Axanar Fan Convention Expected to Lose Money

With weeks still to go before Axacon, the long-awaited Atlanta convention for Axanar fans, OWC Studios head Alec Peters revealed the event is likely a big money-loser.

After many people told him the entry price was too high, Peters announced September 26, 2018, tickets were being slashed by 41 percent, hoping to counter sluggish sales.

Meanwhile, Axanar raced to pull together the event, pleading with fans to volunteer their time and charging what some believe is a high cost for attending the three-day event in Atlanta.

Alec Peters

Expected $5,000 Loss

In an interview posted September 24, 2018, on the Fan Film Factor blog, Peters admitted Axacon won’t come close to paying for itself:

Honestly, I expect to lose about $5,000 on Axacon. And that is okay. But I don’t think there is any way we make money.1)

See also: Axanar Piggybacks Convention atop SphinxCon

Sluggish Sales Spur Discount

Peters did not explain to Fan Film Factor whether the expected loss was due to slow sales of tickets some had complained were exorbitantly priced, higher than expected expenses or some combination of both.

Axacon’s entry originally required attendees to pay to get into both SphinxCon and Axacon, a minimum $91 cost with ticket processing fees.

However, just days after AxaMonitor compared Axacon’s price with other conventions, Peters admitted:

Feedback was most Axanar fans didn’t want to go to SphinxCon, and while I’m a huge Honor Harrington fan [the book series honored by SphinxCon], we can’t expect everyone to be.2)

Tickets now range from $54-82 instead of $91-129, including ticket processing fees.

TREK GUESTS Star Trek actors J.G. Hertzler, Gary Graham, and writer David Gerrold, fill out Axacon’s celebrity roster. Image/Axanar Productions

Convention Schedule

AxaMonitor obtained an advance copy of the Axacon schedule. While not finalized, this schedule gives a glimpse of what organizers, led by OWC Studios head Alec Peters, generally hoped to offer attendees at the upcoming gathering.

SphinxCon Axacon was designed as a “con within a con,” hosted by SphinxCon; some Axacon events are open to SphinxCon attendees.

Location While Axacon is officially housed at SphinxCon’s convention hotel, the airport Crowne Plaza, some events (as noted below) are scheduled to be held more than 42 miles away at OWC Studios in Lawrenceville, Ga.

ELIGIBLE ATTENDEES Click each date below to view its scheduled events
All Axacon attendees • Special ticket required • Open to SphinxCon attendees • 💸Axanar donors only

Friday, November 2
Time Event Panelists/Hosts Location
2 p.m. Axanar set tour Alec Peters OWC Studios
4 p.m. Axanar Live! J.G. Hertzler, Gary Graham, Alec Peters, Steve Jepson
Keith M. Sedor, Jonathan Lane
OWC Studios
5 p.m. Reception at Alec Peters’ home Alec Peters, Crysstal Hubbard Peters’ home near OWC Studios
10 p.m. Axanar hits the bar! Fans mingle with con guests and Axanar team at the hotel Crowne Plaza
Saturday, November 3
Time Event Panelists/Hosts Location
9
a.m.
Fan Film Top 10 Alec Peters, John Adcox
Keith Sedor, Jonathan Lane
Crowne Plaza
10
a.m.
Axanar update Alec Peters, Paul Jenkins
Mark Edward Lewis, Keith Sedor
Crowne Plaza
11
a.m.
Honor Harrington’s influence on Axanar Alec Peters Crowne Plaza
12
noon
Star Trek moments Gary Graham, J.G. Hertzler, Keith Sedor Crowne Plaza
1
p.m.
💸Axanar donor lunch Alec Peters, Steve Jepson, Paul Jenkins TBA
2
p.m.
Axanar fan fiction Jonathan Lane, Mark Largent
Mark Payton, Alec Peters
Crowne Plaza
3
p.m.
Scripting Axanar David Gerrold, Paul Jenkins, Alec Peters, Jonathan Lane Crowne Plaza
4
p.m.
The Axanar ships Alec Peters, Keith Sedor Crowne Plaza
5
p.m.
Star Trek fan film preview Pacific 201, Romulan Wars, First Frontier, Jonathan Lane (host) Crowne Plaza
6
p.m.
💸Axanar donor dinner J.G. Hertzler, Gary Graham, Alec Peters
Steve Jepson, Mark Edward Lewis, Jeff Barklage
TBA
7
p.m.
Klingon costuming: From screen to con Don Gaffney Crowne Plaza
8
p.m.
Axanar: The fans’ perspective Reece Watkins, Lee Benjamin, Steve Dixon
Lee Mavity, Keith Sedor
Crowne Plaza
10
p.m.
Axanar hits the bar! Fans mingle with con guests and Axanar team at the hotel Crowne Plaza
Sunday, November 4
Time Event Panelists/Hosts Location
10 a.m. Starship combat in Axaverse Alec Peters Crowne Plaza
11 a.m. Actors on Axanar J.G. Hertzler, Gary Graham, Alec Peters, Jonathan Lane Crowne Plaza
12
noon
Garth of Izar: Kirk’s hero Alec Peters Crowne Plaza
1 p.m. Axanar lunch Alec Peters, Steve Jepson, Paul Jenkins TBA
2 p.m. Admiral Slater: Misunderstood Steve Jepson, Alec Peters, Jonathan Lane Crowne Plaza
3 p.m. Fan filmmaking vs. fan-to-pro David Gerrold, John Adcox, Matt Green
Alec Peters
Crowne Plaza
4 p.m. Axanar trivia Alec Peters, Steve Jepson Crowne Plaza


