THE organisers of Basingstoke Comic Con have responded to criticisms of 12-hour queues, poor organisation and a lack of accessibility.

The event, held at the Hampshire Court Hotel from May 10 to 12, was attended by thousands of people keen to see celebrities including Jason Momoa, Richard Armitage, Rhys Darby, and Richard Dean Anderson. 

The convention was described as a 'relaxed, intimate' experience that would 'tackle pesky issues like long queues' according to its website.

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Basingstoke Gazette: However, furious eventgoers described waiting hours in queues to see the stars. 

Attendee Ryan Hawtin said that celebrity guest Richard Dean Anderson stayed past midnight on Sunday, May 12, signing autographs for people who had waited 12 hours in a queue. 

He added: "I personally had a 12-hour queue to meet him. I started at 11am and didn't get to the front till 11pm."

Jane Heeks, who visited the convention with her son, said there were 'no water stations as it was very hot in there'. She added that one member of staff 'took it upon themselves to go and get water jugs, handing water out to people.'

Another attendee, Flick, received only seven out of the 16 autographs she had paid almost £500 for.

She said: "Photo ops were running an hour late by 12.45pm on Saturday because not enough time was scheduled for what was sold.

"Autographs were even worse, with many including myself queuing for Richard Dean Anderson for an hour before he had to leave again without obtaining his signature."

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The Stargate fan purchased the 'Stargate VIP Package' costing £499, allowing autographs and photos for all stars from the science-fiction TV show. 

However, Flick could not obtain all of these because she was stuck in queues.

Freddie Le Brun, who has been going to conventions for 15 years, said that as a wheelchair user, their accessibility needs were not met at the convention.

Freddie, who has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome - a connective tissue disorder - said there were four disabled parking spaces at the hotel, but on Saturday and Sunday, 50 blue badge users were registered for the car park.

They added: "Queues blocked wheelchair access down corridors. It was a nightmare.

"On the Saturday, I was sat in the access queue in my wheelchair and placed in such an awful position whilst waiting for a photo op that people kept jostling my wheelchair.

"A wheelchair is an extension of the person using it. People don't seem to understand that if you shake a chair you're shaking the person in it and can cause damage." 

They added that, although the convention had British Sign Language interpreters for the panels, the announcements for the day's schedule were made over a tannoy, making them inaccessible to those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

In a statement made on X, Basingstoke Comic Con said: "We hear you and we value your feedback! We understand there have been concerns raised about queueing times and organisation during the event. Please know that we are actively addressing these issues.

"Currently, our team is breaking down the event and preparing for comprehensive debriefs with our leadership teams. Your voices are important to us, and we are committed to making improvements for future events.

"A statement addressing your concerns will be released by the end of the week. Thank you for your patience and continued support as we work to improve your experience with us."

Organiser Jane Lowther said she felt they had been 'sabotaged'.

She said: "On further investigation we believe that we faced several acts of sabotage which we are currently investigating which were designed to make us look bad."

READ THE FULL STATEMENT HERE: 'We are deeply sorry': organisers of Basingstoke convention address criticisms