If you haven’t heard, SiliCon With Adam Savage 2023 got canceled. The organizers blamed “unforeseen circumstances and challenges” on COVID-19. Adam Savage was no longer the creative director and host for the show. The future of the newly renamed SiliCon Convention is uncertain.
Blaming COVID-19 for the cancelation of the 2023 show was a bogus excuse.
The biggest change for the 2023 show was switching from the San Jose Convention Center in August to the Santa Clara Convention Center in October. According to a second-hand source, the San Jose Convention Center wanted their money.
Before we deep dive into today’s topic, I need to put out this disclaimer.
My second-hand source is a friend of a friend who works behind the scenes at many San Francisco Bay Area comic cons. I’ve known my friend for 20 years, and he had had known his friend for 20 years, and I’ve met his friend several times. I considered the information reliable even though I can’t independently verify with another source.
Let’s walk though the timeline since late August 2022.
After SiliCon With Adam Savage 2022, the organizers DID NOT announced the 2023 dates. That was a bit odd. Everyone expected the 2023 show to be at the San Jose Convention Center in late August.
The organizers could have reserved the dates and put down a security deposit at that time. Or they have a multi-year contract with the San Jose Convention Center.
The organizers emailed a poll to past ticket holders in late December 2022. Most of the questions was about having the show at the Santa Clara Convention in October.
The organizers announced the new venue and dates in February 2023. The show will be at the Santa Clara Convention Center on October 14-15, 2023. Early bird tickets went on sale.
The organizers should have started announcing guests in April 2023. No guest announcements were made.
On Friday, May 5, 2023, the organizers announced the cancelation of the 2023 show.
A Tale of Two Convention Centers
The organizers for SiliCon With Adam Savage owed money to two convention centers
- The San Jose Convention Center in late August.
- The Santa Clara Convention Center in mid-October.
A huge financial liability that would qualify as “unforeseen circumstances and challenges”.
How much money does the organizers owe the San Jose Convention Center? That we don’t know but we can speculate.
Pricing info for the San Jose Convention Center wasn’t available on their website. Pricing info for the San Jose Civic theater across the street was available. Assuming two non-event days and two event days, the Civic costs $22,450.
Since the convention center is a larger facility, it might cost $50,000 to $100,000 for four days. Or perhaps even more than that. Without ticket sales to cover the cost, the organizers would have to pay out of pocket.
The organizers canceled the 2023 show at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Unwinding that commitment was easier than unwinding the San Jose commitment. The resolution with the San Jose Convention Center will determine if SiliCon Convention has a future.
Why Adam Savage Got The Boot
Why didn’t the organizers switch SiliCon With Adam Savage 2023 show back to the San Jose Convention Center in August?
As I speculated in my video about the poll from last December, the October dates would be more convenient for Adam Savage. He attends comic cons across the country from March through September. He was at the Indiana Comic Con after organizers announced the cancelation of the 2023 show. He may already have commitments for late August that he was unwilling to change.
If they haven’t changed venues, the organizers wouldn’t be in this predicament. That could explain why Adam Savage was no longer the creative director and host for the show.
Hence, SiliCon With Adam Savage became SiliCon Convention.
That has always been a fundamental problem for the organizers. They built their shows around a host. Hosted shows last as long as the host was available.
Steve Wozniak and Stan Lee were the hosts of Silicon Valley Comic Con. They were there for the 2016 and 2017 shows. The 2018 show ran into trouble when Stan Lee showed up ill and later died that year. Steve Wozniak flew in on Friday night and flew out on Sunday morning. The 2019 show made it obvious that Steve Wozniak was stepping down as the host.
Since Adam Savage has been with Silicon Valley Comic Con from the beginning, he became the next host. The show went on for three years despite the challenges of COVID-19. Now that he is out, the organizers don’t have a new host to step in and take over.
If the organizers do make a comeback next year, I hope they can put on show without a host.
That the organizers owe money to the San Jose Convention Center makes sense. Better sense than blaming “unforeseen circumstances and challenges” on COVID-19.