- City Guides
Aethertopia is Canceled
Citing low ticket sales, the organizer pulls the plug on the immersive steampunk event in Tampa
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Aethertopia, the immersive steampunk event scheduled for June 29 and 30 in Tampa, Florida, has been canceled. Lead organizer Anthony Sakovich announced the news in a June 26 post on the event’s website.
“I know each and every one of you shared in the dream, but there simply aren’t enough ticket sales to support the event,” he wrote. Sales initially were strong, he wrote, but “simply evaporated” just before MegaCon in Orlando. “This happened last year as well, but it recovered after MegaCon. This year there was no recovery. The initial surge appears to have been all of our happy, loyal fans from last year returning to lock in their tickets for this year. But then, it just stopped.”
All ticket proceeds received so far have been spent on event preparations, he stated. The event was produced by Sakovich’s company, Apseom LLC, and had a “no refund” policy on ticket sales. Nevertheless, “I will be refunding people their money,” he wrote, “but I have to do it out of my own pocket now,” and “it’s going to take me time to give you your money back.” Ticket holders will be paid in order of when they purchased the event passes, beginning with the first buyers.
“I don’t know how long it will take, because I will likely have to take on a second job to help pay this back,” he wrote. “At the very least I will be selling lots of my personal items and collectibles either on Facebook or eBay.”
He asked ticket holders not to contact their credit card companies or PayPal to seek refunds. Due to the “no refund” policy, challenges will be denied, he wrote, but they will prevent his company from accepting payments from other customers. “We WILL be making good on these, but if a few people decide to try to cut the line, it will ruin it for everyone,” he wrote.
Held in the Entertainment Hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds, Aethertopia was organized around seven districts corresponding to Maker Guilds. It also included workshops, games, and a ticketed Aether Banquet dinner. The inaugural Aethertopia last year drew about 500 attendees, he said. This year’s event was to include a performance by Abney Park, but Sakovich announced last week that the appearance had been postponed.
He suggested the possibility for some kind of event in 2020. “I think you will agree that the core event itself, the Maker Exhibition, the classes, the sharing of knowledge, the promotion of individual genius, is what made Aethertopia so attractive to so many. And that is a direction I think we will be pursuing for 2020.”
In response to the cancelation, some Tampa-area steampunk vendors are planning small pop-up events this weekend where folks can socialize and patronize artists who would have appeared at Aethertopia.
The first is scheduled for Saturday, June 29, noon to 6 p.m. at the SpookEasy Lounge, a haunted teahouse in Tampa (see the Facebook event page). It will include a photo op at 2 p.m. and a costume parade at 3 p.m.
On Sunday, folks will meet at Waypoint 6 Tavern & Geekery in Largo from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. This event will feature a costume contest at 3 p.m. It’s described as a crossover between a con and steampunk. Again, see the event page.
We'll post additional updates as we become aware of them.
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