and Mr. Roberts and GamerCon 2017 still attempted to give people the runaround, Mr. Roberts finally issued some semblance of an apology, writing on Facebook:
“This outcome [ticket-holders waiting 3 hours or more in a queue] should never have happened and the responsibility lies with me to ensure that it didn’t. To ensure that the venue was capable of handling the demand was my responsibility and this clearly caused the overwhelming majority of problems experienced on the day. How or why I made the choice to work with the Convention Centre is now immaterial and any previous comments I’ve made about the venue were not designed to pass blame on any party. I made the decision to use the venue, I sold the tickets and for attendees, that’s all that matters – I am the one responsible, irrespective of discussions or planning with any other party involved in the event. You deserved better and I accept that and want to reiterate how incredibly sorry I am for what happened.”
What’s been left out of this narrative so far, having only being touched upon, was the reaction from kids who were eagerly awaiting the event. As TheJournal.ie points out, parents had bought tickets to the event months in advance. One of those is Susan Forsythe. She had brought her nine-year-old son Zach and his friend Daniel from Belfast to the event. She described how “devastated” the boys were when it emerged that they were not going to get into the venue to see their favourite YouTube personalities. Forsythe had paid extra for VIP passes when it emerged a meet-and-greet with the online vloggers could only be secured with the more expensive tickets. As Mrs. Forsythe told TheJournal.ie:
“To see the devastation in their wee faces was horrible. We had a family ticket which we had saved up for as a Christmas present for him. He was so excited, it was like another Christmas. He was counting down the days and then he was devastated when we got to the front door and were told we’d be better off going home…We were there waiting for 90 minutes or thereabouts in the wind and the rain and then security came and said we’d be better off going home. We were sent away. The kids were there in their fancy dress and everything. It broke my heart. It’s not the money aspect really. How can you pay the price on the kids disappointment? It was sad to watch your child look forward to something for so long and then have it taken away from him.”
As a final word to Mr. Roberts (thought I’ve several other names that I could use here): a half baked apology and half hearted attempt at a refund isn’t what the kids who were turned away in literal tears from your event want or deserve. Instead of issuing pre-written statements on Social Media and removing any and all ways to contact GamerCon 2017 through your website and Social Media – as well as dragging your feet on refunds – why not just stand up, tell us why you really planned one of the worst fan events in modern Irish history, and give ticket-holders their money back? After all, they earned it. You didn’t. As for GamerCon 2018, I think many people are in agreement with me when I say that I hope it doesn’t go ahead. Ever.