ATTENTION PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING CARFULLLY:
This is going to be difficult for you all to read but we have no choice.
Firstly, We cannot emphasize enough how grateful we are to all of you who have been so supportive of FCD and what we are trying to achieve.
Last September we were contacted by CBS, informing us that we were not permitted to display any of our Star Trek guests in their official Star Trek uniforms or as their characters, or use any logos, ships etc as the image rights were owned by them and as such we were instructed to remove all images.
We then sought permission to use the copyrighted materials as we felt our status as a non-profit event with ALL proceeds after event costs being donated to charity would satisfy their concerns. We did mentioned that all events everywhere around the World also use such materials – we were met with silence to both.
With the threat of court action and one that would likely end with us on the losing side we fully complied with their demands and thought that this would be enough, and we did not hear from them again.
It should be noted, images in our opinion are one of the the biggest part of any advertising campaign especially when the public do not know who the actors are or what they really look like when they are not in character. It can be as much as 80%-90% of generated event interest which then translates into ticket sales. With FCD 2016 being a fully fan funded event ticket sales are our life blood and we can not operate without these sales.
We were badly affected by the removal of all our images, to such an extent we had to switch venues to reduce costs and had to put in substantial personal funds to cover immediate overheads and refresh our advertising campaign. However, things remained very slow, not helped by the Festive season.
Ticket sales did pick up in January on the back of our ad campaign and we felt with a little push with new guest announcements and the addition of our props zones such the Klingon Bridge set and Captain’s chairs, it would give us what we needed to see us over the finishing line.
With 6 weeks to go, both David and I felt extremely confident with our current and future ad campaigns as well as having obtained permission from Shropshire council to visit local schools, youth groups and authorisation to put up flyers and banners, in addition to new ads going to print in SFX, Sci-Fi Now and in a national news paper again at significant cost. We honestly felt we would be very close to selling out with a couple of weeks to spare.
Sadly, this was not the case as this week we were hit with a further Cease and Desist Notice stating we cannot promote, display or publicly parade any items that are deemed copyrighted material, or non-licensed products such us our planned uniform display area, our Klingon Bridge sets or basically anything that makes a Convention a Convention!
Of course, with the public announcement of the event taking place in Birmingham towards the end of the year which, one could speculate, is and has been the route cause of all this……has had a major impact on us with those attendees on payment plans withdrawing from FCD 2016 choosing to instead buy tickets for that event then when you add in all of the advertising campaigns that were due to go to press that we have now had to pull, we will not get a penny of that money back all of this has left us facing a financial black hole.
Remember, We are fan funded so you all pay for our event!
Being perfectly honest with you all, both David and I feel that this has been a personal attack making both of us feeling bullied and victimised, and leaving us with no option but to postpone the event for a year.
Why a year? Simple. It won’t be the 50th Anniversary year any longer and those with a vested interest in the financial success of The Birmingham show will have got their money – and will have little interest in a small fan funded charity event such as ours.
For these reasons, FCD 2016 will not be going ahead as planned until April 2017.
What does this mean for the tickets you have paid for?
We have always been very clear on our strict no refund policy but, that doesn’t mean you lose.
Please rest assured that EVERY TICKET will be VALID for FCD 2017 – from Day and Weekend tickets to RISA passes.
On top of this;
With the absolutely amazing generosity of Claudia Christian, Garrett Wang , JG Hertzler and Aron Eisenberg who have all agreed to fly over here for absolutely no money whatsoever to host a special one day gathering for everyone who has bought an FCD 2016 ticket!!
This gathering will take place on one day on Saturday, April 2 from 10am until 5pm then after a break and then an evening meal, which you are all invited to attend* we will have a Karaoke party like none other hosted by JG himself, which will end when the last person falls over!
This gathering is COMPLETELY FREE for ALL CURRENT FCD 2016 TICKET HOLDERS!!**
Why can’t we just get a refund?
Being a fan funded event it is made very clear from the start that refunds are not possible. When you buy tickets, normally within days we have had to use that money to pay for elements of the event ie: Securing for the venue, advertising costs etc
For all those who are not interested in attending our gathering who have pre-paid for hotels, please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
We can not make any promises but we will do everything we can to get the dates switched to next year!
We do understand that this gathering is not the event you were all looking forward too but we did not want to let you down especially all those that have pre-paid for their hotels as well as all of you ticket holders.
Whist we were informing our guests personally, Claudia Christian suggested/offered to do something special for one day for the fans to say sorry and thank you for being so understanding.
When Garrett and JG heard what had happened and what we were planning to do, they both immediately jumped on board to take part.
We did not and have not asked for them to do this, they offered their support and attendance at no costs to David or I.
Both David and I would like to say just how sorry we are for all of this, we can’t even begin to describe the personal turmoil we have been through and would like thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your support, patience and understanding.
We would ask that you direct all questions, complaints and angry towards either myself or David and NOT towards any FCD Team member.
They can’t not tell you any more as we have been 100% as honest with them as we have been with you and trust me when I say that they are just as upset & angry.
Wil Ross and David Limburg
*The Evening Meal is a 3 course dinner with a glass of Red or White wine with our guests.
There is an additional charge for this of £22.50 per person which must be paid in advance
**This gathering is completely free of charge for all of those who have already paid for FCD 2016 tickets.
For anyone else who wishes to attend, there will be nominal charge of £10 per person which does not include taking part in the meal with our guests but does allow you to come to the party afterwards.
We do need confirmation of ALL who wish to attend our gathering as well as those who wish to dine with us so we can confirm numbers with the hotel.
There will be a suggested donation box for people who wish to donated to us to help cover the additional costs of hosting this gathering which is being paid for personally by David and myself.
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