The DragonCon Debacle- 2013

As many of you may have started to notice by now, I have not yet been announced as a guest at this year's Dragoncon. In fact, it's starting to look like I may NOT be invited this year at all. I have long since lost count but I believe that if I'm doing my math correctly, this would have been my 15th year in a row performing there! Hard to believe but true.

It's my biggest show of the year. At no other time do I find myself performing to 3 thousand people a night for three nights in a row. I pack a huge ballroom, I MC many of their costume contests ('cause lets face it, SOMEONE appreciates that I can talk non-stop for 4 hours and then play 6 songs! Bless their little hearts, whoever they are! LOL!). I show my films in the film festival. I speak on panels about music, designing toys, making films, writing books, Goth, Steampunk... etc. etc. etc.. Suffice to say, I LOVE this convention, I feel I have become part of the very tapestry of it and yes, I consider the staff, my fellow guests and all of the 50,000 plus attendees.. family.

So, why wouldn't they have me back this year, you ask? Well, it seems that every year there are a VERY vocal few who complain that the convention is the same year after year. I'm there every year, the Cruxshadows and Emerald Rose are there every year.. this is true. But the fact is that pretty much all of the other bands do NOT play there every year. They tend to cycle them in and out, constantly adding new acts along the way. And of course, I probably do not need to point out that there are hundreds of guests and artists, many of whom do not appear every year. HOWEVER... the fact remains that every year, this very vocal few blast their horns and tell the Con chairs to stop booking the same bands. In principle... there is nothing wrong with that.

However, the thing is that... the reason there are some of us who are there EVERY YEAR is because there are people, and I mean LOTS AND LOTS of people for whom our shows have become an integral part of the Dragoncon experience. There are thousands of people who every single year put a ton of work into making their fairy wings... planning and preparing and counting every single last second to see their favorite band, The Cruxshadows. The reason the Cruxshadows are there every year is because people want them there EVERY YEAR. The same may be true about me. It's not my place to assume.

However, believe it or not, the thousands of people who very much wish to see us regulars don't blast their horns about it every year... well, maybe because they've never had to before. So all the Con chairs hear is "STOP BOOKING THESE SAME BANDS EVERY YEAR!"

And so, at long last, it appears the Con is finally buckling to that pressure. I have not been announced as a guest for this year and frankly have accepted that I  may not be. I'm okay with that. I really am. Why? Because I stand by a business' right to change and evolve and listen to their customers' wishes in order to be the event their customers wish to attend. In fact, I just figured I'd go find something else to do labor day weekend and make the best of it. Would I miss it? Of course! Would I feel like I was the only one not invited to the family reunion? Yes... sadly, I would. But as a businessman, I accept and understand if the attendees feel it's time for a change.

Now, I had planned to simply not say a word about any of this except that now, there is this:

A delightful and VERY well meaning young lady by the name of Liz, very saddened that I would not be there this year, decided to show her support by starting a Facebook page asking Dragoncon to reinstate me. It's VERY VERY sweet and VERY VERY kind but it can be a very dangerous move. I will tell you why...

Many years ago, after I had played at D*con for about 4 years in a row but wasn't really yet a regular part of the tapestry, they decided not to have me back as a guest for a year. My fans went nuts and phone bombed their offices. D*con was PISSED and no amount of me insisting I had nothing to do with it was the least bit convincing to them. I'm sure they would have NEVER had me back had they not suddenly needed me to MC some shows.

So, please... if you agree with Liz, if you feel it's time for those who WANT the regulars there to be heard, join the page, share the page, post on the page... but DO NOT PHONE OR EMAIL DRAGONCON DIRECTLY!!!! I can almost promise you that the result will not be me being invited back this year, it will be me NEVER being asked back. 

Thanks for your kindness! Thanks for your support! I will never cease to be touched and moved by the fact that you wish to come to my show, chat at my booth, share a drink, a photo and a hug!

And if I don't see you at DragonCon this year, I hope it's an amazing year for all who attend and I'm sure I'll see you there some other time!

In the meantime, you can reminisce with me here:

The last eleven pictures are from DragonCon years past! 





