DON’T PANIC: The new era of Gallifrey One?

On April 28, at noon PST:
is where to look for the hotel discount codes/links while they last.
If you don’t get a con block room, check my hotel post for more suggestions.


tl;dr: Gallifrey One 2015 tickets are all sold out.
Ticket transfers open in October, at face value.
There is no shortage of hotel rooms.
Guests to be announced in the summer
Gallifrey One will not be expanding.
And what’s with the kidneys?



Today at 10am Pacific time, Gallifrey One sold 3200 tickets to the 2015 convention in seventy-five minutes.

Think about that, I’ll give you a moment.

DISCLAIMER: While you’re pondering, I’ll remind you that this is an unofficial site not affiliated with Gallifrey One, and I’m just a guy who’s been to six Gallifrey One conventions and likes to try to help folks who are attending or want to attend. 

That’s 7/10 of a ticket every second on average. Let’s round up. One ticket a second, for a show with no guests announced, no special events or new features announced (compared to 2014), nothing other than the word and track record of the all-volunteer Gallifrey One staff that they’ll do their best–as they always say–to make next year even better than this one. 

So as many predicted, there were:

  • Hundreds of people hitting reload on the registration page for 5-10 minutes before the cutover, even keeping the Gallifrey One staff from being able to update the page with the link;
  • Lots of people who’ve been talking about the ticket sale for weeks complaining that they didn’t have enough warning (they did);
  • A few people letting everyone else know they know how to run conventions better than the Gallifrey One staff do after 25 years (they don’t);
  • Lots of people exuberant over getting their tix (including me), and at least a few who are still wishing for a membership before February 2015.

Well, for those of you who don’t have tickets and haven’t gone off to start your own convention across the street from Gally, I’m here to tell you what you probably already know.

All hope is not lost.

Gallifrey One 2015 is still approx. 329 days away. Transfers will be available beginning in October, for people who no longer need their tickets. Put it in your calendar now, to check back on Twitter, Facebook, and for the details.

Transfers will allow you to sell a ticket you don’t need, for the original cost of purchase ($90 adult 17+, $45 teens 12-16, $10 children 3-11). There will be a specific facebook page for transfers, beginning in October, and you can go there if you have an extra ticket or need one.

You can upgrade a ticket one step, from child to teen and from teen to adult (but not child to adult), for the difference in ticket cost, paid to Gallifrey One after transfers open.

Memberships are capped? Can’t they just admit an unlimited number of people?

20130915-190532[1]In a word, No.

There are safety, fire code, security, and comfort factors.

Remember how crowded the elevators and escalators got after the Masquerade? Imagine the entire convention floor being worse than that. Is that what you want? It’s not what most of us want.

Why don’t they just scrap the current location make the “easy” move to a bigger venue?

First and foremost, because they’re not going for biggest convention in the world. They’re going for best. And that means a place that’s safe for all ages, affordable for most attendees, with enough space for four or more tracks of activities ranging from Katy Manning’s Dalek impersonation to NASA explaining the technology of space flight and everything in between. 

On top of that, as anyone who’s ever tried to coordinate a multi-day event knows, “easy peasy, just find a bigger venue” is not easy at all. They’ve spent years working on the relationship with the Marriott and making the convention work as it is.

But anyone who wants to try to start a convention in a larger space is obviously welcome to do so. Some folks seem to think it’s easy and they can do it better. If you can, and do, people will show up in droves, I’m sure. Keep us posted.

Gallifrey One is as successful as it is because of the track record of the organizers, and the trust they’ve earned from attendees and guests alike. They wouldn’t have that level of trust if they didn’t pay attention to quality, and focus their efforts where they make the most difference. Sure, if they put on a crappy convention, there’d be a lot more room, but that’s not what most of us want either.

So what about hotels? Did Gally build new floors on the Marriott for us yet?

Again, no. Let’s cut this one off at the pass too.

A year ago tomorrow I wrote a post about hotelling for Gallifrey One, after the convention hotel blocks sold out pretty quickly. If Gallifrey One got every room including suites in the Marriott, and every room including suites in the Renaissance, that would be fewer than 1500 rooms. And Gallifrey One does not get every single room, just a whole heck of a lot of them.

With guests and their entourages, members, staff, and so forth, there are about 3700 people at Gallifrey One each year these days.

So absolute best and impossible case, if an average of 2.5 people occupied each and every room that exists in both hotels, we’d be covered. But that’s not going to happen.

My recommendation is thus:

  1. Don’t panic. Hotel registration details and official convention rates will be announced in April on and the other usual places. There will still be rooms even in January 2015.
  2. If you have big costumes, dealer room supplies, health issues, small children, or any special need or desire for proximity, by all means go for a room in the convention hotel (the Marriott).
  3. If you don’t need the Marriott for whatever reason, there will probably be an overflow hotel with a similar rate (around $100 based on past history).
  4. If you don’t get one of the 1k+ rooms in the official hotels, there are at least half a dozen hotels within 10-15 minutes walking distance that have affordable rates even if they’re not official.

I stayed in the Sheraton Gateway for only a few bucks more, and it was very comfortable. There are the Embassy Suites, Four Points, and a few others within a couple of blocks. Get a package that includes breakfast, and it’ll cost about the same (and as an aside, the satellite hotels probably have less crowded restaurants–the Sheraton’s breakfast never had a wait for us).

What if I don’t want to do any of this stuff?

That’s your choice, of course. There are other Doctor Who events around the country… most of them are great events and may be a better fit for some Whovians. There are events in other countries, and even the Sci-Fi Sea Cruise that will take you to the Caribbean in January 2015… plenty of chance to get your Who on, as the kids are saying these days (or are they?).