Yesterday afternoon, By Night Studios made an executive decision to cancel the anticipated Tampa by Night event in the wake of safety and security concerns.
In a post made to the Tampa By Night event page, By Night gave the following statement:
It is our duty to provide an environment that is safe for and tolerant of all people; regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic. When we encounter anything less–when we feel that we cannot guarantee the safety and security of our guests–we feel that we owe it to our community, our partners, our sponsors, and ourselves to change course immediately.
Speculation has already arisen about the decision, and it is likely related to a recent situation involved with the venue of the event, The Castle. According to a source, a former employee at the Castle made claims through social media that several patrons who frequent the Castle often wear re-enactment regalia including Nazi military costumes. According to the allegations, the issue was brought up to The Castle management and she was terminated. The Castle was unavailable for comment related to these claims, but have released a statement that “Discrimination, bigotry and hate have no place in the Castle.”
Regardless, the participating groups of Tampa By Night have been working throughout most of the night on rolling refunds for attendees. Furthermore, a replacement event is already in the works, according to a statement released by White Wolf:
We are committed to working with our partners in Mind’s Eye Society, Underground Theater, By Night Studios, and Knetik to help secure an alternate venue to host a replacement event in Tampa of some sort. This is a fast evolving situation and we will have more news and details for the community as we have it.
This article will be updated as further information is made available.