CVG reports that an unofficial Minecraft convention is being called a scam after the organizer canceled the New York City-based event at the last minute on Twitter and promised to reschedule the multi-day event at a later time. In a tweet (not via email to ticket holders, curiously enough) from its official Twitter account MineOrama organizers said:
"PLEASE NOTE WE ARE NOT A SCAM. It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that @mineorama has been postponed, stay tuned for updates.."
Those who purchased tickets at $150 each were absolutely livid and accused organizers of running an elaborate scam.
The event's organizer, Lou Gasco, attempted to calm people down via Twitter:
"We understand your frustration and we are working tirelessly to appease the situation," the event's organizer Lou Gasco replied.
"We will be having a Q&A session here tomorrow at 2pm. It is very easy to jump into conclusions without knowing facts. We hope we can clarify as much as possible tomorrow at 2pm. We too are mad."
His assurances did nothing to change people's minds.
Later he tried to explain exactly what led to the event being canceled:
"MineORama was postponed because financing fell through," began a series of tweets.
"We tried everything to recover, but had to postpone. Once we re-plan we will be able to give specific instructions for refunds. When the financing fell through, we had three weeks to make this work. We redesigned the show, but even at barebones, it was over $750,000. Our last ditch effort left us with about a $175,000 shortage. That's what we had to raise in less than three weeks."
Gasco went on to claim that the event had sold 3,600, and with an additional 2,000 comped to various people. At $150 a pop for each ticket sold, that means the organizers managed to rake in $540,000.
"I realize that whatever I say does not change the situation. Many are hurt," Gasco tweeted. "I am truly sorry. We will do a Twitch to answer more. We are committed to making this right. Our intent was good. Replanning next week, and will keep in touch with the community."
But fans posting on MineORama's official Facebook page say that getting a refund at this point seems difficult and are livid that expenses to attend the event - like lodging and travel - might not be refunded because of the last minute nature of the event's cancelation.
Meanwhile, a Yogcast member notes in a new video that he had contacted Ginnel Davis at Pier 92/94 - the venue where the event was supposed to take place. He confirmed that the event had been canceled and that the venue never received any money for the event.
"Lou never paid payments on the venue since they drew up the contract, so the venue was given away," Davis told him.
As for how to deal with getting a refund without dealing with the organizers? Your best bet is to contact PayPal, your credit card company, or whatever means by which you paid for your tickets.
We don't know if the event is a scam or not but if you believe it is then you might also want to contact the New York State Attorney General's Office - after all, we are talking about over half a million dollars here - according to the ticket sale numbers Gasco mentioned on Twitter.