MH121, on 03 May 2012 - 02:27 PM, said:
The only problem I have with this whole experience is, why the heck did someone schedule so many BIG events in the same ballroom, one after another. And if the problem is too many events, then perhaps it's time to expand into other hotels. And if the problem is not enough room, perhaps it's time to cut back some events. Something has to give.
If the crowd is getting rowdy, perhaps the event is not the right one to have at the convention. If the crowd is getting out of control, perhaps it's time to call in the police. Saying that you have no control over the crowd does not justify what happened. But, obviously, that seems to be the crowd ACEN wants to attract.
Not saying it's right or wrong, but just like in the "real world", when push comes to shove, money speaks. Revenue from cosplayers in masquerade is pennies compared to the potential of a DJ and band. The people who participated in masquerade means nothing to the higher ups of the ACEN. If one person leaves, three more will fill in his/her place. No loss there. Capitalism at its best.
Agreed. Something has to give. If canceling Soap Bubble is going to lead to less attendance, or fewer underage attendees running loose, that's a GOOD thing. The folks who are coming strictly for Soap Bubble are not the ones you want there anyway. I realize ACEN's management has struggled with quality vs. quantity for many years now, but as others have pointed out, this is getting down to some very basic levels of safety and moral responsibility.
IRT are not cops. They can't even revoke badges, as it turns out (wow, by the way). Placing all the expectations of cops upon them, while they have no legal or procedural authority to do much of anything, not only places a ton of volunteers in a bad situation, but it means basically the inmates are running the asylum. It boggles my mind that upper management still refuses to see this as a problem, given the extremely poor behavior of some of the folks who have been attracted to this con for years now.
What is it going to take to get through to the upper management that security at this con is a terrible joke? That ACEN has a deservedly terrible reputation in the anime/manga/associated fandom community? Some 14-year-old girl getting raped in the corner of the ballroom? Some underage drinker passing out and dying from alcohol poisoning? You think it's expensive to pay for some DJs that never do their set, how about hiring attorneys for the inevitable lawsuits as this thing gets more and more out of hand?
The arrogance of ACEN's upper management in thinking they can just bury their heads in the sand over known security issues with this con is breathtaking and why I feel I just can't bring myself to support the con by coming to any future years. I feel dirty enough having attended this year, knowing all that went on. I didn't feel safe at ACEN. Not while I was trying to get through hordes of people attending photo shoots and not caring who they knocked over in the process. Definitely not when I was trying to get to the non-masq, non-rave content on Saturday, dodging obvious creeps who had no idea what this con was even about or people engaging in random property destruction. And not while I was trying to get my shopping done Sunday when the dealer's room/artist alley seemed to be taken over by creepy, very unwashed attendees with Sunday-only badges who didn't even know what Hello Kitty was. I didn't feel safe the whole weekend, and because I value my safety, I can't justify bringing myself or my money to ACEN anymore.
I don't even care about the masquerade, and haven't for years, although I respect the time and effort people put into their costumes and skits. So when it gets someone like me upset that a major chunk of it was canceled in favor of one of the things that is drawing creeps to this con, making people like me who have been coming for years feel completely unsafe...it's not just a slap in the face to those who worked hard on their skits and costumes. It's a slap in the face to everyone they SHOULD be trying to keep coming back year after year, whether they attend the masquerade or not.