Last weekend, I attended UK Ponycon up in Leicester. It was the first year in a while that I wasn't on committee in some form, so the whole weekend was an excuse to let my hair down, dork out with some wonderful friends, and spend a lot of money on plastic ponies.
Ponycon is a convention that started life as an event for collectors of Hasbro's My Little Pony. It was the perfect place to trade and sell ponies with other collectors. Nowadays, My Little Pony is really popular again with the 'Friendship is Magic' revival, and the convention has taken on a whole lot more. Bronies (adult fans of the new cartoon specifically) and children both joined us oldschool collectors this year and it meant the convention was a lot busier and varied than usual - and it was great!
The actual con had some pretty huge hiccups for me. An after party was advertised, but it was actually an 18+ event which boggles my mind since this is a My Little Pony convention that always put 'family friendly' at its highest priority. What's worse was that the 'after party' was little more than a room with the band in - fully lit, no dancing area, no party lighting. This might have been a little better had the band not been playing for free all day during the convention. We were mislead that the 'after party' ticket included karaoke and a late night panel, two things we found later to be free and available to all.
There was a panel (basically introducing oldschool ponies to Bronies, and explaining the new Brony influx to the collectors) that I attended which was informative and fun - it's always nice getting discussion between Bronies and collectors. I also watched My Little Pony Mr & Mrs, which is always a delight, took part in the traditional Pub Quiz (and our team won!) and watched a bit of karaoke.
Generally, panels and events were a little thin on the ground this year. The past few years have featured screenings and video games as well as a full schedule of panels aimed at both collectors and Bronies. This year, I was hard pressed to find something to do with all my time, and spent most of Sunday just sat around mingling with folks. There were three panels scheduled on Sunday but for some reason they were all on at the same time of the day, so I could only attend one (Mr. & Mrs.) The cosplay masquerade was huge and disorganised and there was no raised stage for them to stand or walk on - even the auction was difficult to watch since there was no stage for the auctioneer to stand on.
Another really disappointing thing was that Ponycon was billed as a two day weekend con, but everything was done by 4pm on Sunday. We forked out a lot of money for a hotel room Sunday evening when we could have probably gone home and saved a lot of money. Considering the convention was selling Sunday Only tickets, this seemed like a really huge oversight and I feel sorry for anyone who purchased one.
BUT, don't let my gripes put anyone off Ponycon! These were all little niggles that are easily fixed with a little organisation next year. The con as a whole was so much fun! I only bought two 'ponies' myself -Baby Pockets and Cha Cha the Llama (who cost a whopping £70 but she's the last one I needed of that set!) My friends Laura and Archer joined me in a Cutie Mark Crusader trio cosplay and we spent half the con just dorking out. We managed to get involved in an adorable art swap on our hotel corridor when somebody left a lovely sketch of Luna outside our door. We started sending art back and would wake up every morning to a new by our mysterious trade partners! We managed to ruin the tone during Mr. & Mrs and I was up until about 4am reading terrible fan fiction out loud to a bunch of people and laughing so loud that guests on the 3rd floor of the hotel could hear us.
It was an amazing weekend, all in all. I absolutely can't wait to go back! I'll probably be helping out in some form next year and I'll certainly have a table to sell some doubles and MLP inspired artwork - this con was busy !
I'm Selena, an artist, blogger and gamer - but maybe not always in that order! Dream Somehow is a blog dedicated to travel, geeky adventures, vintage style and a little bit of Disney Dreaming! If you'd like to learn a little more about me, click here.