MegaCon Attendees Describe Crowded, Potentially Dangerous Conditions


ORLANDO, Fla. - Attendees of the ultra-popular fandom convention MegaCon in Orlando this past weekend are continuously describing extreme crowding and organizational issues with the event. Known as one of the largest comic-con gatherings in the United States, many have said they're reconsidering whether they'll be attending MegaCon again in the future.

At the top of many attendees' concerns was the crowding issue at the Orange County Convention Center. "You could not move in the vendor hall," said one commenter on the event's Instagram page. "If there had been an emergency nobody could have safely exited. It was scary. We saw a lady faint in one of the autographs and it took over 10 min for a con official (not even an EMT) to arrive."

It's not hard to imagine how the event organizers, FanExpo, sold well over 100,000 tickets to this weekend's gathering. Celebrity appearances included Chevy Chase, Rosario Dawson, Vincent D'Onofrio, and lots of others. Fans of virtually any major media franchise had at least one representative available for autograph signings or photo opportunities. Thus, demand was sky-high. But increasingly more of those who went report that FanExpo wasn't up to the task.

"The Fire Marshal was called out three times this weekend due to over-capacity," said another attendee of the convention. While conventions the size of MegaCon are required to have a certain presence from the Orange County Fire Marshal to operate legally, the OCFM may have an additional presence if event organizers exceed safe building capacity requirements. The Orange County government and MegaCon organizers were both contacted by NewsDaytonaBeach.com for further comment, and this article will be amended when either party responds.

Others described havoc with the event's parking situation. The convention sold much of their own parking inventory, with multiple large lots near the convention center. Still, many reported that every possible nearby parking option had been exhausted with only little in the way of shuttle transports to satellite lots or other parking arrangements.

Convention-goers weren't the only ones who reported a nightmare experience at MegaCon. BeastWreck, an apparel vendor at the event, said they'd no longer be attending after their experience. The operator reported that the event gave them no consideration for parking and loading, until one day they were able to gain access to a lot that was listed as sold out because operators didn't have a working card reader. "It 's become far too frustrating, exhausting, expensive, and a hassle to make it worth returning," the vendor said.

Another vendor booth reportedly had a small fire break out at one point during the event. An observer said they believed it was a pizza stand, producing columns of smoke within the indoor convention hall. If the event was attended well over capacity as some have alleged, such an occurrence may have put attendees in a dangerous situation.

Despite these concerns, MegaCon has begun selling tickets to its 2024 event already, in the absence of any celebrity guest announcements. It's still to be seen if any local laws or ordinances were violated by the issues attendees complained about.