TitanCon - A not-for-profit science fiction and fantasy literature, media and gaming convention for Belfast focused on showcasing literary and artistic accomplishments in Northern Ireland within the field of speculative fiction and works of the imagination. Our primary subject is HBO and George RR Martin's Game of Thrones.
First off please let me apologise for the lack of news and updates on the website over the past five months since the last TitanCon. The thing is it has been difficult for me to know what to say because I feel very conflicted about things. TitanCon 2014 was a great convention, everyone had a brilliant time and it felt like our smoothest and best run event to date thanks to our fantastic volunteers. It was a huge success in every way, except one.
Unfortunately we did not get the funding grant from the Arts Council that we managed to secure in our first three years and as a result we ended up making a substantial financial loss on the event. Of course I was aware that would be the case going into the weekend and I made the decision to go ahead with TitanCon 2014 knowing I'd take the hit because I felt like I did not want to let people down by cancelling everything two weeks beforehand. At the time I was focussed on making it the best possible convention it could be and we succeeded at doing just that.
But it's left me in a position where I've had to have a serious think about the future of TitanCon and whether I can continue to run it again in 2015 and beyond. This is further complicated by the fact that I am currently out of work, although that's through my own choice and the voluntary redundancy package I accepted from my previous employer has seen me through the last few months and I will be alright for the next few months too, so don't worry about me on that score. I had hoped to find a new job by this time which would have made this decision easier, but I'm not quite there just yet. However, I am confident I will find something suitable very soon.
Up until last week my thinking had been that my decision would be no, that there was just no way this could work and the only course would be to take the safe way out. I'm not even sure what has changed my mind. Perhaps it's all the emails I've received from you guys asking about TitanCon 2015 (thanks for sending those by the way) or it may be the realisation that TitanCon is the best thing I've done in my life and it would be a real shame to let it go now. It feels too important to me and a lot of other people too.
Whatever the reason is, I am feeling more confident about taking the risk and going for it again. Therefore I am happy to announce that there will be a TitanCon 2015.
But there will have to be some changes. We know up front that there will be no chance of a funding grant from the Arts Council or anyone else for that matter. In the past we've tried to keep the ticket prices low and avoid charging for autographs but that will no longer be possible. Therefore ticket prices will be higher this year and we will be charging for autographs from our Game of Thrones guests. I hope you can appreciate and understand our reasons for this change.
Even with the increased prices this is going to be a huge risk for me personally so I really hope the enthusiasm and energy is out there for another TitanCon. If you enjoyed last year's convention and want to see this event succeed then please help spread the word, tell your friends about TitanCon and try to convince them to join us this year. Word of mouth is the best advertising and it really makes a huge difference to us. Thank you to everyone that continues to support TitanCon.
I'm sure you'll want to know the date of the convention and when tickets go on sale. Please bear with me for the next couple of weeks while I work on finalising the details. I have a preferred date in mind but there are a couple of things that need to be resolved first before I can fully confirm the date, I might even need to consider another date if they don't work out in our favour.
But rest assured things are moving ahead and there will be an announcement about TitanCon 2015 in the next few weeks. Thank you.
- Phil Lowles
21 February 2015