[Right: Image courtesy of Encyclopedia Dramatica]
To steal the concise summary on Wikipedia:
DashCon is a fan convention catering primarily to users of the blogging service Tumblr, with a particular emphasis on fandoms that had developed among them.
First held over the weekend of July 11, 2014 in Schaumburg, Illinois, the inaugural conventionquickly became infamous for allegations of mismanagement among organizers; an alleged, abrupt demand by the hotel for an upfront payment of cash for use of its facilities; andcelebrity guests being forced to drop out of the convention after they were informed by the hotel that they would be responsible for paying for their rooms. A small ball pit placed in one of the halls became a meme after organizers offered attendees, along with raffle and concert tickets, an "extra hour" in it as reimbursement for a cancelled panel.
Despite the issues faced by the inaugural edition, organizers announced plans to hold another edition for 2015 but As of August 2014 the convention's official website is disabled and its Twitter and Tumblr feeds are dormant. In September 2014 the Daily Dot wrote an article stating that DashCon appears to have been replaced by Emoti-Con. The writer noted that the two conventions were nearly identical in their themes, that Emoti-Con was to be held in the same venue that the second DashCon was to be hosted at, the Emoti-Con website contained much of the same text as the DashCon website, and that it was being organized by one of the co-creators of DashCon.
On Tumblr, the main compiler of Dashcon news as it was happening was Hythe, who ultimately posted eight pages' worth. Most of it was reblogs with updates and corrections, but she also conducted original interviews with an artist and a volunteer who attended. Her Dashcon tag also still contains the "Dashcon Masterpost by a Vendor" (the OP's Tumblr has since been deleted): "I had someone ask me if I could just give them something for free because they wanted an item but still had to eat."
Another significant compiler of Dashconiana on Tumblr was augustinesycamore, who "was there while Dashcon was being founded," heading up a committee and working "pretty closely with one of the co-owners." She writes in that introductory post, "if you wanna learn about how Dashcon was founded and the downright horrific inner workings during that time keep reading."
Other attendees or volunteers with significant accounts of the con:
- seh221, "Welcome to Hell: A Dashcon Experience"
- Whatiselle, "My Dashcon Experience As An Artist: Or: How I Accidentally Almost Might’ve Become A Federal Criminal"
- emmagrant01, who was involved with two panels
- lastratstanding, who hosted the Hannibal panel: "This is a VERY VERY long post about all that has gone down at Dashcon."
- Kirbeh, who attended for less than a day, then left "after deciding that the convention was not worth my time."
Cleolinda Jones, Gehayi, and Monstergirls also compiled Dashcon links. Also, Encyclopedia Dramatica also has its own writeup (page is SFW, site may not be).
- May 19, 2013, 01:45 pm UTC: "TumblCon?" Well over a year before the con happened, OP "received a request from someone who's organizing a fan track for TumblCon, looking for fic to auction off to cover expenses." 4 comments.
- May 23, 2013, 06:56 pm UTC: "WTF is Dashcon?" ~22 comments, discussing the con's name change from tumblr-con and discussing the ethics of selling fanfic to fund the con, rather than for charity.
- Jul. 12, 2014, 02:21 am UTC: First major post on the subject, 237 comments long, titled "Dashcon drama." OP, who attended the con, linked to a now-deleted post on the official con Tumblr. "They're asking for money because apparently they need to give the hotel $17,000 by... Forty minutes from now. I'm at the con now and the panels just all got cancelled and were beimg herded to one room."
- Jul. 12, 2014, 06:09 pm UTC: Second thread, with a whopping 784 comments, in which it was revealed that attendees were protesting by "singing Les Miserables songs to a bunch of underpaid and exhausted hotel employees with no control over the situation"; that the Welcome to Night Vale people walked out on the con; that that Dashcon organizers were charging $5 for two slices of pizza (nonnies were divided over whether this was extortionist or not); and that Dashcon's 2015 ticket presale "conveniently" ended the same day their hotel bill was due.
