Tana Mongeau’s ‘TanaCon’ Was a Certified Disaster, but Who’s Surprised?

When will YouTube conventions just stop?
June 29, 2018
4 mins read

YouTuber Tana Mongeau is steeped in yet another controversy. The 20-year-old decided to hold a self-titled convention after making her disdain for the more popular VidCon known.

The new “TanaCon,” which took place last weekend in Anaheim, was meant to not only be a place where fans could meet Tana herself, but also included appearances from (way more famous) Shane Dawson, James Charles, Ricky Dillon and Colleen Ballinger.

Sounds pretty cool, right? A bunch of people can go, meet and hang out with their favorite famous internet people, and make friends who have similar interests. Unfortunately, to call TanaCon a near miss would be an understatement, because the event was just a massive disaster.

The tickets, which were about $65 — $150 for VIP passes — did nothing. The VIP passes were meant to let you skip the lines, but there was only one line, and everyone had to stand in it. Even worse was the fact that many people stood waiting, in the hot California sun, for upwards of five or six hours. Would be convention-goers are reporting second and third-degree burns as a result.

The issue comes down to pure overselling, because although the event was capable of holding 5,000 people, 20,000 showed up, according to Mongeau. There were no vendors outside selling water or snacks to the people waiting in line, and there were no concessions inside.

After hours of this, Good Times, the event agency in charge, cancelled the event and made many go home. When given this news, the crowd predictably rioted, demanding refunds and even throwing things at the event’s staffers. Law enforcement had to come to completely shut down the event.

Mongeau told fans, in person and through social media, that the second day of the event would still go on and they had another space lined up for it — but this, too, didn’t happen. The second day of TanaCon was cancelled and ticket-holders left without seeing who they came to see.

So, who’s to blame? Many are looking to Mongeau for an apology and for reparations. While she is certainly the face of the operation, it ultimately comes down to the company that was in charge, Good Times.

Dawson, who is a friend of Mongeau and was scheduled to be at the event, is doing a three-part YouTube series about it. He blames the management agency, too, and calls his participation in TanaCon “the worst decision of his life.” James Charles is singing a different tune, saying that he is trying to help Tana, but that she is not listening to him or taking his advice, and that he has even ended his friendship with her over TanaCon.

This isn’t an isolated incident — many are comparing the chaotic get-together to last year’s mess, Fyre Festival, which had similar issues and is now facing eight lawsuits. 2017’s edition of VidCon, which Mongeau hates so much, had an incident with Logan Paul where he was tackled by security and kicked out of the convention. Honestly, you can’t invite Logan Paul to something and not expect him to be tackled.

Some are even comparing TanaCon to 2014’s DashCon and its infamous ball pit. Moral of the story: Conventions should be researched before they are attended, and attendees should always bring sunscreen.

Katie Sheets, University of Vermont

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Katie Sheets

University of Vermont

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