Angry rant by Stewart Loud
I attended London’s May MCM Expo convention at the Excel center this weekend and, man, it was a fantastic three days! Most of you have probably seen the hundreds of pictures of the wide variety of incredible cosplayers and stalls at the event that I’ve posted on our facebook page, but that’s not what I’m writing about today. No, today I’m writing about how I had my wrist band taken away from me on the final day and got refused entry for the rest of the event. Like so many of the events in my life, the disappointment and sadness has quickly turned to bitter resentment and anger. I didn’t think it would help much at the time if I argued with the apes on security or the MCM official who explained in great detail how it was all my fault so I’ve decided to vent my frustration by writing about it and you lot can make of it what you will.
I bought a weekend pass online which gave me access to the event on the Friday as well as the Saturday and Sunday. The site was relatively quiet on Friday due to it only being open to weekend ticket holders so I quickly had my ticket scanned by the friendly MCM stewards and was given a paper wrist band as proof that I had paid so I could walk in and out of the venue. All day Friday and Saturday morning the wrist band checks were carried out pleasantly by MCM stewards and after a few times through they began recognizing me (probably due to my Punisher outfit) and just waved me through with comments like “it’s ok Punisher I’ve seen yours”
Half way through the Saturday though, someone thought it was a good idea to put a separate team of overweight, bored security guards on the entrance and suddenly the event wasn’t just organized, it was policed! The friendly polite checks were replaced with white shirted goons aggressively Bellowing “ARMS IN THE AIR! WRIST BANDS ON DISPLAY!” at all the mild mannered comic and anime fans as they neared the entrance. These ass holes even started doing wrist band checks outside and kicking cosplayers socializing with their friends off the site.
Anyway, half way through Sunday I was walking in with my wrist in the air when one of the security guards grabbed me by the arm. He’d spotted the tape on my band where, having cut it off carefully each night to shower, I’d taped it back on each morning. He called another guard over who took it from me and explained “we can’t let anyone through with a taped band” I’m assuming in case I’d just picked it up off the ground or something, but this seemed a bit unfair as the MCM stewards had managed to remember me all weekend. they weren’t interested when I tried to show them my ticket and directed me to where I had my ticket scanned in the first place. There I met one of the event organizers (I think. He seemed to have more authority than the other MCM people) who told me that when I was given the arm band I was told numerous times that it had to last me all weekend, I was fine to shower in it and not to cut it off.
I WAS NOT TOLD THIS. I like to think I’m a reasonably intelligent person so if I had been told this I wouldn’t have found myself in this situation.
When I arrived on the Friday the place was almost empty so It’s not like I had trouble hearing what the friendly MCM people said to me as I had my ticket scanned. The guy who gave me the arm band just said “here you go mate”. In fact when I returned on the Saturday I went and asked a member of staff if my arm band was still valid before I went in. But no, even when I presented my ticket and my drivers license to prove I was the ticket holder (after I’d sent a friend in to the venue for me to retrieve my bag and wallet from the cosplay stand) he refused to give me another band saying that my only option was to queue up for half an hour to buy another ticket which I couldn’t have done even if I wanted to because I’d spent all my money. The guy even said he’d just said the same thing to a twelve year old boy.
So what could I do? Well I could probably tell you a few things I wish I’d done but like I said I didn’t think it would have helped so I just sat outside and ate my lunch before I left. While out there I did have an interesting conversation with one of the stewards who having seen the guards collaring me earlier came up and told me how he thought it was bullshit as he’d been letting me through all weekend and that most of the MCM stewards hate the security guys as well because of what a negative atmosphere they create.
His words: “they know we wont cause any trouble so they make trouble.”
I also spoke to a number of other cosplayers who said they hadn’t been told what I was suposed to have been told about the wrist bands.
Don’t get me wrong before all this happened I had a fantastic time and all of the other MCM Expo staff were really nice people I just had to vent a bit on here because it seemed so unfair. But what do they care, they’ve already got my money right?
Please link this article to as many friends as you can! I wanna know if anyone else had a similar experience!