- Jul. 13, 2014, 10:45 pm (UTC): "Because there's no way the wank is over yet." 429 comments. Highlights: Artist Gingerhaze getting screwed over by Dashcon (also see ED); three short threads about the Baker Street Babes dealing with similar fuckery (again, see ED); discussion of the conrunners falling for a hoax involving Benedict Cumberbatch; a puff piece from Vice; a Tumblrite who was defending Dashcon staff; a discussion of how the con runners allegedly relied on an unstable 16-year-old girl for "professional marketing/PR"; a discussion of Mark Does Stuff's Dashcon commentary; a discussion about the overall honesty and integrity of Megg Eli, one of the con's founders (the other being Cain Hopkins); Dashcon simulator games; a Dashcon fanmix; and a Tumblr all about what else you can buy for U.S. $17,000.
- Jul. 17, 2014, 05:02 am UTC: "Dashcon official statement." 438 comments. "Man, that's a lot of passive voice used in a statement that's supposed to be responsible and forthright…" Thread highlights: more snark about Megg Eli, snark about the statement ending with a "donate" button for Dashcon '15; discussion of how amazing it was that the conrunners' cellphones didn't work in a "flat as fuck" area like Chicagoland; WTNV's Joseph Fink saying that the statement was "full of half-truths and leaves a lot of things they did out, but on the plus side they publicized private emails without asking us."
- Jul. 14, 2014, 03:48 pm (UTC): "Dashcon featured on Jezebel." 70 comments. Meme chiefly wanked about some Gentlefailers blaming teens for getting scammed, and girded its loins for "the moment when the broader non-fandom world learns about omegaverse."
- Jul. 14, 2014, 04:33 pm (UTC): "Dashcon's Knotting Panel." 61 comments. Specifically, Can You Knot: Exploring the Omegaverse (18+): A growing subset within fandoms! Topics such as gender roles, gendered language, and the six gender system will be discussed among many other topics. On a general note, there was a lot of wank around whether minors were able to get into 18+ panels at Dashcon. Despite staff involved with the Dramatic Fanfic and BDSM panelsavowing that no minors were let in, various unconfirmable reports to the contrary surfaced. However, rumors that people publicly masturbated and contracted STIs at the latter panel were hoaxes retracted by the original posters.
- Jul. 19, 2014, 02:24 pm (UTC): "Dashcon watch." 14 comments by nonnies watching the conrunners continue to spin.
- Jul. 22, 2014, 01:23 am (UTC): "Dashcon V: The Admins Talk Back." AnimeSecrets interviews Megg Eli and Cain Hopkins. 43 comments mocking the softball questions and the unconvincing answers.
- Jul. 22, 2014, 03:12 pm (UTC): "DashCon interview with Meg and Cain." Same interview, different thread, 11 comments.
- Jul. 30, 2014, 04:07 pm (UTC): "Another tale of DashCon fuckery." 10 comments. OP links to an Australian on Tumblrwhose wife was friends with con admin "Tweedledum." Dashcon persuaded her to fly to Illinois to help out; for her troubles, she got stuck running the vendors' room by herself without training or support — and nearly got stuck with her hotel room bill, too.
- Aug. 2, 2014, 07:00 pm (UTC): Dashcon 2015 taken off the Indiana Convention Center's calendar of events. 73 comments. Unrelatedly, this thread contains more discussion about the Australian volunteer: "And according to the husband, before this, she'd considered Megan Eli to be one of her best friends. Some best friend - after she helped you by covering the vendor hall at the last minute, you retroactively refuse to pay her room fees. Wow."
- Aug. 12, 2014, 04:58 am (UTC): Background on Megg Eli. OP posts this link and adds: "TLDR version: she's getting divorced and is offering fic for money." 61 comments.
- Aug. 23, 2014, 04:27 pm (UTC): "Dashcon Rebranded?" 52 comments. The Indianapolis Convention Center lists "Emoti-Con" as scheduled "Fri Jun 19 - Sun Jun 21 2015" and links to dashcon.org. That site is 404, but Emoti-Con.netexists. Emoti-Con 2015, which "aims to be the most comprehensive, internet-themed convention in the US," is "all rights reserved by So Attacked Entertainment LLC" — and that limited liability company, named for this ephemeral internet meme, is run by Cain Hopkins. Other highlights:
- Aug. 26, 2014, 01:23 pm (UTC): A discussion of Emoti-Con 2015 in a general wank thread. 6 comments. Website quote: "Registration will be open in a few short weeks, and we aim to have our 2015 preliminary schedule out in early2016!" (typo since fixed)
- Sep. 3, 2014, 06:32 pm (UTC): Another Dashcon Emoti-Con thread in a general wank thread. 19 comments. The conrunners are denying it's the same con.
