Brandon Sanderson's annual Dragonsteel convention sells out in 1 hour

Brandon Sanderson poses for a portrait at BYU in Provo on March 10, 2022. Tickets for Sanderson's annual convention, Dragonsteel Nexus 2024, sold out in just one hour last week.

Brandon Sanderson poses for a portrait at BYU in Provo on March 10, 2022. Tickets for Sanderson's annual convention, Dragonsteel Nexus 2024, sold out in just one hour last week. (Mengshin Lin, Deseret News)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Brandon Sanderson fans turned out in digital droves last week to snap up all 7,500 tickets to Dragonsteel Nexus 2024 in just one hour.

Thousands of fans were left disappointed — no one, not even Sanderson, anticipated tickets would go so fast.

"I knew it was wonderful, on the one hand; but on the other hand, there's going to be disappointed people," Sanderson said.

Dragonsteel Nexus 2024, the fourth-annual convention celebrating the Cosmere (Sanderson's fictional universe), will be Dec. 5-7 at the Salt Palace Convention Center.

In a YouTube video, Sanderson explained he asked the Salt Palace to accommodate more people for the event, but it turned him down — the center bases event numbers on the anticipated number of local hotel rooms visitors will book for the convention.

"We will be hosting another convention during that date range, which limits options for space," the Salt Palace and Visit Salt Lake said in a joint statement. "Attracting out-of-town attendees allows us to infuse visitor money into our local economy, support local jobs and offset expenses paid by our residents."

Dragonsteel event coordinator Kellyn Neumann said she wished there had been more transparency from the Salt Palace during the booking process.

"I told them almost two years ago that we wanted that amount of space, and they weren't transparent about what metrics we needed to hit … and by the time we hit them, it was too late," she said.

Sanderson has a certain number of personal tickets he can give to friends, which he is now offering to more than 100 fans who didn't snag tickets but had booked flights for the conference in advance. More than half of convention attendees come from out of state every year, Neumann said.

Fans commented on YouTube to say they appreciated Sanderson's efforts to help conventiongoers.

"The transparency and dedication of the Dragonsteel team is truly unreal," YouTube user @ericeilersen commented. "You're all such lovely people, and we appreciate everything you're doing. Giving up your personal friend tickets to help people?! Come on! Who does that??"

In response, Sanderson said all people want is honesty and clarity. "The fans are awesome," he said. "The reason the convention works is because the fans like the community, they like supporting the community."

For fans who managed to get tickets, Sanderson said some fun surprises are coming. He'll make one announcement the first week of July, and one or two announcements won't be made until fans are at the convention.

And don't despair, ticketless fans: "The cool announcements that we'll be doing won't be exclusive to this year," Neumann said.

Dragonsteel just keeps getting bigger, and Sanderson has no plans to stop — the meetups are as much for him as they are for fans.

"My job is a solitary job. I sit in the basement and tell stories all day. It's really important to remind me that there is a community out there," he said.

Event space at the Salt Palace is already booked for Dragonsteel Nexus 2025, and Neumann hopes that the popularity of this year's event will allow them to book out even farther in advance.

"We're thrilled with the success that Dragonsteel is experiencing and look forward to discussing future opportunities on how we can continue working together," the Salt Palace and Visit Salt Lake said.

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Emma Everett Johnson covers Utah as a general news reporter. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University.


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