Since the announcement that BBC’s Sherlock would have its very own convention, fans have been aflutter (the Collective team included). Sherlocked: The Official Sherlock Convention is taking place in London on the weekend of April 24-26, 2015. A second con will take place in the States at a later date.
So why are so many Sherlockians unhappy?
Well, I’ve got a list. It’s a short list, I grant you, but an important one.
1.) Sherlocked is expensive.
Like hold-up-let-me-sell-my-kidney expensive.
— wenderbatch (@wendish1971) February 5, 2015
We kid you not.
Why is it so pricey, you ask? It’s confusing, I know. At first glance, the one-day and weekend tickets look similar to other conventions. A standard one-day pass is £29 (approximately $43, depending on the rate of exchange). That isn’t vastly different from other conventions that take place in London, such as MCM Comic Con or London Super Comic Con. The catch is that a one-day ticket (or even a weekend pass) to Sherlocked doesn’t guarantee you much of anything.
You have to pay an entrance ticket for the #sherlockedEvent AND a ticket to access stage talks? What’s even included in the entrance ticket?
— Marion A. Grenier (@GootIsLightning) March 18, 2015
That’s right, Marion. Unlike every other convention I’ve ever been to, a ticket to Sherlocked doesn’t get you into panels (or “talks”). While things like photo ops always cost extra, and autographs typically do (some cons let you get your first autograph for free), Sherlocked takes the cake in charging attendees extra. In order to be present at the talks with Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Scott, the ladies of Sherlock, and others, one must pay for an extra ticket. Oh, and that one ticket only gets you into one talk. If you want to attend them all, you have to buy multiple tickets.
Yes, seriously. Unlike MCM, LSCC, SDCC, or any of the Supernatural conventions, which let you into any and all panels if you’ve bought a ticket to the event, Sherlocked decided that they needed to be different and charge you up the wazoo. While there are some free things to do, like viewing set displays and props, let’s be honest. We attend cons for the panels and merch booths. And when we do pay for panels, it’s at events like Nerd HQ, that raise money for charity.
Let’s do a little math. (It’s elementary.) Let’s say you purchased a weekend pass, and also wanted to attend some panels. This an example of what it would run you.
- Weekend pass: £44
- Benedict Cumberbatch talk: £35
- Andrew Scott talk: £20
- Andrew Scott and Mark Gatiss talk: £35
- Ladies of Sherlock talk £30
And the grand total is £164 (approximately $244.84). That’s right. Without even thinking about purchasing photo ops or autographs (which are also extravagantly expensive), you’d be spending as much as you would if you bought ten one-day MCM tickets (or alternatively, 3.28 weekend MCM passes).
I’m not even going to go into the Silver, Gold, Platinum, or VIP event packages. To ogle their insane prices, click here.
Here’s one last example of how extreme Sherlocked’s prices are. Though the Collective has two press badges to SDCC, I had to purchase a four-day pass. It cost me $185 (approximately £123). That guarantees me entrance on all four days, as well as access to any panel I choose to attend on any of those days, no questions asked. What would £123 get me at Sherlocked? A weekend pass and two or three panels. Let the math speak for itself.
2.) Sherlocked is poorly run
The con hasn’t even happened yet, and I’m already regretting it. Let me make a long story short. My friends and I wanted to buy photo ops with Benedict Cumberbatch. Because Benny.
Sorry darling, but it wasn’t exactly rainbows and butterflies. While the banner went live at 7 pm, as advertised, the link was incorrect. My friends and I were being redirected to the main tickets page, instead of the EventBrite page to purchase said tickets. We were not the only people having this problem.
— louis lou (@louislou_lou) March 18, 2015
It was a full 15 minutes before the link was properly functional. By the time we got in, a good deal of the tickets were sold out. Each time we attempted to select tickets, the “order now” button simply refreshed the page instead of taking us to where we could purchase them. This continued until all of Benny’s photo op tickets were sold out.
It is understandable that technology isn’t perfect. The internet screws up sometimes. I get that. But attempting to contact Sherlocked was futile. They didn’t have a single person manning their Twitter account during the time that hundreds and hundreds of tickets went live for purchase. I later emailed Sherlocked and explained the situation, at the very least hoping for an apology (or an admission that their website was faulty). The reply I received was far from helpful.
The banner on the tickets page took you through to the Sherlock shop. The photo sessions were all on the same page as the packages and entry tickets. If you had used this page previously it could be that your internet cache had not updated – we would have recommended a hard refresh at this stage.
I simply cannot fathom that a convention which charges it’s attendees so much money doesn’t even have an easily accessible, let alone helpful, customer service. If they can’t man a Twitter, how are they going to run a huge event with celebrities like Benny in attendance?
3.) Sherlocked’s Guest List
As of today, neither Martin Freeman nor Amanda Abbington are confirmed to attend. Instead, the guest list includes random people, like the corpse in the first episode. That’s right, Jennifer Wilson (Louise Breckon-Richards), the lady in pink, will be there. So will Miss Sutherland (Elizabeth Coyle), who was apparently in “The Empty Hearse.”
The woman who played THE CORPSE in Pink will appear at #sherlockedevent?! If Connie Prince isn’t a go I don’t see the point.
— Mary Jo Watts (@midonz) March 10, 2015
I’ll let Ross take this one.
Here’s to hoping the actual convention won’t be as bad as I’m anticipating. We were able to get tickets to Benny’s Saturday talk at the last minute, but if it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t attend at all. I’m looking into refunding my Sunday ticket, partly on principle, and partly because there isn’t any real reason to attend.
Yours in disappointment,
The Collected Mutineer
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