- Sep. 17, 2014, 11:54 am (UTC): "Re: Fandom Wank Bank - Emoti-con - Dashcon 2: Electric Swindle-oo." 1 reply. Discusses captaindeanwatson, a former Dashcon panelist who claims that Megg and Caine are using a screenshot of her blog as part of the scrolldown .gif for their pre-sale. "I know that image, I know my avatar. I know they know me. […] YOU’RE USING ME IN MARKETING WITHOUT PERMISSION." The post in question, and captaindeanwatson's comaparison.
- Sep. 18, 2014, 11:10 am (UTC): "Re: Wank repository - Emoti-con." 29 comments. Links to a statement from Meggabout the con ending up with a debt of $15,000, which supposedly Megg can't talk about. "For reasons. Legal reasons. *coughs*" While claiming she and Caine are "trying to do right by DashCon’s creditors," which is why it's mean and bad to tell people to not support Emoti-Con Indy.
- Sep. 20, 2014, 09:33 am (UTC): "Dashcon 2 / emoti-con." 47 comments. OP wonders how much Megg and Caine are lying about Dashcon's finances. "Do we have any nonnies in American event management that can confirm that cancelling on the location (for 2k people) about one year in advance could amount to 120K in cancellation fees?" Lots of responses calling bullshit on Megg.
- The same thread as above introduces us to Nik "Dicktouching" Harkins, Dashcon sponsorship/vendor coordinator, who gave Megg and Caine a tongue bath on his Tumblr. A bit further down in the thread we see that Dicktouching is accused of "stalking" (i.e., reading) the blogs of people posting in the #dashcon tag, one of whom reportedly had a panic attack because of it. The person in question, rangerofdiscord, had posted on the Emoti-con Facebook page asking questions about problems with Dashcon, and she claims a staff member named Jeremy "sat on her blog for hours, going through her posts and constantly refreshing." "Just because I mocked the staff member does not mean I was okay with him on my blog." While Tumblr users complaining that their public blogs are being read by the public are always a trip, Dicktouching upped the douchebag ante considerably by comparing posting screenshots of Jeremy's web activity to anti-abortion terrorists. (Reply by Rangerofdiscord.)
- Sep. 21, 2014, 09:45 pm (UTC): "Dashcon Will Never Die," 35 comments, further discussion of the Dicktouching/Rangerofdiscord fight.
- Sep. 26, 2014, 02:50 am (UTC): "Emoti-Con will be issuing out ballpit themed bracelets to those who purchase before September 20th 2014, which will act as an elusive entry ticket into a Thursday party specifically held for them."Nonny: "Come join us for all the canceled panels and broken promises that you've come to expect, at a con that's sure to be truly elusive."
- Oct. 15, 2014, 01:03 am (UTC): A nonny reports the Emoti-con news as if it were still news. On the plus side, downthread, another nonny mentions this post calling out Dicktouching for defending blackface.
- Nov. 25, 2014, 07:14 am (UTC): "Well, well, well. Guess who spent a night in jail for misdemeanor theft? Spoiler: It's Cain Hopkins of Dashcon infamy. The report says the offense date was 11/15 so it probably isn't actually Dashcon related but hopefully it's the Golden Dildo of Karma being rammed right up this slimy asshole's slimy ass."
- Dec. 10, 2014, 12:19 am (UTC): "Countdown to the Dashcon reckoning. Or Emoti-Con or whatever they're trying to rebrand it as now. Supposedly Megg was going to give some answers about whether the con was still on by Dec. 9. It is now after business hours on Dec. 9 in most of the world. Will any of these questions be answered? *shakes Magic 8-Ball* ~~~SOURCES SAY NO~~~" Nearly four hours later, another nonny announced: "BREAKING NEWS: DASHCON EMOTI-CON HAS BEEN CANCELLED!"