Lego fan event signs convention bounce back in Knoxville
Knoxville, Tenn. (WATE) – Lego fans across our region will be able to meet professional artists over the weekend thanks to the Lego Fan Convention at the World’s Fair Exhibition Hall. It’s been several years since they had a convention here.
COVID-19 has made it harder for the City of Knoxville to book events like this and for organizers to put on events. Throughout the pandemic, many conventions have had to cancel their shows.
This is the first time since 2019 that the Lego convention has been here in Knoxville. Organizers have had to cancel several events over the past two years, but performers say they’re thrilled to be back in Knoxville.
“For all intents and purposes, we’re kind of back to normal,” said Lego Bricks artist Jonathan Lopes. “This is our fourth time in Knoxville and I look forward to seeing people I’ve seen on our last shows here and reconnecting with them.”
Fans will be able to see life-size Lego displays, including major landmarks, and meet professional artists.
“Before COVID happened, we had a banner year at all four facilities, and then covid happened, and the phone didn’t stop ringing, with one event after another cancelling,” said said ASM Knoxville General Manager Mary Bogert.
ASM Knoxville manages the city’s four largest event venues. This year they hit record numbers with the Civic Auditorium and Colosseum booking over 40 touring shows and the World’s Fair Convention Center and Exhibit Hall booking 500 events.
“We measure business at Chilhowee Park a little differently, but Chilhowee Park saw a 78% increase in community usage last year,” adds Bogert.
However, due to COVID, over the past two years this has not always been the case.
“We’re down to 30 bookings,” she said, referring to previous years.
Not only has this impacted the town of Knoxville, but it has impacted those who rely on conventions for a living, like Lopes.
“The pandemic really hit a snag in March 2020 and we were lucky that before March, between January and March, we had already done five Brick Universe shows. So, just to speak financially, it kind of supported me through this year in addition to doing a few orders,” he said.
These conventions help provide a stable income for artists and the Knoxville community.
“The hotel-motel tax is on the rise for the city. We beat, this year, we just closed, 71% increase in the hotel-motel tax compared to the previous year. It looks great, we’re very encouraged, and lots of events, entertainment and conventions are back,” Bogert said.
The Lego convention will be in town all weekend. Doors will be open from 10 a.m. From 4 p.m.
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