Get Your Tickets Now for Universal FanCon: A Fandom Convention Dedicated to Inclusion and Representation!

Diversity is a long overdue but hot button topic in todays popular culture. Film, television, comics, animation and the beauty industry have all tried their hands at inclusion, some manage well while most struggle to hit the mark. The fandom industry, unconventional yet lucrative, is no different; often times missing opportunities to showcase diverse creators and talent. Universal FanCon is changing this narrative by opening it’s doors and setting it’s stage for those who have been misrepresented and excluded the most in the fandom world. The event, set to take place at The Baltimore Convention Center, April 27th-29th, will feature panels and events that include talented creators of color, women, people with disabilities, the autistic community and the LGBTQIA community. The convention will be the first large-scale, 24 hour event that will provide a fun and interactive platform for diverse voices in the fandom industry.

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Robert Butler, co-creator and executive director of the convention came up with the idea over dinner with his podcast team, The Black Geeks, and Jamie Broadnax, creator of the blog, Black Girl Nerds. In a press release from the conventions site, Butler states, “UFC hopes to fill the void of Diversity and give fans the chance to see the geek community through a diverse set of eyes,” “UFC aims to be a 24 hour convention; meaning that all day and night there will be a panel or event running. “We felt that the only way to ensure that as many groups as possible were represented, we have to keep it going”.
The convention will feature special celebrity guests meet-and-greets and panels, arcades, music concerts, Lightsaber Dueling Academy, a comedy show, gaming tournaments, kids STEM activities, and other programming for cosplay, gaming, comics, anime, movies, TV, music and all things fandom. The special guests include, actor Orlando Jones, actor and voice-over extraordinaire , Phil Lamarr, actor Billy Dee Williams, actress Yetide Badaki, actor Mehcad Brooks, voice actress, Yuriko Yamaguchi, drag superstar, Kim Chi, actress Monique Dupree, author Daniel José Older, DJ Nitecrawler and more!
“We wanted to create a safe space that celebrates fandom differently by including the many different faces and voices that truly represent geek culture. This includes women, the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, the autistic community, and people of color,” -Robert Butler, Universal FanCon co-founder and CEO.

Follow NeonFade for live streams and coverage of this amazing event April 27th-29th! Purchase your tickets here.

Below are the accessibility information for the convention:

  • Discounted weekend pass for all attendees with disabilities. Proof of need is not required to obtain these tickets, nor are there minimum requirements for what determines a disability.
  • Professional development diversity and sensitivity guide and training for all FanCon staff
  • Physical/logistical layout considerations (single flow and double flow lane minimum widths, ramps, etc.).
  • Accessibility Passes & Discounted Ticketing.
  • Line Policy: laminated number cards for designated areas.
  • Sign language interpreters (upon panel request up to 1 month in advance).
  • Designated Quiet Room.
  • “No flash photo” stickers to place on individual passes, when requested.
  • Con, access information, and dedicated staff readily available (Info desk).
  • Chairs and benches for resting.
  • Designated seating areas for people who need to be near the front for ASL-designated events or other disability-related needs.
  • Spaces for wheelchair users in the front and various rows in all rooms.
  • Elevator priority (Sample wording: “Did you know? This elevator is necessary for those with disabilities and other needs to get around the convention. If you are able, please consider taking the stairs or escalator nearby. This helps us keep the convention accessible for all!”) This protects those with non-apparent disabilities from being discriminated against, as well as allows parents with strollers to use the elevators, but also encourages attendees to self-police their usage.
  • Accessible & gender-neutral bathrooms.
  • Caregiver considerations.
  • Security & personal safety: Zero tolerance policy for bullying, etc.
  • Service animal policy: We do allow service dogs. We do reserve the right to remove any service animal team that is being disruptive.
  • Emotional support animals are not allowed within the convention center.
  • Medication storage: A daily dose can be stored by security. Must sign waiver onsite.

 

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