• A Short BUCKcon 2014 Retrospective: Gameleon

    After visiting my first brony convention in April with BABScon and joining Seth for the pony panel at San Diego Comic-Con, I was excited for my first ponycon a bit closer to home. In the country of top hats, monocles and tea there was a little city called Manchester. And in that city a con was being held, called BUCKcon 2014.

    The Journey

    It's Friday afternoon. I have just left the office, my suitcase for the weekend packed and stuffed in my trunk, when I'm greeted with a nice piece of good old Dutch weather: It was storming during the entire drive to Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam.
    Well, at least I'm near the airport now. I'm sure this bad weather will not delay me any furth....

    Oh gosh darn it!
    So after 4 delays of 20 minutes each, we finally took off around 18:05 (6:05 PM). After this it was a smooth 1h05m flight to Manchester Airport with KLM.
    These guys have the best stroopwaffles and apple juice, by the way
    Arriving in Manchester I was greeted by much nicer weather (partly cloudy with a nice 20 degrees out). A good way to start a con weekend. After travelling to Central Manchester by train, checking in at my hotel and getting settled it was time to head to the Manchester Central Convention Centre.

    The Convention

    Friday Night

    The convention centre is a really huge building, of which the back and side area's were reserved for BUCKCon use. After finding my way through the cloakroam and registration I found myself on the con grounds.
    Still not that busy in the vendor area, but that is to be expected when the con hasn't officially started yet. I headed to the main hall to meet up with and introduce myself to Knighty and Blueshift, who I met for the first time. After this the rest of the night was mostly hanging around, having a drink and listening to the sounds of the Summer Sun Celebration taking place in the main hall. There were some good artists on the stage for this one, with the Living Tombstone ending the evening with his well-known "Discord remix".
    After the SSC was slowly coming to an end it was time to head back to my hotel room, take a good rest and enjoy the con proper the next day.

    Day 1 (Saturday)

    Heading to the con early I was greeted by a filled up vendor hall with all kinds of sweet MLP goodies to buy. Walking through this vendor hall were many of the circa. 1000 attendees of the convention.
    Of course no con is complete without a 17.000 bit ball pit
    After hanging around the vendor room and making my wallet cry a bit, I attended the fanfiction panel hosted by Blueshift and Knighty (among others). Here a few well-known folk from the fanfiction scene told tales about what goes into creating fanfiction mixed up with a few good laughs here and there.

    After the fanfiction panel it was time to head back to the main hall for the first V.I.P. guest of the con to have her panel.

    A writeup on G.M. Berrow's panel can be found here.

    After the panel I wanted to head back to my hotel real quick to store the notes taken from the panel somewhere safe, but alas, my way to the hotel was blocked.
    It was Gay Pride weekend in Manchester, and the city centre was filled with festivities celebrating gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender life. Always good to see these events take place and it was a lot of fun to see all these people in high spirits.
    Not being able to reach my hotel for the time being, I explored some of the Central Manchester area, and boy do they have some nice architecture.
    After finally being able to reach my hotel and do what I had to do, I returned to the con. The vendor hall was now upgraded and had other activities not limited to karaoke and card games.
    And even more awesome cosplays
    At around 19:30 (7:30 PM) it was time for the Lunar Eclipse, the huge music event of the evening, featuring everything from Trance, Drum and Bass and Electro all the way to J-Rock, Speedcore and Chiptune.
    The Lunar Eclipse lasted until 22:30 (10:30 PM), and after hanging out at the event for a bit we headed out to the Manchester city centre for a quick late dinner and a drink, before heading back to our hotels.

    Day 2 (Sunday)

    Started Sunday with a bit of bad news: My evening flight back home at 20:30 (8:30 PM) had been 100% officially cancelled and the only flight available today was at 17:40 (5:40 PM) (Because of work, taking a flight the next day wasn't an option). So I had to leave a bit early.

    Day 2 was a pretty relaxing day consisting mostly of hanging out around the con and having fun with friends. I also had the pleasure to try my first Subway sandwhich ever during lunch. It was good.

    But all good things must come to an end, this time a bit earlier than expected. At 15:00 (3:00 PM) we all said our goodbyes for now and I headed to the airport in one of those cool UK trains. At 17:40 (5:40 PM) it was time to board and head home towards The Netherlands

    But while I was heading for the airport there was still the Polsky panel at the con. Luckily, Blueshift was willing to do a writeup for the panel. The writeup can be found here.

    All I can say is that this con made my wallet cry, had me meet lots of wonderful people and I just had a wonderful time there. A shame BUCKcon 2015 isn't happening next year, but hopefully there will be lots of other cons taking place in 2015 for people to enjoy. But will there ever be any doubt about that?

    This is Gameleon, signing off!