Okay, so there was this convention in Atlanta called the Atlanta Fantasy Fair, and according to the internets it might as well not have existed. But exist it did, from 1975 until 1995.
AFF started in 1975; location unknown. "At the first Atlanta Fantasy Fair in 1975, the guests were Stan Lee, Kenneth Smith, and me, with my Superman collection." M. Hirtes
1976 Atlanta Fantasy Fair II
1977 Atlanta Fantasy Fair III
1978 Atlanta Fantasy Fair IV.
1978, first convention: Atlanta Comics & Fantasy Fair. Stan Lee, Starlin, Chaykin, Steranko. For some weird reason, Robert Conrad was hanging around the lobby on Saturday night.
1979 Atlanta Fantasy Fair V.
Location? Guests? - "In 1979 Deni and I had the table next to John Byrne at the Atlanta Fantasy Fair and we made a fortune on back issues and sketches... " (Dave Sim) Visions #1 was published.
1980 Atlanta Fantasy Fair VI.
Location...? Guests? Visions #2 published.
1981 Atlanta Fantasy Fair VII
Castlegate. Guests Al Williamson, Michael Whelan, Bob Burden, Mike Jittlov? Visions #3 published.
1982 Atlanta Fantasy Fair VIII August 13-15
Omni Hotel & World Congress Center, Atlanta GA Guests Frank Miller, Ray Harryhausen, Will Eisner, Philip Jose Farmer, Forrest J. Ackerman, Bob Burden, Mike Barr, Dick Giordano, Brad Linaweaver, Somtow Sucharitkul, Len Wein, musical guests "Axis". 4000 copies of program book (Visions #4) published.
1983 Atlanta Fantasy Fair IX, August 5-7
Omni Hotel & Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta GA. Guests: Theodore & Jayne Sturgeon, Gerald Page, WSFAns Ted White & Forrest J Ackerman, Bob Burden, Forry Ackerman, Bob McLeod, Wendy and Richard Pini& more. Rooms were $44 a night, 3 day passes were $19.
1984 Atlanta Fantasy Fair X
Omni Hotel & World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA. GOH: Larry Niven. With: Forrest J Ackerman, Robert Bloch, Sharon Webb, Richard Pini & others. Membership: $25. Write to: Atlanta Fantasy Fair. P.O. Box 566, Marietta, GA 30061
"Not only saw Buckaroo Banzai, but I have a real polyester Buckaroo Banzai headband given out as a freebie at the Atlanta Fantasy Fair in the summer of 1984. I wonder if anyone's insane enouW^W^W^^W what it would go for on Ebay? (jackd) "
1985 Atlanta Fantasy Fair XI
Omni/WCC. Newt Gingrich and Fredrick Pohl are guests.
1986 Atlanta Fantasy Fair XII
1987 Atlanta Fantasy Fair XIII
Omni /WCC. Lamar Waldron displaced as con chair before the 1987 convention.
1988 Atlanta Fantasy Fair XVI, June 24-26
Atlanta Hilton & Towers in Atlanta, GA. Convention location displaced due to Democratic National Convention in Atlanta. Steve Jackson is a guest.
1989 ATLANTA FANTASY FAIR XV.
Atlanta Hilton and Towers, Atlanta, GA.
1990 Atlanta Fantasy Fair XVI
Date? Location? Guests - Jack Kirby
1991 Atlanta Fantasy Fair XVII
1992 Atlanta Fantasy Fair XVIII June 20-21
Hyatt Atlanta Airport Guest: Peter David
1993 Atlanta Fantasy Fair XIX June 25-27
Hyatt Atlanta Airport, Atlanta GA. Guests David Prowse, Grace Lee Whitney, Caroline Munro, Monique Gabrielle, Jeff Rector, Gunnar Hanson, Irish McCalla. Memberships: $27 until 6/5, $30 at door.
1994 Atlanta Fantasy Fair XX June 17-19
Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza, Atlanta GA. Guests: Sarah Douglas, Bruce Campbell, Jeff Rector, Geraint Wyn Davies, John Russo, Ted V. Mikels. Memb: $27 until June 5, $30 at door. Rooms $79 sngl/dbl, $99 tpl/quad.
1995 Atlanta Fantasy Fair XXI, June 23-25
Castlegate Hotel, Atlanta GA. Guests: Claudia Christian, Dirk Benedict, Dwight Schultz, Jeff Pittarelli, Don Hillsman II, Wayne VanSant, Joe Phillips. Memberships $35 for 3 days. Rooms $69.
So, as we can see, the convention went from being Atlanta's premier SF/Fantasy gathering with top-notch guests and venues (Stan Lee, Al Williamson, Jim Steranko, Ray Harryhausen, the Omni, the Hilton) to a confused mish-mash of scream queens, airbrush artists, and B-movie personalities, operating out of the Castlegate (!). More information about the Castlegate may be found here.
There are many gaps in my knowledge of the AFF, and I welcome those with the foresight to save their T-shirts and program books to bequeath their information unto me. Locations, dates, guests, anecdotes... they're all welcome. You can leave comments here or email me at email@example.com .