If you are a big Youtube content follower chances are you’ve heard about Tanacon, 2018’s version of the infamous Fyre Festival. Since Tanacon was a direct response to VidCon, the founder and former CEO of VidCon has finally spoken out about the disaster-turned-conspiracy.
Tana Mongeau is a popular Youtuber who’s known for saying controversial things such as using racial slurs and telling other Youtubers to kill themselves. Although this negativity is associated directly with her, she maintains a following of millions on the video site.
VidCon is a yearly event that allows fans to connect with their favorite content creators. At last year’s convention, Tana was invited but not given access to certain events and was not provided with security due to the controversy surrounding her persona.
The situation angered Mongeau and was the reason she decided to create Tanacon on the same day as this year’s VidCon at a Marriott conference center directly across the street. Tana promised that it would be a bigger, better VidCon.
On the day of the event in late June, 5,000 guests who paid $65 showed up to the location. The only problem was that the conference center was only equipped to safely hold a little over 1,000 people.
Fans stood outside for hours without food or water. Some suffered from heat exhaustion and severe sunburns. The suffering went on for five hours until they were finally told that there would be no Tanacon that weekend.
The entire thing was posted about on multiple social media networks and turned into a conspiracy theory that said it was a stunt pulled by Tana to gain popularity and the Tanacon production company, Good Times, to scam Mongeau’s fans.
Shane Dawson, another Youtube icon who was scheduled to appear at Tanacon, made a “Making a Murderer” style documentary where he got down to the bottom of the disaster in order to give the thousands of fans insight on what really went on.
Founder of the original VidCon, Hank Green, released a statement about the viral fail.
“Running events is hard. Making them safe and fun is hard. Watching the event that Good Times put on devolve into a dangerous situation was not fun or pleasant for me or the VidCon team. It was inexcusable and terrifying and we’re all lucky it didn’t go much worse. I heard a lot of people joking about that, that we were sipping champagne and laughing or whatever, but no. Our head of security said to me, ‘This is like watching all of my nightmares happen in real life.’ It was scary and I was frustrated and sad and angry and following it on social media like everyone else. I think this is bad for all YouTube conferences,” he explained.
He also took full responsibility concerning Tana’s experience from last year.
“In 2017, I 100% screwed up. Tana was part of our content, and not making her a featured creator was a bad call. If we were going to have her doing content, she should have been a featured creator. We were being conservative because of some things that Tana had done and said in the past [including her use of a racist expletive in previous videos, as well as telling another creator, iDubbbz, to kill himself on Twitter], but we should either have had or there or not…not that s**** in-between thing.”