Well, I just made this long answer to someone else's post, and decided that I'd put it here.
"I'm tremendously glad that some people are going ahead with that plan!" (Some people are planning on going ahead and meeting for planned events even if there turns out to be nothing there to see.) "That means that the fans are beginning to take measures into their own hands.
I wonder how many even know about The Gathering of the Fellowship? I think a lot of the ORC and ELF goers haven't even given it consideration because it doesn't have stars there. Although they've had some lesser lights (see list at the bottom) from LotR.
The thing is though, that it's a real fan convention. In other words, it emphasises things like panel discussions of the literature, writing workshops, and costume contest. And, with no hobbits, there would be one less absurdly annoying fan!
I was planning on doing that this year anyway, though wasn't sure how I was going to raise money for both that and ELF. No longer a problem! *choke*
It's in Toronto (although they're considering rotating cities) in early July. And it's already set up. No further planning needed. That doesn't solve anything, of course, for those who already have plane tickets to Burbank (where they still haven't come up with any major stars to feature), or the broken hearts of those who still hoped to see Elijah in Chicago."
I wish TORn would just quit Creation and start to work directly with the fans. I know they think it's too big for them to handle, but I believe it wouldn't be as difficult as they think.
"As for Creation, I haven't found Gary to be as unreasonable as all that. Yes, his first consideration is making money; yes, he only wants to do big events; yes, he only wants to do events where he's dealing with the stars. Okay, why shouldn't he have those stipulations?
I have dealt with him directly three times for a problem that I or a friend had, and every time he listened and came through. I think that if he saw a real benefit to him of doing a one-day event with fewer stars he would do it.
The problem is that it just isn't in his 'catalog'. In other words, he isn't set up for that. It would require re-planning all of his systems. Having just helped my brother (a tiny bit) at his major week-long event, I can see just how important it is to have systems in place that run themselves automatically. For instance, he gets a portion of the kitchen from the hotel and he and his staff of volunteers make all of their meals there. Would a hotel be willing to give up part of the kitchen for just one to three days? Probably not. Not making enough money to be worth their inconvenience. And my brother's staff would have to rethink the equipment they bring for it. Also, getting free meals would not be available to the volunteer staff as part of their payment.
I'm sure Gary doesn't do anything like this, but he would have his own systems that don't translate to a one-day affair."
A list of a few former Gathering guests:
Craig Parker, Actor ("Haldir") in The Lord of the Rings movies
Bruce Hopkins, Actor ("Gamling") in The Lord of the Rings movies
Ted Nasmith, World-renowned Tolkien artist
Cliff Broadway (from TORn), Actor, Writer, Producer
Jef Murray, Tolkien artist
Arden Smith, Tolkien languages scholar
Michelle LeBlanc, Languages studies
Michael Drout, Medieval studies, Tolkien scholar
Mike Foster, Tolkien Society scholar
Marcel Bülles, German Tolkien Society scholar
Matt Blessing, Tolkien archivist
Amy H. Sturgis, Fantasy/SciFi studies, Writer
Colin Duriez, C.S. Lewis scholar