Though FanX: Salt Lake Comic Convention happens annually in Salt Lake City as the name suggests, according to event founder Dan Farr, the event isn’t just for Salt Lake County, but for fans of pop culture across the state and region.
Now Utah County is taking a piece of nerdy pie with a partnership between FanX and Evermore Park in Pleasant Grove which was announced to fans this week.
“Evermore is just such a perfect partner,” Farr said in an interview with the Daily Herald regarding the announcement. “They share this same love of entertainment … and to see what they’re doing with Evermore is just phenomenal. Anybody who visits Evermore is just going to be blown away because it’s just such a powerful thing. We are thrilled to be associated with them — just immensely excited.”
As some background, Evermore Park is described as “a fully immersive Theatrical Experience Park designed as an old-world gothic-styled European village, set in beautiful gardens. Visiting explorers are transported to a place of discovery, imagination and wonder, through theatrical performance, movie quality costuming, effects and a variety of technologies to deliver magical experiences.”
Evermore is founded by Ken Bretschneider, who is also known for his work on DigiCert and The Void and is set to first open to the public as a part of a combined party with FanX.
“We are excited to be a big part of FanX this year including our Evermore/FanX Opening Party,” Bretschneider said in a press release on the partnership announcement. “We share a similar fanbase, a focus on excellence, and creative approach to entertaining our guests.”
Dubbed the “Evermore/FanX Lore Exclusive Opening Party,” the joint party marks a closing event for FanX 2018, as well an opening event for Evermore Park.
“The timing was just perfect,” Farr said of the partnership and party. “One thing that happens at every convention when we end is that everybody wants it to continue on and get a little more out of it. It seemed like the perfect tie in to launch this great theme park together and just give people that have had a great experience at FanX the chance to extend that experience longer.”
The after-party will take place at the Evermore campus in Pleasant Grove, and, according to Farr, stands as a strong example of the type of partnerships the convention is seeking.
“We’re drawn toward creativity wherever possible because that’s what the fans love to see — new creative endeavors; new creative approaches to things,” Farr said. “Just from a relationship standpoint, there are a lot of benefits that come from extending the footprint of what our event will be this year. Rather than it all just taking place downtown, it being extended to Utah County.”
The party isn’t the only aspect to the partnership, however. There also will be an Evermore Pavilion at FanX, which is set to take place at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City from Sept. 7-9.
“We’re not looking for people that just come in and take up space and pay money to take up space,” Farr said of the set-up of the event. “That’s never been our ambition — to just fill the floor with vendors. We want to have vendors bringing something of excitement for people to see. The booth they’re putting together will showcase what is really happening at Evermore, and will bring the same brand quality at Evermore into the booth. It’s going to be an attraction for our event.”
According to Farr, Evermore is an impressive collision of fantasy and reality, made even more impressive by the attention to detail.
“When I hear Ken talk about what he’s building out there, it’s probably very similar to when Walt Disney conceptualized what he was doing in Disneyland,” Farr said. “For Evermore, they spent several months in Europe going around to all these stores and places and picked up all these vintage products and statues. They picked them out, not just taking a picture of certain items and saying, ‘Let’s duplicate that,’ but actually bringing stuff back. They have chairs that are 600 years old that have handwoven tapestry on them, and just the artistry that’s gone into that is phenomenal. … When people go into Evermore it’s like walking into another world in a lot of ways. They’ve gone to great lengths and great expense to create that environment.”
The high level of attention to detail and quality are just a start for the partnership, though, according to Farr.
“If you look at what Evermore is about, it’s celebrating fandom and it’s a chance to immerse yourself into that fandom, into multiple fandoms,” he said. “That’s what we provide. It’s a common goal. If you look at it from a love of entertainment, we all share that love of putting together entertainment that makes people happy.”