Star Trek Conventions

Star Trek Lives! was one of the earliest and most influential Star Trek conventions. It was fan-run, with many members of the committee also active in the Lunarians and working on Lunacon. The convention was also known as the Star Trek Con, the Committee Con and as the International Star Trek Convention.

1972

The first convention by this group was held January 21-23, 1972 at the Statler Hilton Hotel in Manhattan and included as guests Gene Roddenberry, Majel Barrett, Isaac Asimov, Hal Clement and D.C. Fontana. The organizers expected 500 people, but 3000 showed up leaving the committee alive, but overwhelmed.

1973

In 1973, the convention moved to the Commodore Hotel and attracted approximately 10,000 people to its convention on February 16-19.

Members of the committee for the 1973 convention were: Joan Winston, Elyse Rosenstein, Allen Asherman, Eileen Becker, Steve Rosenstein, Dana Anderson, Thom Anderson, Renee Bodner, Stu Hellinger, Devra Langsam, Deborah Langsam, Eileen Becker, Maureen Wilson, Joyce Yasner and Al Schuster. In later years, Barbara Wenk, Wendy Lindboe, Louise Sachter, Stuart Grossman, Claire Eddy, Diane Duane and David Simmons joined the committee.

1974

International Star Trek Convention
On February 15-18, 1974 the convention attracted between 10,000 and 14,000 people (Locus reports 8000-12,000) to the Americana Hotel, and and had to turn people away each day due to Fire Marshall concerns — causing at least one small riot in front of the hotel. There were complaints about the crush and the bad attitude of some committee members (a walk-out from the costume ball was triggered by a committee member cursing at one of the invited guests.)

The problems in New York caused Equicon in Los Angeles to impose a membership cap.

The committee fissioned leaving records in disarray. Shortly after the convention, the committee announced that they no longer had any connection with Al Schuster and "and and all future debts he may incur in the name of the Convention will not be paid or honored, and he no longer has any authority to incur expenses, arrange contracts or conduct business in the name of the convention." They also distinguished themselves as The Star Trek Convention as opposed to Schuster's International Star Trek Convention. They also reported that they had "misplaced" their list of non-attending members in the 1974 convention and pre-registered members of the 1975 convention.

1975

The 1975 convention at the Commodore Hotel was held February 14-17 and was chaired by Devra Langsam and was now called the Star Trek Convention. (Former chairman Al Schuster had started a rival convention running a month earlier which kept the name International Star Trek Convention.)

1976

In 1976 things came to a head with three New York Star Trek conventions in a two-month period:
Convention Dates Location Size Notes
New York Star Trek '76 January 23-25, 1976 New York Hilton 20,000-50,000 aka Riotcon
Al Schuster's International Star Trek Convention 1976 January 15-18, 1976 4000
Star Trek Lives 1976 February 12-16 Commodore Hotel 5000 — it had a reported membership limit of 6000 chaired this year by Thom Anderson

New York Star Trek '76 attracted between 20,000 and 50,000 people according to the New York Times with many ticket holders being turned away when the facilities were completely swamped. (Its committee seems to have been entirely unprepared and quite disorganized.) The New York Attorney General investigated and both fan-run conventions ended. See also Star Trek Fiasco.

This had a fortunate side-effect in that it probably helped to kill the SF Expo, an convention planned for June of that year at the new York Hilton which was an attempt to create a regular SF convention on the scale of the Star Trek conventions.


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