Accusations over missed payments and artists canceling appearances at the last minute involve the holding of the pop culture festival Ucconx, billed as a “meeting” between the “Asian, Comics, Cosplay, Gamer, Entertainment and Urban” universes. The event, which started on Wednesday (27), takes place until next Sunday (31) at Complexo do Anhembi, in São Paulo.
splash spoke with six former employees of the company — most asked not to be identified. They allege delay of three to six months of salary after providing services for the company.
The first demonstrations against the organization took place on social media. People who worked on planning the event claimed that the organization did not meet the payments.
Hugo Melo, one of the former employees who agreed to identify himself, filed a lawsuit against the company to collect R$ 129,700, considering a contractual fine, interest, housing assistance and compensation for moral damages. The reporter had access to the document.
According to reports in conversation with the report, the company broke service contracts without paying the foreseen fines, in addition to not paying off previous debts.
Ticket prices range from BRL 150 to BRL 5,000. Millie Bobby Brown, Ian Somerhalder, Rupert Grint and George Takei were among the confirmed artists. On the first day of attractions, only Sandro Dias, skater athlete, and cosplayers shared content produced at Anhembi.
The report contacted the Ucconx organization, but did not receive a response on the allegations. The space remains open in case the company positions itself.
‘Totally Fyre Festival’
Respondents compared the company’s work to the case of “Fyre Festival”, a high-end festival promoted by celebrities in the Bahamas, in 2017. After selling packages for up to US$ 100,000, organizers did not deliver what was promised at the event.
The group of former Ucconx employees claims that there were no confirmed attractions until January of this year. Contacts were established with international artists, but no agreement was reached.
“We got in at 9 am and we didn’t have time to leave. We strained a lot to deal with the demands, excited about the project. The deadline was tight, we believed it was a big project. People left their jobs to participate”, reported a former employee .
Payment delays began in the last quarter of 2021, the former employees reported. They claim they did not receive financial support from the company from November to January of this year.
“They held a face-to-face meeting to explain what would happen. They were clear, saying that the event was bankrupt. The only thing confirmed was Anhembi. They asked us to continue working, as they would give priority to paying off the debt of those who continued. It was frustrating “, analyzed another.
Part of the staff stopped work after a discussion via WhatsApp, in which some employees expressed dissatisfaction with the delays. They were removed by the managers and were not contacted to agree on a dissolution.
“It was in the partners’ interest to keep an active team when a first investment arrived, even to knock on other investors’ doors”, said one of the former collaborators.
They claim that BBL, the e-sports company, took over the event after the financial problems. According to former employee Derick Guilherme, agreements were offered to settle the debts, but the agreements were broken soon after the payment of a first installment.
“They just disappeared and excluded us from social networks. Adding it all up, with termination and interest, they owe me about R$12,000”, said another former employee.
splash contacted the BBL to discuss the case. The space remains open if the company manifests itself.
Uccon Marketing, which also goes by the name MW Promoções e Eventos, responds to other cases in the TJ-SP (Court of Justice of São Paulo). In one of the actions, a company charges the payment of more than R$ 1 million referring to the rent of a property.
According to another lawsuit filed this year, the company received an eviction order and a fine of R$45,000 for not paying the rent of another space in São Paulo. The actions did not detail the addresses occupied by the company in the capital of São Paulo.
‘Festival that is born giant’
According to Ucconx’s promotional material, the purpose of the event is “to talk to all communities and specific niches in the gamer and geek world”.
“A festival that is born giant”, says the announcement of the investment of R$ 36 million for the realization of the pop culture festival. The content also featured actress Millie Bobby Brown, protagonist of “Stranger Things”, as the main attraction.
One of the employees reported that the teams went through many difficulties in reaching agreements with artists. “We talked a lot”
“It’s a type of payroll contract. In these cases, you don’t have to pay the artist right away. The artist can make this money by producing at the event, selling subscriptions, photos. If you reach the goal, wonderful. The profit is divided. , only later does the organization commit to complementing it”, says a former employee.
“Meetings were held with important people from the gamer universe, who could bring attractions. In one case, representatives visited the office 15 times and never closed a deal with the event. I realized it was something very strange, I was wasting my time”, he concluded. other.
Influencers shared on social media a message sent by the Ucconx organization. The text confirms that Millie Bobby Brown and George Takei of “Star Trek” will no longer be at the event. splash did not receive a response from the company about the absences.
Takkei was confirmed presence on the 28th and 29th of July. Brown was announced on July 30 and 31. According to the organization, both tested positive for covid-19. After eight hours, the event went back and stated that the protagonist of Stranger Things canceled the participation due to professional commitments.
“Tickets purchased for Millie Bobby Brown and George Takei’s VIP PASS and FAN PASS panels remain valid and have been automatically transferred to Dacre Montgomery and Ian Somerhalder panels, respectively,” reads the text, which provided the email to the email[email protected] to deal with ticket refunds.
Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries), another actor confirmed for the 29th and 30th, was also announced at the convention “The Vampire Diaries and The Originals”, organized by Creation Entertainment and scheduled for next Sunday (31), in New Jersey. (USA). The organization published a video stating that the artist is already in Brazil.
The presence of Rupert Grint, star of “Harry Potter”, is confirmed for the 30th and 31st of July, says the official website of the festival. Questioned by splashthe organization did not comment on details about the artist’s arrival in Brazil.
Actor Dacre Montgomery, also from “Stranger Things”, was confirmed on the 30th and 31st. “In addition to exclusive panels for fans, the star will participate in Meet & Greet, photo sessions and autographs”, says the event in a publication in the social networks.
Complaints about the cancellations and the absence of a schedule were constant on Twitter. The company’s name was among the most commented on the social network during Wednesday (27).
The former employees said they were surprised at the speed with which the deals with the artists were closed in recent months.
“From the beginning, we knew it wouldn’t work. We had meetings with organizations from other events. They made it clear that we wouldn’t be able to close with big brands. They explained a series of difficulties, but the organization ignored them”, explains Hugo Melo.