C2E2 is in April. Wizard World Chicago Comic Con is in August. And that is how the Chicago comic world is divided.
Aside from this year, when Wizard World will run a the Wizard World Comic Con Fan Fest Chicago event the month before C2E2, in March.
For $25 for the weekend or $15 for a day – or free admittance to four-day and VIP Wizard World Chicago attendees it’s a low priced alternative, and a clear move to reduce the appeal of going to C2E2 so soon afterwards. It may be being sold as a “thank you” to loyal Wizard World fans but be in no doubt, this is a screw you to C2E2. And while it will in no way challenge C2E2 in terms of size, scale or scope, for he casual attendee, this may be a welcome budget alternative.
“The Wizard World Comic Con Presents Fan Fest Chicago is a great way for us to give back to the fans,” said John Macaluso, Wizard World CEO. “We appreciate so much their having made Wizard World Comic Con Chicago the biggest show in the Midwest that we have put together a low-cost, high-energy show for all to enjoy.”
UPDATE: Wizard gets in touch to say,
We have always had the utmost respect for the Reed team and the events it produces. The success of C2E2 and other quality events in regions in which Wizard World produces shows indicates the health of the pop culture convention industry. We do not schedule in an effort to negatively affect any other promotions; rather, we see their growth as a positive development.
Fan Fest Chicago, you may have noticed, is replacing the dates vacated when our Bruce Campbell’s Horror Fest, scheduled for the same venue, had to be moved to accommodate Bruce’s filming schedule. We hope that the fans that attend the well-managed C2E2 and Wizard World Comic Con Chicago will find Fan Fest Chicago a supplement to their convention calendars; further, Fan Fest’s affordable admission should not preclude them from attending the others as they may have planned.
Certainly having a booked venue and repurposing it for a new event is less of a planned spoiler than it originally looked. The title “Fan Fest” and talk of “fan appreciation” has, in the past, been code for spoiler events – and indeed, Reed themselves have done similar. It’s standard practice – for everyone, it seems!