• Member Since 20th Apr, 2012
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Loganberry


Hold your ground but do not be unkind. (Ponyphonic, "Shy Heart") He/him. Ponyfic Roundup reviews every Wednesday.

More Blog Posts421

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    For some reason this is one of the points readers of mine (including off-site ones) have mentioned several times, perhaps because it's one of those Transatlantic divides that isn't all that well known. So: when you're talking about the floors of a building:

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    Read More

    20 comments · 94 views
  • 2 weeks
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  • 22 weeks
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  • 26 weeks
    So then, Doctor Who

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Jul
20th
2019

Conventions I won't be attending (and one I will!) · 3:51pm Jul 20th, 2019

I won't be at the final BronyCon (unlike about 90% of the people I know on Fimfiction, it seems!) and nor will I be in Germany for the non-final GalaCon next weekend -- but I hope everyone who is at either or both has a fantastic time. :twilightsmile:

I will however be at UK PonyCon in Nottingham in mid-October -- and I'd be more than happy to say hi to any ponyfic people who happen to be there! We don't really have the critical mass in the UK fandom for actual ponyfic-centric events, but it's always nice to meet someone who appreciates the wonder of talking horse stories. :yay:

UK PonyCon tickets are on sale now, and a Standard-tier Adult Weekend ticket costs £37. Tickets are not available on the door, so book early! :scootangel:

Report Loganberry · 291 views · #conventions
Comments ( 9 )

Make sure to give us a report in your blog. (I can't make it to Nottingham due to this annoying puddle in the way)

5091718
By an extraordinary coincidence, I have the same problem with Baltimore!

There'll be a report of course. Probably over on my off-site blog as it's easier to include pictures, but I'll try to put at least a link/summary here.

I'm giving serious consideration to attending UK PonyCon. I'm only in Ireland, so while it does means a flight and a whole weekend, it's not that big a trek. My main disillusion at this point is that, well, other then yourself, Logan, I don't know much of anyone whom I know to be UK-based that's going - basically the classic "I hardly know anyone" thing.

On the other hand, this PonyCon will be the last taking place while G4 (in terms of the main series, anyway) is still ongoing, happening the same weekend as the US premiere of the season's 24th episode (or, if they do what they did last season and resume the season with two episodes on August 3rd, then the same weekend as the series finale). And while PonyCon will continue thereafter, being a multi-generational event, I doubt it's G4 feel will ever again be what it will be this year. Plus, I'll be frank, my interest in pre-G4 Pony is almost not existant (I watched a few clips to see it it would be - afraid not). Basically, I'm fully aware that this will be my last chance for a proper G4 convention, at least for UK PonyCon.

So... what might you say to sway a fella like me who's on the fences, having gone there regularly yourself? Money isn't an issue. I've done research on both the UK PonyCon website and your write up on last year's con, but any other helpful info around you feel pointing me towards would help? A notable part of me wants to go, I'm just trying to justify it to myself I suppose. While I can handle not knowing many at events like this, and I'm sure Bronies are very friendly (having met very few in person myself) it certainly isn't a factor in the "Pro" column right now.

5091907

And while PonyCon will continue thereafter, being a multi-generational event, I doubt it's G4 feel will ever again be what it will be this year.

I'm sure it will change once FiM ceases to be a "live" show, but my feeling is that it will still be quite G4-dominated in 2020 as well, since we're unlikely to have much (if anything) official about G5 until 2021. Thereafter, who knows -- though I suspect G4 fans will remain the largest contingent fairly comfortably for quite some while unless G5 proves to be outstanding.

So... what might you say to sway a fella like me who's on the fences, having gone there regularly yourself?

This is somewhat tricky, since much of the reason I enjoy UKPC so much is how it feels, and that's a) a personal thing and b) hard to get across in text. But once I'm past registration, I feel at home. I can look around me and know that all the other people I see there understand, and nobody is going to find it weird that a middle-aged guy like me is walking around with a Pinkie Pie bag or a Fluttershy plushie. Yes, I go to my local meets and I value those greatly, but this feels more like a whole small town of Pony. It's the nearest thing I'm going to get to living in Ponyville, at least for a weekend.

