The inaugural Universal FanCon (FanCon) is the first large-scale, 24-hour, inclusive event that celebrates the diversity of fans, the diversity of fandom and the true needs of those who love pop culture. Hosted in Baltimore, MD, April 27-29, 2018, FanCon’s mission is to create a sense of belonging by providing authentic connections and experiences through fan-centric parties, programs, panels and partners. As an important part of this mission, FanCon is building accessibility and education into every aspect of the programming. With its engaging, interactive festival atmosphere, FanCon is the place for everyone who is a fan! For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.universalfancon.com.
“Universal Fan Con is more than just a new Geek convention,” said Co-Founder Robert Butler. “It’s an event where all fans of pop culture are being celebrated, represented and included every step of the way: through our planning, our attendees, programs, parties, celebrity guests and unique experiences.”
FanCon got its start during a dinner conversation in 2016 between Butler, his partners in the wildly popular The Black Geeks podcast, and Jamie Broadnax, founder of Black Girl Nerds.
“We’re all big geeks and realized, for instance, that people of color have the same complaints as other minority groups and marginalized populations when it came to representation in the celebration of fandoms,” said Butler. “Hispanics, African Americans and Asians make up 38 percent of our population and 49 percent of frequent moviegoers – and they are more likely to see a movie featuring characters to whom they can relate. So we knew there was a need that we could fill!”
“We wanted to create a safe space that celebrated fandom differently by including the many different faces and voices that truly made up the groups, artists, affiliates, and brands that we all represented, such as women, the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, and people of color,” said Jamie Broadnax.
FanCon Celebrities, Influencers and Partners Represent Diversity of Fans and Fandoms
Kristian Nairn, a.k.a. Hodor from “Game of Thrones”; Aydian Dowling (Trans activist), Riyadh Khalaf (YouTube sensation), Yuriko Yamaguchi (Voice Actress / “Seiyuu”); legend Billy Dee Williams (“Star Wars”); actor and comedian Orlando Jones (“American Gods”); Mehcad Brooks (“Supergirl”); comedian, Paralympian and actress Katy Sullivan; Ricky Whittle and Yetide Badaki (“American Gods”); DC Comics and Marvel writer Greg Pak; GRAMMY-winner Big Daddy Kane, video game composer for Sega’s “Panzer Dragoon” Saori Kobayashi with The TriForce Quartet, rapper Mega Ran, and electronics musician TeddyLoid; Kim Chi (“Rupaul’s Drag Race”); Geek Club Books for Autism, Black Girl Nerds, Blerdgurl, ClexaCon, Disability Visibility Project, FanBros, Nerds of Prey, and more.
“The people and fandoms we are representing, the support we are getting from the city of Baltimore and the committed team we’ve been able to build are all testaments to how important and relevant an event such as FanCon is today,” said Butler. “We can’t wait to see everyone in Baltimore, April 27-29!”
Programs, Panels & Event Overview
(more announced soon)
Celebrity Meet-and-Greets, Photo/Autograph Opportunities, Lightsaber Dueling Academy, Music Concerts, Comedy Show hosted by Orlando Jones, 24-hour Arcade and eSport Gaming Tournaments, Tabletop Gaming, “American Gods” Show Panel, Kids STEM, and other programming for gaming, comics, anime, movies, TV, music, and all things fandom!
Announced Special Guests
(more announced soon)
Yetide Badaki, Demore Barnes (actor), Steve Blum (voice of “Wolverine”), Big Daddy Kane, Bit Brigade, Mehcad Brooks, Kim Chi, DJ-Jo (DJ), DJ NightCrawler (DJ/musician), Terri Doty (voice actress), Aydian Dowling, Ducky Dynamo (DJ/musical artist), HEAVYGRINDER (DJ/producer/vocal duo), Jamal Igle (comic artist/writer), Orlando Jones, Riyadh Khalaf, Saori Kobayashi, Phil LaMarr, Bruce Langely (American Gods), Mega Ran, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (Star Wars:Rebels), Sumalee Montano, Kristian Nairn, Greg Pak, Professor Shy Guy (music artist), SAMMUS (rapper/producer), Regine Sawyer (Women in Comics Collective), Peter Shinkoda (Falling Skies), Katy Sullivan, TeddyLoid, Triforce Quartet, Jeffrey Veregge (Native American comic book artist), Voia (producer/singer), Jeremy Whitley (comic series writer), Ricky Whittle, Billy Dee Williams, Fryda Wolff, Yuriko Yamaguchi.
Announced Partners & Affiliates
(more announced soon)
Baltimore Convention Center, 3 Black Geeks, Black Girl Nerds, BlerdGurl, ClexaCon, Comic Attack, CrunchyRoll, DC Anime Club, DeAnn Cox Chronicles, Disability Visability Project, FanBros, Funimation, Geek Club Books for Autism, Geek Soul Brother, GeekGirlCon, Geeks of Color, Gifted Sounds Network, Graveyard Shift Sisters, Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor, Hyatt Regency Inner Harbor, I Need Diverse Games, LatinxGeeks, Marriott Inner Harbor Camden Yards, MEGASHEEN, Nerds of Color, Nerds of Prey, Pink Banana, Ramp Your Voice, Renaissance Harborplace, Shepard, Sheraton Inner Harbor, The Black Geeks, The Black Tribbles, Visit Baltimore (www.baltimore.org), and more.