The first Salt Lake Comic Con was held September 5–7, 2013 and was produced by Dan Farr Productions. Originally, it was planned to be held at the South Town Exposition Center in Sandy, Utah, but due to high ticket sales, it was moved to the Salt Palace Convention Center. Ticket sales continued to increase especially after announcements of special guests like Adam West, William Shatner, and Stan Lee.
On Saturday, September 7, 2013, over 70,000 people attended with ticket sales that exceeded 50,000. Celebrities and organizers including Kevin Sorbo, Lou Ferrigno, Claire Coffee, Dan Farr, and Bryan Brandenburg were invited to meet with Governor Gary Herbert. The attendance made the 2013 Salt Lake Comic Con the largest inaugural Comic Con in North America and the largest convention ever held in Salt Lake City. According to Salt Lake Comic Con officials, between 70,000 and 80,000 people attended on Saturday before tickets sold out.
Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience, the first of two Salt Lake Comic Con events in 2014, took place on April 17–19, 2014. Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience was attended by over 100,000 people, breaking Salt Lake Comic Con 2013’s own attendance records and making it the third largest Comic Con event in the United States and the largest per-capita comic con event in North America. Special guests included Patrick Stewart, William Shatner, Chandler Riggs, Adam Baldwin, Karl Urban, Nathan Fillion, Jason David Frank, Karen Gillan, Billy Dee Williams, Jonathan Frakes and Edward James Olmos.
On July 25, 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International sent Salt Lake Comic Con a cease and desist letter over the use of the word “Comic Con.” Salt Lake Comic Con organizers responded to this stating that San Diego Comic-Con International threatening Salt Lake Comic Con could lead to other “Comic Cons” being affected. Salt Lake Comic Con responded with a press release citing their legal position and unwillingness to comply to the cease and desist letter.
Salt Lake Comic Con 2014, the second Salt Lake Comic Con event in 2014, took place on September 4–6, 2014. The event was sold out with over 120,000 attendees and was closed down on several occasions by the fire marshall for safety reasons. Salt Lake Comic Con broke its own record as the best-attended convention in Utah and the largest per-capita comic con in North America. Special guests included Stan Lee, Leonard Nimoy (via Skype), Stephen Amell, Manu Bennett, John Barrowman, Ron Perlman, Bruce Campbell, Alan Tudyk, Eliza Dushku, Simon Helberg, Lou Ferrigno, Barbara Eden, Danny Glover, Jon Heder and over 100 other guests.
Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience 2015, the first of two Salt Lake Comic Con events scheduled for 2015 (the other being the third annual Salt Lake Comic Con 2015 in September 2015), took place on January 29–31, 2015. This was the first Salt Lake Comic Con event to take place during the winter months in Utah, as previous events have taken place in either April or September. Salt Lake Comic Con also “utilized RFID technology to fast track registration and access to the show”. Special Guests included Matt Smith, Carrie Fisher, Christopher Lloyd Felicia Day, Steven Yeun, Emily Kinney, Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Nichelle Nichols, Ray Park, Brandon Routh, Paul Wesley, Tom Felton and many more celebrities from the worlds of film, television, comic books and literature.
Salt Lake Comic Con 2015, the third annual Salt Lake Comic Con event, took place on September 24–26, 2015. Salt Lake Comic Con co-founders Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg intended for the event to be “bigger and better than ever”. The event utilized the entire Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City and expanded the popular “KidCon” section with more kid and family friendly booths, displays, panels and activities. Salt Lake Comic Con 2015 broke its previous record with 127,000 attendees, which contributed to Utah Transit Authority’s record-breaking ridership with 567,892 boardings on TRAX (light rail) and FrontRunner. Speaking about the event, Brandenburg also stated that “the real depth of this event is the myriad of features, cosplayers, parties, panels and entertainment that will engage and captivate our fans for three solid days.” Special Guests included Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Ian Somerhalder, Felicia Day, James and Oliver Phelps, John Barrowman, Jenna Coleman, Arthur Darvill, Sean Astin, Anthony Daniels, Scott Wilson, Marina Sirtis, Denis O’Hare, Dean O’Gorman, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Robbie Amell, Walter Koenig, Richard Hatch, Emma Caulfield, Linda Blair, Daniel Cudmore, Vic Mignogna, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Christopher Gorham, Austin St. John, Joel Hodgson, Bill Corbett, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Jim Butcher, Timothy Zahn, James Dashner, R. A. Salvatore, Terry Brooks, Richard Paul Evans, Kevin Hearne with at least 200 more celebrities from the worlds of film, television, comic books and literature in attendance.
On Friday, September 25, 2015 at 6 pm Salt Lake Comic Con attempted and successfully broke the world record for the most costumed comic book cosplay characters in one location. At 1784 people, this beat the previous record by about 250, surpassing the International Animation CCJOY LAND in Changzhou City, Jiangsu Province, China, on April 29, 2011 which had gathered 1530 people.
Salt Lake Comic Con’s sixth event, Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience 2016, was held on March 24–26, 2016 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. Special Guests included Buzz Aldrin, Gillian Anderson, Matt Smith, Jason Isaacs, Summer Glau, Chandler Riggs, Alex Kingston, Tom Kenny, Alan Tudyk, LeVar Burton, Mitch Pileggi, Dean Cain, Sylvester McCoy, Peter Davison, Bill Farmer, Jess Harnell, Paul Blackthorne, Charlotte Ross, Curtis Armstrong, Gary Lockwood, Michael Traynor, Don Shanks, Grey DeLisle, Erica Carroll, William B. Davis, Kate Beckinsale, Nick Carter, Tony Anselmo, Danai Gurira, Joey Fatone, Jeremy Renner and over 100 other guests. Attendance was intentionally capped at 50,000 attendees.
Dan Farr Productions recently announced their seventh event as Salt Lake Comic Con 2016, taking place on September 1-3, 2016 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. Guest announcements and ticket sales will begin soon!