FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Famous Monsters Halloween Convention 2017 Officially Canceled Due to Northern California Wildfires
October 14, 2017 — Unprecedented damage from wildfires in Northern California has led to an official California state of emergency. The fires have claimed over 200,000 acres, at least 5,700 structures, and as of this writing, at least 40 lives. Public health concerns and Bay area-wide evacuations have given Famous Monsters no choice but to cancel their Halloween event.
See promoter’s letter below.
Since I took over Famous Monsters of Filmland and Forrest J Ackerman’s life rights many years ago, I understood that I and anyone I brought on to the team had a pretty big set of shoes to fill. Amongst all the things Forry inspired and helped to create, fan conventions were always at the top of his list. He was at the very first San Diego Comic-Con, which grew to be the biggest fan show in the world. In honor of Forry, I imagined a Famous Monsters convention that was equal to the best of them. This show would not only bring exhibitors and celebrities, but it would also honor local partners. I imagined that Famous Monsters would bridge the relationship between fan conventions and local experiences for an event everyone could enjoy.
Famous Monsters Halloween 2017 was well on our way to achieving this goal after years of convention experience. We had brought on amazing local talent from the Rocky Horror Show: Live, sponsored the Dream Team Events’ Zombie Run, partnered with the San Jose Public Library for a safe and wonderful Halloween for kids, collaborated with the US Army to honor our military men and women and George A. Romero’s life’s work, created a buffet of haunt and paranormal attractions with Napa Ghost Tours, Virtual World Arcade, ScareCo, and Dead Time Dreams. We were also holding our first Pretty Ugly makeup contest with not only Michael Westmore, but the Bay Area’s industry leaders, such as Kryolan and Blush School of Makeup. San Jose venue The Glasshouse came forward to host a Halloween Dance Party with cast of Stephen King’s “It” and other celebs. To top it all off, we had a sold out vendor hall and artist’s alley. Our team had worked a solid year to make Halloween 2017 the most memorable event in FM’s History. Except…
On Sunday evening, October 8th, 2017, a historically violent wind blew through the Bay Area. This extreme wind proliferated what is now one of California history’s most dangerous cluster of wildfires, still raging in Sonoma County and claiming more homes and lives by the day. We are told this may be days to weeks before total containment, as the heavy winds are predicted to return this weekend, adding to an already horrific situation. Though containment efforts are underway, it is catastrophic here with no sign of slowing down. This, by legal or any other definition, is an act of God.
Though the show is in San Jose, the majority of our staff live and work in Sonoma County. My family and I have been evacuated from our home since Tuesday and have no idea when we will be allowed back or if we will have a home to go back to. We are currently shut down to guarantee the safety of our staff. I made great efforts to see if we could turn the show into a fundraiser, but there were a few key obstacles that would not allow us to achieve this. This may have been my greatest sadness.
My team and I are grateful to everyone who trusted us and believed in our show. It has been one of the hardest decisions of my Famous Monsters career, but we are officially canceling Famous Monsters Halloween 2017.
I am truly sorry for the unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances. We thank you for your understanding, and we hope you will consider joining us when we hold our next show.
Thank you again.