In June, alongside annual creator conference VidCon, YouTuber Tana Mongeau held her own event called TanaCon. Despite promises of free concerts, talks, and meet-and-greets with stars like Shane Dawson and Bella Thorne, the event spiraled into a disaster that was canceled after its first day. Dawson later released a three-part series featuring interviews with Mongeau and TanaCon organizer Michael Weist. Now, Weist has released his own version of events.
The tedious hour-and-a-half video, “TanaCon: What Really Happened,” is a no-flair affair featuring meetings between Mongeau, Weist, and other organizers involved with the event. (Embedded shares of the video have been prohibited by the YouTube channel.) While some of the footage was previously featured in Dawson’s documentary — including a moment in which Mongeau declares that “people love to be oppressed outside” in lines — Weist’s version is, at times, excruciating in its detail. “I think TanaCon is going to provide an experience that VidCon’s not going to,” says Weist in the video. Unfortunately for everyone involved, he was correct.
The video crawls through early meetings and into the day’s events, which largely focus on what happened inside TanaCon, rather than outside, where fans were trapped in hellish lines for hours. There is no additional commentary to add context to TanaCon, whether it’s footage of the embarrassingly sparse swag bags (including the infamous “TanaCondom,” for an event largely filled with young fans) to footage of a venue that is clearly inadequate. The video also repeatedly sticks to incorrect claims that 15,000 or even 20,000 people showed up to the event. According to Garden Grove Police after the event, officers estimated there were around 4,000 to 5,000 people.
Weist has said previously that the event was disastrous for his personal finances. On October 17th, he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after claiming to have lost $700,000. His video only briefly addresses the Dawson documentary and further claims that after Weist, Dawson, and Mongeau sat down to discuss the damage done, “the responsibility was left on Michael.” It concludes with a message that “Michael and Tana are no longer friends and do not speak.”