Being a "pure G4" fan isn't going to be a problem at all: there will be lots of other people, certainly into the hundreds, there who will be just that. At least half of the (40-50) stalls are geared towards G4 merch, the events schedule (here's 2018's) has more events focusing on this era than on any other, most cosplays are G4-inspired, the various singalongs are almost exclusively G4, etc. I think there's been a conscious effort in the last year or two to add more G1-G3 content, but that was because G4 stuff was in danger of taking over completely!

The whole "not knowing anyone" thing can be a bit of a pain, and I won't try to sugar-coat that. When I went to my first convention (BUCK 2013) I stood alone in the queue before doors opened and wondered whether I was really going to enjoy this. As it turned out, by lunchtime I'd found a group to tag along with and was enjoying myself hugely. UK PonyCon is a bit different from BUCK -- less brash and in-your-face, perhaps because of the wider demographics -- and that's something I like a lot. It feels cosier, I suppose, and related to that I also like the way it's not always the slickest con around. (That's a YMMV thing, of course.)

The size of UKPC is just right in my book. It's big enough that you get a fairly wide choice of things to do at any one time, but small enough that it's not a crowded scrum and you don't feel like an insignificant dot. (If I'd ever had the chance to attend BronyCon, that would have been one thing that might have bothered me.) For example, if you did attend and did come to say hello to me, you'd probably end up meeting half a dozen more people in the process. But that wouldn't tie you into hanging around with us the whole convention, as there'd be various other places to be -- and nobody would be offended if you preferred to go elsewhere, or even just go outside for a break for a bit.

Assuming the schedule is similar to 2018's, there are really three sub-cons in one. There's Saturday daytime, which is when most of the big panels happen and when most people buy a lot of their merch. If you're after something big and expensive, such as a big plushie, this is the time to get it, or to get on someone's commission list if that's your preference. This is also when many of the events aimed at families happen. Then in the evening, when most of the kids have departed, the con feels a little more adult (though not in the NSFW sense -- more like a fairly well-behaved pub) with events like the concert and the Pub Quiz. Sunday is generally a quieter day with a slightly lower attendance, when less time is spent rushing around and more chatting, though the Charity Auction takes place that afternoon.

I don't know whether you know Nottingham, but one good thing about this venue is how handy it is for the city centre -- you can get within 400m on the tram, but it's easily walkable from the centre too. That does make the con easy to get to, very handy for hotels -- and also easy to nip in and out of. The café provision last year was rather inadequate (we're promised improvements this time) and so being able to go to a nearby pub for lunch was very useful. As was being able to drop merch at the hotel to avoid having to lug it around all day! I can't say Nottingham on a Saturday night is my favourite place, but I suppose it's not much different from most large cities.

I'm really not sure whether that's been any help at all, as I'm not cut out to be on UKPC's promotions team! All I'll say is that, of all the events I go to each year in various interests, this is one of the very few I buy a ticket for as soon as they're available.

5091907
I did a write-up of UK Ponycon 2018 that might provide a useful perspective. For my part, I'm really looking forward to UKPC 2019. :)

5092099

I'm sure it will change once FiM ceases to be a "live" show, but my feeling is that it will still be quite G4-dominated in 2020 as well, since we're unlikely to have much (if anything) official about G5 until 2021. Thereafter, who knows -- though I suspect G4 fans will remain the largest contingent fairly comfortably for quite some while unless G5 proves to be outstanding.

Oh, I get that, and I get that it's still well more then half G4 stuff - I was more just stating that the older stuff is little more then a curio, if even that. All I was saying is that, as the last PonyCon while FiM is technically "ongoing", (perhaps even finishing in the US that very same weekend!), I'm very consciously aware that there'll be a particular vibe there that'll never be repeated again, intangible as it may be.