Axacon Tickets
Minimum for entry
Original Price Discounted Price
SphinxCon charge* $64 $27
Axacon “crewman” add-on admission $27* $27
Total $91 $54
Upgraded Admission
Special access and swag
Original Price Discounted Price
Axacon “officer” admission $55 $55
SphinxCon deluxe admission $74 $27
Total $129 $82
* All prices include processing fees

Panel Descriptions

Full descriptions of all the panels offered at SphinxCon and Axacon are available at the SphinxCon website.

Cost

Axacon’s cost had been criticized by some Axanar supporters as high for such a small, three-day convention, ranging from $91 to $129; attendees were required to purchase admission to SphinxCon. They were also required to find their own transportation for the 80-mile roundtrip to OWC Studios outside Atlanta.

At the new discounted Axacon price, SphinxCon was to receive $25 from each Axanar entry — half its original take. Axacon attendees who want access to any SphinxCon sessions would now have to pay extra.

Price Comparisons

DragonCon $85-95
By comparison, Atlanta’s immense five-day Dragon*Con, featuring dozens of well-known guests from many genre films and TV — especially Star Trek — costs a minimum $85, if purchased a year in advance. Closer to the event, admission is $95.

Star Trek Las Vegas $173-$1000
The official Star Trek convention, a five-day star-studded annual event, costs a bare minimum $300 if tickets are purchased on a daily basis, though shortly before the con tickets can be discounted as low as $173 for five days’ admission; daily admission ranges from $50-75. Premium packages go for about $1,000.

BRIDGE PANELS Volunteers are working against a November 2 deadline to complete the Axanar bridge set, featuring artwork like this. Click to view full size.Images/Axanar Productions

Treklanta $45-60
This local Star Trek convention also in Atlanta, and like Axacon also three days, costs $45 in advance, $60 at the door. Attracting more than 300 attendees a year, it offers many more celebrity guests than Axacon for less than half the admission price.3)

AXANAR VOLUNTEER Dana Wagner works to complete the Ares bridge set in time for Axacon. Image/Fan Film Factor

Bridge status

Despite volunteers’ efforts to complete the U.S.S. Ares bridge set, Peters told Fan Film Factor it would not be finished in time, but it would be “close. Good enough for Axacon.”4)

Despite his locked script Peters told Fan Film Factor he has not yet determined if the set will even appear in the two Axanar short films he says is coming in 2019. He said completing the set has cost him personally several thousand dollars.

Con Volunteers

Meanwhile, Peters pleaded with supporters to help to pull off the convention, with no discount for volunteering:

“I need you sounding off if you will be attending Axacon. I will ask each of you to volunteer 2-3 hours a day. I can’t give away any free passes as SphinxCon is not giving me any, and I am putting in a ton of my own money to make this happen.”5)

SphinxCon chairman Dave Weiner explained no SphinxCon volunteers, including organizers, are getting free admission to their own convention.

Guests' Admission

Convention guests, such as actors J.G. Hertzler and Gary Graham, are paid to appear. Guests such as pro-Axanar fan film blogger Jonathan Lane and Axanar podcaster Keith Sedor do not have to pay to attend.

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Keywords

2)
Alec Peters post, Axacon 2018 Facebook group, 9/26/18.
3)
Treklanta Wikipedia page, retrieved 9/23/18.
5)
Alec Peters Facebook post, 9/13/18.