So you’re thinking of going to a con, but you’re not sure if you want to buy a ticket! Have you considered… the humble Bar Con? You could just go, get a room and hang out in the bar!
I was inspired by Piper J Drake’s excellent post on the subject, and wanted to add my own two cents. She’s seen a lot of shitty behavior in the con scene, and has some totally valid issues. That’s why I figured I’d write this primer.
There are a few good reasons to Bar Con:
- All your friends are going to be there! Maybe you can afford to come to the venue, but a $300 ticket is too much. Totally understandable, and there are a lot of good room parties!
- The content is garbage but a bunch of cool people will be around, and your friends know them. Maybe they’ll introduce you!
- The con organizers openly support someone harmful and dangerous. Maybe you don’t feel safe inside the convention proper.
- You want to hang out with other writers and feel the sense of community that only comes from being amongst your own misbegotten kind.
- Maybe you just want to rent a hotel room and get away from reality for a bit, and this was as good an excuse as any!
But there are some reasons NOT to Bar Con:
- You want to go to panels for free and think you can sneak in. (Stealing)
- You’re going to ask people to let you stay in their rooms without kicking in your fair share. (Leeching)
- You’re going to sleep in the bar. (Vagrancy)
- You’re going to set up an impromptu sales booth inside the bar, which is someone else’s place of business. (Tacky)
- You’re going to be an asshole and stalk agents and editors because you think that’ll get you a book deal. (Borderline Illegal)
In other words, if you want to Bar Con because it’s a fun place to hang out and network, AWESOME! You have a good reason to Bar Con.
If you’re planning on acting like a jackass by stealing from the con, the hotel and the bar to sell, sleep or stalk, DON’T DO IT. People will judge you very harshly, and you’re going to have a bad time.