Response to Reservation Cancellations

After we shut down online registration over the weekend pending a conversation with the hotel, continuing developments with COVID-19 and discussions with the convention committee had convinced the Baltimore Science Fiction Society Board of Directors we likely needed to cancel the convention. However, we had not yet identified a process for doing that with minimal confusion, nor had we had a conversation with the hotel discussing the process. Today we learned that the hotel had started canceling registrations. We were as surprised as everyone else to hear about the canceled reservations and see that our reservations were getting canceled.

We apologize for the confusion. We’ve reached out to our contacts with the hotel, and as we learn more we will let everyone know as fast as we can assemble clear statements. Unfortunately, this may take a while as Marriott is currently furloughing many of its employees.

We will be offering refunds to people who paid for memberships or space in our artist alley, dealers’ room, or art show. And anyone who earned a volunteer membership at Balticon 53 or has some other type of membership rolled over from Balticon 53, those memberships will be valid at our next convention.

For artist alley, dealers’ room or art show please contact the head of that area. For members we have not yet finalized a process for gathering the information we need to issue refunds or roll over memberships for next year’s convention. We will announce that process and provide directions here and via email to any members for whom we have a valid email address.

Again, my apologies for the confusion.

Michael Rafferty
Chair, Balticon 54

Message from the Balticon 54 Chair

On March 12th, the Governor of Maryland established a ban, of indeterminate duration, on all gatherings of more than 250 people in response to the first case of community transmission of COVID-19 in Maryland.  The Baltimore Science Fiction Society Board of Directors is currently evaluating the situation and reaching out to the hotel to discuss contingencies.  Until we have more information, we are closing Online Registration and Art Show Registration, and will not be approving additional Artists’ Alley or Dealers’ Room applications.

We will announce further developments wherever we publish this statement.

If we are forced to cancel the convention, we will communicate directly with members, artists, and vendors who have paid for registrations with instructions on requesting a refund or rolling over memberships to next year.  Any volunteer memberships earned at Balticon 53 or other memberships rolled over from Balticon 53 will be valid at the next convention.

If you have any questions, please contact

Michael Rafferty
Balticon 54 Chair