Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Chi-Fi is Definitely Off the Schedule for 2014

Back in October I posted an entry nattering about possible events to go to. One of them was Chi-Fi, a new SF convention to be held in downtown Chicago at the end of March. I had this to say about it at that time:

"Chi-Fi:  SF/Geek. Conflicted. Prices not unreasonable. Downtown Chicago does not thrill us for getting the trailer there (much less parking - would probably haul it back home), or getting there ourselves. 1st year, wondering what attendance they'll get. Xap pointed out that they have some good musicians coming, though. Currently leaning away."

I e-mailed for more information, and got some (attendance hopes), but not other bits (trailer parking/storage options). I decided that their vendor prices and attendance hopes were higher than I was comfortable with for a first year, especially when coupled with the whole location/parking issue, so we decided "maybe next year".

This morning I saw the news via social media that Chi-Fi as a weekend-long convention will not be happening this year.

The convention chair has stated that the hotel had issues with the convention's anti-harassment policy, and hotel staff (managment?) referred to fen as freaks. The hotel has countered that the issues were not as stated by Chi-Fi, but they and the convention could not come to agreement on certain issues, and that the convention requested an out, which the hotel granted. 

On social media the majority of commenters seem to be assuming absolutes - truth by the convention and lies by the hotel.

I'm not one of them. I'm betting that the truth is somewhere in-between the two. My guess is that the word "freaks" was used by someone at some time, and that there were discussions about how the convention's anti-harassment policy would apply to hotel staff. And I'm also guessing that there were issues from the convention's end.  I suspect there's been a lot going on that neither side is talking about. 

The upshot is that Chi-Fi is mostly off for this year - they will be doing a Saturday-only event at a different venue. They have stated this is not a cancellation, just a delay on holding a full convention until next year. They've also stated that refunds are available. These are encouraging signs for Chi-Fi's continued existence. 

To wrap it all up with as somewhat on-topic, I'm glad we decided not to do Chi-Fi this year, and Otter Necessities is still at "maybe next year".

No comments:

Post a Comment