Westercon 73 to Go All-Virtual; Convention Chair Changes

After initially postponing the convention for one year in a coordinated move with Westercon 74 (Tonopah), Westercon 73 (Sea-Tac) announced on its Facebook page and its web site on January 23, 2021 that the convention was moving to an online/all-virtual format over the weekend of July 1-4, 2021 and will not be held in person. In addition, they announced that Sally Wohrle, the convention’s initially-announced Chair, had stepped down for health reasons and that Gene Amrstrong was the new Chair of Westercon 73. The announcement posted on the convention’s web site follows.

Since winning the Westercon 73 bid in 2018 our committee has been excited about planning and holding this Westercon! However, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a number of changes in the last year no one could have foreseen and this Westercon wasn’t exempted from any of those challenges. We’ve all had to be patient and adjust to new ways of keeping in contact and that has also meant new ways of holding conventions. Even though vaccinations are starting to be available it doesn’t look like there will have been enough to make major gatherings safe by our original convention dates. That has led to hard conversations and decisions as to how Westercon 73 will go forward. Westercon 73 will NOT be an in-person physical convention.

In order to ensure the safety and health of all participants Westercon 73 will be a virtual/online convention. We are still working out key details of what this will entail but some decisions have been established. Virtual Westercon 73 will be held on the originally planned weekend of July 1-4, 2021. Westercon 73 will be offering a film festival, filking, and all the programming that can be managed effectively in an online format. The cost of a full attending membership has been dropped to $35 for the weekend to reflect the online nature of the convention. Please check our website or Facebook page for more information and updates as they become available.

For all of you that have already purchased memberships we extend a heartfelt “Thank You” for supporting us! We appreciate you and hope to not disappoint with our online offerings. We are offering partial refunds to those who paid more than $35 for their memberships (but would be grateful if you would consider donating it instead). Please contact Westercon 73 for assistance.

We would also like to thank our Guests Of Honor, panelists, and attendees for being patient and willing to work with us as we navigate our way through these unfamiliar territories of convention organization. We also tender a special appreciation to Sally Woehrle, our previous Chair. Due to health concerns Sally has stepped down and Gene Armstrong has moved from Vice Chair to Chair of Westercon 73. Sally researched and made many of the tough decisions that led this Westercon to being able to continue through a worldwide pandemic. She will be assisting the convention in going forward once her health improves.

As Westercon 73 has moved online many traditional volunteer positions won’t be needed for this event; instead, there’s a major need for moderators for panels. Please contact Westercon 73 if you wish to volunteer. We will be happy to accept the assistance.

Gene Armstrong
Westercon 73 Chair

While Westercon 73 (2021) is moving completely online, Westercon 74 currently still plans on holding an in-person convention on July 1-4, 2022 in Tonopah, Nevada, although they do also plan on having a single “hybrid” track of programming where both members attending in person and online can participate in one program space.

Author: kevin.standlee

Kevin is an expert on the official rules of Westercon. He led the committee that redrafted the Westercon Bylaws in the 1990s and is effectively the primary author of the current Westercon Bylaws. Disclaimer: Kevin is Chair of Westercon 74 (Tonopah 2022).