The Fannibal Fest Scam
FannibalFest Toronto is a crowdfunded alleged “Hannibal Only” convention exclusively for North American Fannibals. Due to the fact that, for some reason, they have registered themselves as a non-profit charity entity (instead of social club) questions have been raised as to if they are scamming people or just very bad at running conventions. Most recently it was exposed that FannibalFest definitely had a known scam artist working for them since they were founded back in 2017.
What Indicates This Is A Scam?
As mentioned before, FannibalFest as an entity registered themselves as a 501(c)3 specifically. This is public information you can find about them [Source]. The problem with this is that an organization registered as a 501(c)3 is a non-profit charity. This means that they should be benefiting some kind of actual charity in some way and also be transparent with their budgets and where all of the money they are raising is going. This is something they absolutely do not do. When questioned about what they are doing with their money they get defensive and claim they are a private business (then later delete their response so no one sees that either). They are very vague about where all the money is going from their Kickstarters   and are reluctant to answer any actual questions that pertain to money or funds and how they are used for the convention.
Why Makes Them Look Shady?
In 2017 they raised upwards of fourteen thousand dollars in order to run the convention. They claimed they needed that much money for “start-up” costs and for convention number two (when it rolled around) they’d need a lot less money. They said that all the money raised in the first Kickstarter were only to found the FannibalFest organization and nothing else. They initially asked for ten thousand dollars and ended up with four thousand more than that. They stated that anything they earned above their initial goal would go directly towards the convention as well, but never explained how. When asked specifically what they were doing with the additional four grand they would never answer. FannibalFest 2017 managed to book seven guests, only on a known budget of four thousand dollars. There is no explanation how they got seven celebrities there for such little money. Speculation dictates that because they are registered as a charity, they may have gotten some of these people to attend pro-bono. However, the problem with that idea is that they’d still have to pay for travel, for all of them, still have to pay for their hotel room, and still take care of them (food and other things) while they were there. Seven guests means that would cost more than four thousand dollars. They have still to explain how they afforded all of this.
Other budget discrepancies include but aren’t limited to:
The price they claim they paid for their “logo” which came out to $150
The price they claim they needed to register and run their domain which came out to over $1000 and upon further research it became obvious they did not need nearly that much money to do it
Claiming they were going to have things at the convention they never actually came through on (Private Security, Professional Banners, and the like)
At its inception, FannibalFest was advertising itself as an “artist collective” and in order to attend FannibalFest you needed to be a “member” you also needed to “prove” you had a body of “Fandom related artwork” to your name in order to join the organization. This claim was later retracted when the fandom called them out on being “elitist” and shady due to the fact that they were forcing people to prove they were artists in order to join. Coupled with the fact that no one really wanted to go if it wasn’t a “general” convention, they weren’t selling tickets, so they dropped that qualification. They still constantly refer to “having membership” in order to get certain “perks” but they have never once defined what membership actually is beyond paying for one of their overprice “Gold” tickets which will run you about $325.
FannibalFest ended up having extremely poor attendance in year one and by their own admission, the room they booked to have the convention could only ever hold 500 people, so the chances of them seeing more than 500 attendees is insanely low. It was the same with the second year. Most of their problems with attendance stemmed from the fact that ticket prices were insanely high, but even if they did sell 500 Gold tickets, that still wouldn’t have allowed them to be able to afford 7 celebrity guests. It was also clear from eye witness statements that the convention was under budget and cheap looking, but they were at least “applauded” for putting some “effort” into it.
The founder of the convention, Normal “Betsy” Craig, claimed that prices were only so high because it was their first convention and they wouldn’t need nearly as much money next time. However, the second Kickstarter asked for far more money than the first one and raised upwards of 40 thousand dollars. Considering what the Fannibals actually got for their money (which was documented through plenty of actual tweets and pictures) it is abundantly clear they were ripped off and didn’t get near the quality of items they paid for in advance. There were also rumors of several people being comped tickets in exchange for promotion and good reviews.
Why Are People Even Funding This?
The most obvious answer is that this convention has less to do with being about a general Hannibal fan meet and greet and far more to do with a cult meeting. These people will throw money at anything as long as it relates to not Hannibal, but Hannigram. If you read over their website, the events they promote at their actual convention, and the contests they run, you will see that it’s clear that this isn’t a general Hannibal convention for casual Fannibals. This is nothing more than a cult meeting for the people who take the Hannigram pairing to an obsessive level. If you don’t absolutely adore the romantic pairing of Hannigam you will not have any sort of fun at this convention. These people are highly devoted and borderline brainwashed into a Fannibal Family group mentality. They will throw their money at anything as long as it’s slightly Hannigram related. For some reason, a lot of them have super disposable incomes (and are either trustfund kids or have rich husbands) so it doesn’t matter to them that the average cost to attend this convention is over $1500 dollars. These aren’t fans as much as they are devotees and fanatics and as long as they get to have their little Hannibal party with their little Hannibal family once a year, they don’t care how much it costs.
Though far more people than me have spoken out against this convention, and stated it is a scam (or no less than a very expensive cult meeting) they have blamed all of their failures on me, specifically. They have seemingly bribed people into giving them good reviews, and any promotion they have gotten has been paid for by them by offering people a VIP experience (free of charge) to the convention, or finding websites they can pay to promote them. Several of the people they publicly named as “promotional” people for their convention have straight up denied they ever were working for FannibalFest in the first place. Some of them made claims that the convention was shady, only to later change their minds after they were comped VIP tickets to the event. This isn’t a convention, this is a cult meeting, anyone with half a brain and a decent sense of observation can figure this out.
Where Can I Find More Detailed Information?
I have done an extensive video series that covers both of the conventions that have actually happened which you can watch on my YouTube channel. [Link]
I also, previously, hosted a blog reporting on their scams (with far more sources and links) which you can find here [link]. The blog hasn’t been updated in a long while because I switched to only doing videos, but it’s still an important resource which houses a lot of links, facts, and sources to allow people to make an informed decision about what this convention really is and if they should spend their money on it.