The streets of downtown Salt Lake were filled with people the first weekend of September. There were a few events happening downtown, but by far the biggest was the first ever Salt Lake Comic Con. With the final number of tickets sold sitting about 70,000, it’s hard to say that this first convention didn’t have an impact.
The con was brought to us primarily by Media One and Dan Farr productions. Farr himself went to cons around the nation and decided that he wanted one in Salt Lake, and that he “didn’t want to wait for someone else to bring it.” So he decided to try to do it himself, and he pulled it off.
The con brought in some major celebrities to Salt Lake, including the king of comics himself, Stan Lee. He was announced the night before the show, pushing even more ticket sales. According to the team that put the convention together, he wasn’t actually confirmed to appear until that night. Lou Ferrigno had asked him to appear that Monday, and Lee said he would stop by for the day on Saturday.
Stan Lee wasn’t the only excitement on Saturday. Sometime in the after noon, we heard rumors of the con getting shut down. Salt Palace was at capacity and no more tickets could be sold, and people who had three day passes had to wait for people to leave to get back in. It was a surreal experience inside the building at that point. It was elbow to elbow throughout the building, more people than you could imagine seeing squeezed into that building.
The feeling on the floor was something that will be hard to forget. With many cosplayers walking around, it was hard to go a few feet without seeing one of your favorite characters from a comic, film, or game. There were plenty of panels to attend, and a lot of ways to let the day waste away as you wandered lost in this nerdy ether.
As the last day began to wind down, with more people than had been there before, it was difficult not to wonder if this was some kind of fluke. I wondered if Salt Lake could really have had such a successful first Comic Con. There was a lot of work put into it, and it was planned well enough to make people come from miles around.
This wasn’t a simple fluke. This was a sign that Salt Lake will become a stop for celebrities and fans nationwide. The work that was put into this convention shows how much care Farr holds for the Comic Con spirit. Salt Lake Comic Con will continue to break records and bring celebrities to our humble fly-over state in the future.