That's a lot of handy information - some of which I knew, some of which I sort-of knew but you expressed more succinctly, and some of which was new altogether to me. Certainly, from your report last October and hawthornbunny's, there isn't a shortage of stuff to do as long as one is reasonably open-minded, and certainly some of the fun is just getting to mingle with other Pony fans and let loose, given most of the type we don't talk about it, just type about it. :rainbowlaugh:

The "feeling" description was especially appreciated; the size being spread out so it's not overwhelming seems especially homely, while still feeling populated enough, sound welcoming enough (and the photos of the venue from last year certainly help to echo that sentiment, at least the way it's used for the convention). I won't deny the whole "not knowing many folks" thing does still concern me, but you've helped alleviate it a bit; your story certainly lines up with others I've heard, and if Bronies in-person are even half as friendly and as welcoming as they've always been said to be, it'll be absolutely corking.

Thankfully, I'm not green when it comes to either conventions or travelling for events like this; though I haven't attended a convention in a decent few years, I did a few back in 2015/16, and I've been to the UK for Pokémon video game and card game based tournaments (with others rather then travelling alone). So little worry on any of that end; getting there and knowing one's way around a convention are just details, and from what you've said and I've read elsewhere, this seems very well put together (excepting the café situation last year, but hopefully they improve that like they said).

So, while I'm still mulling it over, you definitely helped sway it more towards the Pro column for sure, Logan! I reckon I'll know whether to go or not soon enough, and if (when, ideally) I decide to go, I'll be sure to let you know. Thanks very much!

5092134
That was a very fun write-up, thank you for sharing it.

Really, I suppose I have only one other question; it can apply to either of you...
What is Team Custard?

Okay, I'm not clueless; I can tell its a informal group of (UK-based) Bronies/Pony fans, taking their name from Logan's old Custard-fics and the resulting CustardVerse, and while I don't quite get the context of that group pic of your OCs in the con book from last year, nor how such a thing even happened, I can tell its something you all did for a feeling of group camaraderie. In the end, I suppose Team Custard is just you lot that see each other at conventions and otherwise mingle online. But, more details, please: they sound juicy :moustache:

P.S. Perhaps a silly question, but... does one HAVE to register early with the queue just as it's opening? Or is it more just that you do that so you can make as much of the day as possible? Like, if, theoretically, someone were to sleep in by mistake, and showed up 2 hours after the con "opened", they surely wouldn't be stopped from entering... right? Honestly, I'd go early like yous all anyway, but it was unclear from your writeups what the deal was in terms of registering (also, registering on the second day even if you did so on the first is... odd, to say the least).

5092245

What is Team Custard?

Oh boy.... well. I published Starlight Glimmer Repeatedly Teleports into Custard three days before UKPC 2016 in Leeds -- which, as it happens, was the first incarnation to feel more like a full-on convention rather than an overgrown collectors' fair. The first morning, I was startled to find a few people discussing my fic -- people I didn't know. This does not happen to me. As such, I had to endure a few good-natured "horse famous" jibes, and one friend (Griffin, I think) went to the trouble of buying a tub of custard as a joke!

This became a small-scale convention meme, at least within our little group. Unlike many con memes, it stuck, though only within said little group. We needed a name for our Pub Quiz team and Team Custard fitted the bill. The term grew a bit out of control, and it now seems to be used to refer to our informal group of friends -- some of whom only get to meet at UKPC. I swear, none of this (except the initial story publication) was my idea! :rainbowlaugh:

does one HAVE to register early with the queue just as it's opening?

Nope. The reg desk stays open thereafter, so you can sign in any time. If you turned up really late, like 4pm or something, you might have to find someone to do the necessary, but you could still get in.

also, registering on the second day even if you did so on the first is... odd, to say the least

You don't. You do go past the reg desk again as the queue files through the bag check, but if you're wearing your con badge from the first day, you can just walk through after you've cleared security, so to speak.

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5092261

The term grew a bit out of control, and it now seems to be used to refer to our informal group of friends

This may be partly my fault - I used it as a term of convenience during my write-up since I didn't know any other way to refer to the group. :twistnerd:

5092261
That’s... quite an origin story. Even though I knew it was based off your story, the question of how and why eluded me. Wouldn’t have quite guessed that. Though I guess it’s fitting for a fandom that immortalized a character that existed purely because of an oddball animation error in the very first episode.

And apparently I get bag check and reg check mixed up. Hence me thinking the latter happened twice. Derp.

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