SCREWBALL SCRAMBLE by ~cactusheart

And behold they speak. A message from Las Pegasus Unicon.

What follows are not excuses, but rather explanations for those who want to hear from ones who know.

We first wish to offer our apologies to those negatively affected by Las Pegasus Unicon. Unicon was started with the best of intentions, an attempt to provide a grand, fun event for the wonderful fandom of Bronies that we have come to know and appreciate. At no point was malice, negativity, or greed a part of our motivation. What we were guilty of was naivety. The short version of it all is that we acted upon bad advice from those we thought we had no reason to distrust, and were financially gouged by nearly every institution we dealt with. With any plan you make, allowances are made for the occasional mishap, and our plan was like this. However, we encountered not occasional, but constant negative changes throughout the stages of this convention. So many, that not only did our backups prove ineffective, but we doubt there could have been any effective backups to work, save perhaps a millionaire benefactor. Sadly, we did not have one, nor any sponsors at all for that matter. This convention was run out of our own shallow pockets, the only supplementation being the ticket sales.

Between last minute add-ons by the hotel/convention center employees, (on top of a 5 month swim through their lies and misdirections) equipment rental changes, un-authorized transportation charges, unmentioned union labor costs, and two dozen other unexpected last-week costs, our convention operations budget had been depleted. Now this is not to say that the voice actors and other MLP:FiM cast members had been overlooked. Contrary to some unfounded and untrue statements, the celebrities’ agents have all received monies from us – both prior to the convention and during. Exactly how much has been received by the agents is impossible to say with certainty. We have records of payments totalling in excess of $40,000 to the various agents. However, an unknown amount of cash was witnessed, on more than one occasion on Sunday, being directly removed by an agent of the stars from our cash box. Additionally, all monies raised by EFN’s fundraiser and all autograph sales went uncounted directly to the stars’ agents.

While at no point did we abandon Unicon, at about 2:00 AM Sunday we realized that events had escalated beyond what our experience and staff could manage, and thus effective management was transferred from us to EFNW. At this point, we were grateful for the willing assistance from our fellow Bronies and had long since discarded any thought of recouping our personal losses into a goal of giving the best time to the attendees there on Sunday. We did our best to help these more experienced folks salvage the convention, and many crises were averted with their guidance. However, when it came to monies, the hands of the stars’ agents were constantly being filled. Whether it be from autographs, auctions, or personally removing T-shirt sale money from the cash box. Due to the chaotic nature of the con at this stage of the game, and a complete and utter refusal of the agents to sign records, an exact ledger of what was received by the agents on Sunday is impossible to produce.

As some of you are aware, some attendees suffered from the questionable tactics employed, for whatever reason, by the Rivera Hotel upon their checkout – most notably, ignoring all payments made by Unicon towards their room comps and charging them full balance.

In regards to the generous Bronies who have been donating to fundraisers, we have never put our hand out requesting donations and have no association or awareness of how these fundraisers are operated or organized. They are not affiliated in any way with the staff of Las Pegasus Unicon. Thus, Unicon has no knowledge of the disbursement or organization behind these fundraisers. However, our suggestion for these generous donations would be first to go to the Bronies affected by the recent events, especially those forced by the Riviera to pay for their rooms out-of-pocket. Following this, helping the musicians who performed so admirably who may or may not be out funds. These recipients, rather than the voice actors, who have already received payment to their agents, should be preferentially compensated.

The reason that the vendor hall closed when it did was simply because the Riviera stated that, despite the convention space being paid in full until midnight well before the start of Unicon, they would be closing the doors at 6:00 PM. They then changed this to 7:00, and then finally admitted that we had paid in full for the event space. However, this confirmation from the Riviera came much too late to forestall the chaos instigated by their first proclamations. This matter we place on the shoulders of the unprofessional Riviera staff.

We are currently seeking legal counsel on how to proceed in an attempt to find closure with those financially impacted by the hotel situation, along with making our side of the story known to the community at large. The email address will continue to be monitored and will respond to serious inquiries.

The Las Pegasus Unicon Staff

They later added a small clarification:

Clarification (2-26): When we say the money from EFN’s fundraiser was uncounted, we mean to say that Las Pegasus Unicon has no record of it. This does not imply that EFN did not keep apropriate records themselves.

  • Kaleb Johnson

    I am reminded of comedian Patton Oswalt, who once referred to Las Vegas as being “deep-fried demon cock”.

  • Anonymous

    So they’re blaming the talent and their agents for stealing, essentially?

    I was at the con, and the thing was a disorganized clusterfuck from the beginning. The panel rooms were not labeled to match the map, they were constantly short-staffed, the badge pick-up window was unmanned for large parts of the day, and their con guide was printed on office paper stapled together and folded in half — stapled off-center, to boot. That was when you could get a con book, of course, since they had only a handful. The opening panels on the first day got delayed with no announcement or reason given. Etc, etc.

    I actually had a good time despite all that, but it was clear right off the bat that these people had no clue what the hell they were doing.

    I also have it on good authority from another con chair that the talent did NOT get paid, and in fact agreed to a 60% pay cut on the last day in order to keep the con solvent. That the staff are trying to shift the blame onto the hotel and guests and play victim does not sit well with me.

    • Heh, I had a chunk of cardboard out on our table with the schedule cause of the lack of books.

      We are currently gathering information around here, along with many in the fandom who are fact finding. We’ll see what we get in a day or so more.

      • Anonymous

        I’ll be interested to see what you guys find out. It just seems like the more information gets out the more of a clusterfuck this appears to have been.

  • Dan

    I was there. The con, while fun, was very haphazard…I don’t believe for one second, their explanation, and to accuse agents of pilfering from the box is ludicrous at best.

    This Con (and that’s what it was too..a CON job) *SCREWED* people. It’s organizers should be held accountable.

  • Dubious excuses encased within an insincere and late apology from losers who screwed over a score of good people, jeopardized future conventions, probably ruined any further prospect of a pony con in Vegas, and made Tara Strong miss her kid’s karate tourney. They were bragging about their business acumen beforehand too.

    Fuck them.