Two years ago, Tony D went to Rock and Shock. His experience at the convention (Rock and Shock: The Day My Love Died) has been one of our most consistently read and commented upon blog posts on the site. In short, Tony — no stranger to conventions — felt his fandom was being taken advantage of by celebrities. Last night, Rock and Shock creator and co-founder Kevin Barbare left us a comment on the article that I thought was worth being highlighted as its own post.
Whatever your feelings are about conventions, it’s healthy for the horror community to be reassured that their creators intentions come from a place of good. It also made me feel better that I didn’t have amnesia. (I remember these days of low prices that Kevin talks about. In fact, I remember being able to take pictures with all the celebrities on my own camera FOR FREE!!! back before horror started regrowing into such a commodity around 2004.)
Here is Kevin’s comment:
Through my own fault, I am just now reading this..I found it while searching for something but feel I should comment.
I’m the creator of Rock And Shock as well as, the co-founder. I am like every one of you..I began going to horror conventions when I was young. I flipped at the opportunity to buy stuff,meet people I’d watched, and hang out with others who had similar interests.
I continued to attend cons all over, driving to most but if I wanted to meet someone bad enough..saving to fly. Chiller Theatre,now the largest horror and pop culture convention in the country was in a gymnasium back then..and I thought it was amazing! I met Tom Savini and several stars of Hammer Films..absolute film fan geekdom heaven!
My initial concept for Rock And Shock was to find a way to have fans just pay to attend the show and for what they purchase from vendors. I wanted to figure out if there was a way to have all the autographs be free and just pay the guests to be there.
When I started attending these conventions the autographs were normally $5 for black and white, $10 for color. Imagine how awesome that would be now! At some point everyone’s prices went up to $15 and now, for the most part $20.
We do not pay anyone to attend, just their transportation, room and etc. The ability to pay everyone to come then give away signatures would be money that has to come from somewhere,and the person who provided that would expect it back ! We still tried the first year by contacting celebrities we already were friends with, had relationships with, or met several times over the years. There were a couple who agreed to do it for free the first time and help us get a start..but I assure you that isn’t the norm…
I felt sad about the same things you have when I was just an attendee, but I also understand that in the past seven or eight years there’s actuall been less work, a bad economy, a massive writers strike that kept people from production, and less decent horror films.
All of these factors that prevented anyone from just showing up in another city and giving away things for free to adoring fans. Believe me I wish they all could…but not only would they lose out..we wouldn’t be able to get the people we all want to see sometimes.
Again, I agree that when people charge to have a photo taken with them, or charge more than others, it makes you feel cheated. It does get costly, and you do spend because it’s hard to resist!
I brought Adam Green to the show and he will be. Ack with the cast of HOLLISTON this year. Yes, he is awesome..as is every other celebrity we book for the most part…but they do need to make money.
We have tried every suggestion you all mentioned, dont think se havent..but its already a cost to have something this huge in our area for fans. You sill find it is like this at every show, sometimes worse..but maybe one day we’ll be able to fund a con in a way its a fan love fest and everyone is happy..
Now if anyone wins the lottery..we can talk.
I encourage any of you who still actually attend to come talk to me, we are happy to meet with anyone and I’m very approachable during the weekend.
Still a fan who wants to make other fans happy about horror!
Sorry for typos I was frantically typing this out on my phone.
Ps I should mention that I don’t make ANY money off the convention an neither does my partner.
I think any convention goers curious about the process or with ideas should definitely take Kevin up on his suggestion to get in touch with him during the weekend you’re there. For New Englanders, Rock and Shock is our convention, the one we don’t have to travel to the South or Midwest or New Jersey for, and the convention that, I think, best incorporates music. Kevin can’t single-handedly change the grievances that Tony and so many convention fans have encountered. But it’s a good start that we can have a discussion about it.
Tags: Rock And Shock