Sept July 25, 2013 @06:54 pm
I just checked the Dragon Con website in disbelief and it seems all of this craziness has been sorted out and you are on the guest list now! I am very happy to see that. This is year 13 in a row for me and I haven't missed your show yet. It would of been disappointing if they didn't invite you back. It IS a family reunion, and what a big drunken dysfunctional family it is, but for once a year it is better than any family I could ask for.
Paul Clemmons June 27, 2013 @09:49 pm
Bummer. There is a certain other Con that I only hit to see you.....and you aren't at that one this year, either. Hope you make Nashville again, soon.
Brooke June 10, 2013 @02:11 pm
I'm a smidge late to the party here, but I agree with Fawndolyn's comment, it would be advantageous if you could get booked nearby. I know my crowd would definitely forego any D*Con activities to come to your show! Either way, there are a few new policies adopted this year by the Dragon*Con Bourgeoisie that I don't necessarily agree with, but that being said, we'll continue to go and I truly hope that you will be asked to as well. I'll be hopping over to the Facebook page and doing my part to let them know, whether that will do any good, I don't know, but let's hope, shall we? :)
Being Honest May 20, 2013 @10:11 am
I was one of those who kept asking for new performers and I was not alone. Having the same acts play each year is boring. Time for some new blood.
Alissa May 17, 2013 @07:07 pm
I started to go to Dragon*Con because my son got me playing these on-line games. The people that make these awesome games posted on their home page about this convention they had attended. One even bragged that this guy named Voltaire had showed up at his room party. They made it seem so amazing I had to go the next year. This coming Dragon*Con will be my fifth year. Thanks to my friend and yours (Adam) I have found a place that feels like a second home. Your show is one of the highlights of the convention. New songs, new stories, new people. You not being there would be like Star Trek with out Spock. Star Wars with out Darth Vader. You see where I'm going with this. So I say even if your not invited you should come anyway because Dragon*Con is not Dragon*Con with out Voltaire.
Audrey May 17, 2013 @05:37 pm
I've never had the opportunity to attend Dragoncon, but having you and the Cruxshadows there would be in my list of reasons to go! :(
Steve "Scapey" Fletcher May 09, 2013 @03:05 pm
Well, this is disappointing! I can sort of understand the "Don't book the same bands every single year" attitude, and if you'd asked me I'd have thought that I agreed... Until I thought about it. This will be my third year at D*Con, and I am looking forward to Cruxshadows, and was hoping to see you as well... So I now realise that I DON'T agree with that line of thinking - So long as the Con make the effort to get some other name bands AS WELL as the "regulars". Hopefully you'll be contacted soon ( It's actually, from a selfish point of view, heartening to hear that you've not heard from them because I've applied for a DJ slot and had absolutely no response either... Maybe there's hope for us both! ) and you will end up playing - Paul and Storm were only announced last night I believe? So maybe the organisers are just clearing the backlog... Fingers crossed...
A.W. Jackson May 09, 2013 @02:41 pm
That's INSANE to not invite you!!! While I too understand the business aspects, alltheyhave to do is look at the long lines and packed rooms to know that you are an integral part of the con. Your presence would be missed however some how I feel that you will be there. I just hope they don't wait too long and you end up booked elsewhere. (Hopefully in Atlanta so I can still see the show!!!) Keep doing what you do as only you can do it...
Eowyn Shieldmaiden May 09, 2013 @12:50 am
Room with Artix!!
Patrick dougherty May 08, 2013 @05:13 pm
Buy a regular con badge, room with me and my friends and do a concert on the street corner!
Rhiannon Rosano May 08, 2013 @02:57 pm
Geez, just look at those pictures -- at how many people are there to see you! Somebody at DragonCon must be an absolute idiot. I've never been to DragonCon (I'm in L.A.) but you (and the Cruxshadows) would be MUST SEE shows if I ever flew out there. It's good that you're letting your fans know that if you don't show up, it's not because you decided not to entertain them, but rather, DragonCon didn't invite you. Honestly though, I like Fawndolyn's suggestion. Fly out, book a venue, and have people hand out fliers advertising your show. You'd be giving thousands of your fans the chance to see you in spite of DragonCon's stupidity. *still shaking my head* Rhiannon
Daniel May 07, 2013 @04:08 pm
Fawndolyn is right(and fun) Get into the shelter or another club, I will be there an pay happily to be there. There are MANY changes this year that are ridiculous... but this one is unimaginable. I stop what ever i'm doing at Con to go see you. Without you there my con will be lacking. Please say you will be swinging through Nashville again soon.
Jeuelle May 07, 2013 @03:06 pm
Ouch! I emailed them, I wish I could take it back. I'm pretty bummed out though. My being a fan of you(your graphic novel "Oh My Goth" and your talking about Dragoncon in your various posts) got me interested in Dragoncon in the first place. You and The Cruxshadows make Dragoncon for me. Sure I have friends that I only get to see at Dragoncon, and I adore the its my chance to get away for awhile, but it just won't be the same without you. : (
Jerry Chandler May 07, 2013 @03:01 pm
Ah, that'll suck. Beyond just the fact that you're a big attraction for me when looking forward to the convention, my five-year-old has become Brains obsessed. He was actually looking forward to meeting you there this year since we told him you would probably be there.
Zardon May 07, 2013 @02:47 pm
I have never been there. Though I find it interesting that when people demand a "change" in the roster, it's "the customer's idea!" However, if the people demand that someone be brought back, suddenly it's "that someone's fault, because no one in their right mind would have asked for them back on their own". That kind of thinking is unacceptable in my book. Anyway, I am a big fan of yours, good sir. I hope you have an excellent day, week, month, year and lifetime. ^_^
Amanda May 07, 2013 @02:22 pm
That is such a bummer! I joined that FB page and I won't contact the Con. But this will be my 9th year in a row (pending my OB lets me go as I'll be hugely pregnant at that point) and I was really looking forward to you signing my belly. :) Well, if we don't see you in Atlanta this year, do your best to swing by NC when you tour and my friends and I will come to your show then. You have been a staple of my Con weekend for years now and it's very sad and unfortunate that you may not be this year. Hopefully, they come to their senses. Good luck!
Damien May 07, 2013 @12:57 pm
I wish we could book you at Anime LA, but I'm afraid our little con couldn't afford you. :(
Zidders Roofurry May 07, 2013 @12:52 pm
Even though i'm unable to attend...I just want to let you know that you are an amazing individual who has a ton of class. Thank you for being you, Voltaire. I sincerely hope they realize their error and invite you back but if not, you're always welcome at our place in Bertram, Texas. You and all your friends :) I've come to feel as if Voltaire fans are my extend family who have never met me.
Fawndolyn May 07, 2013 @12:08 pm
It'd be an interesting opportunity for some clubs nearby to book you. Suddenly, at 8pm, D*Com cleared out... meanwhile, a few blocks down... ;)
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