Last September the Salt Palace was packed with more than 70,000 bodies all focused on celebrating geek culture in Utah. The inaugural Salt Lake City Comic Con set records for the city, and showed the need for more gatherings of geekdom. The co-founder and producer of the con, Dan Farr, took some time out of his schedule to give us some insight into the upcoming SLCC Fan Experience, April 17-19 at the Salt Palace. You will find a huge slew of guests, Mr. Farr, and of course the crew from Big Shiny Robot! Hanging out at the con next month. A huge thanks to the Comic Con Crew for setting this up and of course to Dan Farr for taking the time to speak with us.
BSR: What inspired you to start SLCC?
Farr: You know I have been going to conventions as a vendor for a long time, I had been to Wizard World and others and I had seen the events around town and even attended GEEX, and I loved the energy from these events. Then I stumbled across an article on your site by Bryan that discussed the different nerdy exploits in SLC and that sort of sealed the deal, we needed a Comic Con. I’ve met some really great people along the way that have helped me set this up, and here we are.
Then I stumbled across an article on your site by Bryan that discussed the different nerdy exploits in SLC and that sort of sealed the deal
BSR: What nerdy things are you passionate about?
Farr: I really got into home haunting; I joined the Rocky Mountain Haunters association and that is something that I’ve really enjoyed.
BSR: What guests are you especially excited about?
Farr: I love interacting with all the guests that we have, and truthfully I’m excited for all of them. The great thing about doing this is I actually enjoy seeing the fans get excited about meeting the people they care about. That is truly what keeps me doing this.
BSR: After such huge success what kind of things are you looking to do maintain it?
Farr: You know we want to keep expanding and give people the chance to see it. Even with last years turn out there are a lot of people that haven’t had a chance to come by, so we want to give them that opportunity. For the fan experience we’ve added a children’s con and we have a focus on cosplay, and a huge list of guests so we are excited to have it happen.
BSR: What can we expect to be different from the Fan Experience to the main convention in September?
Farr: ...The big thing is we have added the children’s convention and also a lot of the artists, even if they are the same ones from last time, are bringing all new work so in a way they are brand new artists for this event as well.
BSR: Were you surprised with the success?
Farr: Well, we had notice of the growth; I mean we had to expand from a single hall in the South Towne Expo Center to the Salt Palace, because at that point we had sold 35,000 tickets. And of course, by the weekend of the convention we had sold 70,000, but the need was definitely there.
BSR: What are your thoughts on the Legislature signing off on the new convention hotel?
Farr: I think it’s great, and especially for us. It gives us the start of an infrastructure to compete with SDCC and the other giants. It’s been shown we need it, and this is definitely a good answer.
BSR: Before we let you go, are there any special announcements coming you can give us a sneak peek on?
Farr: We have some more people In the works that haven’t signed on quite yet, we’re waiting to hear from them, so it’s too early to say anything, but we have more coming.
BSR: I’d say it’s worth noting that the guest list is already pretty big.
Farr: Oh, absolutely. I find myself daily looking back at previous announcements and remembering who we had announced previously. We have so many great guests that looking back is great, because even with the new announcements we already have a great lineup.
BSR: Thank you again for your time, and the support Comic Con has given us! We look forward to seeing you in April.
Farr: Of course, it works great to have guys like you supporting us, and we’re happy to support you!