• GalaCon 2017: Retrospective

    For six years, the summer has seen hundreds of My Little Pony fans from all over Europe and beyond travelling to Ludwigsburg. This year was no exception as GalaCon held their sixth convention on July 28 and 29 at the Forum Am Schlosspark.

    This year I was joined by fellow EQD staff member "User", who flew in all the way from accross the Atlantic, to report on the festivities of the 2017 edition of the convention.

    Find the retrospective below the break!

    As always the first trip of a convention is travel and this year the train seemed like the better option. Luckily Amsterdam has a high speed train all the way into south Germany.

    Of course, during travel we had to buy some Currywurst and Bratwurst
    After just over 5 hours of travel time we arrived in good ol' Ludwigsburg.
    After getting settled at the hotel, we went to visit the local Irish pub. Apparantly we weren't the only pony fans with that idea, and assuming by the decorating the pub put up for the weekend, they were well aware of this.

    The view from the pub terrace

    After a few hours at the pub, it was time to head back to the hotel, because next day was convention day! Passing the convention centre you could already see several pony fans having left their mark on the plaza.

    Day One

    At the convention centre itself the convention crew was hard at work preparing and vendors were setting up their booths. Outside of the con centre a big line of attendees was patiently waiting to pick up their badge.

    We also found a Con Chair in his natural habitat
    Around 10:30 it was time for the traditional opening ceremonies, hosted as always by PerryDotto. The opening ceremony set the stage for the rest of the event by introducing the guests and the convention theme, all accompanied by some well made artwork and video on the big screen. Ending the opening ceremony and starting the con was a musical performance by Michelle Creber and BlackGryph0n

    After the opening ceremonies it was officially "Convention time!". The day consisted of opportunities to buy merchandise, attend panels, taking a seat in the playing card room, play videogames or to just take moment and spend time with your friends or meet new friends.

    We see this car at GalaCon every year, but I can't help but admire the dedication on this one. -Gameleon

    But a con called GalaCon isn't complete without a Gala. And so formal suits and gowns were donned for the gala event that took place in the evening. The gala event was accompanied by the music of several musicians, guests like Michelle Creber, BlackGryph0n, Ashleigh Ball and Vocal Score among them.

    In the meantime, the main event hall was being filled with probably the highest concentration of fluffyness seen in a looong time. Plushiecon was here! A big collection of a whopping 665 plushies, temporarily borrowed from or donated by con goers, filled the main stage in a sea of colours. Many people who attended the PlushieCon event were probably ready to quote Despicable Me's Agnes on this one.

    But all good things must come to an end. So too did the first day of GalaCon. Luckily, there was still a second day in store!

    To see what was going on on the main stage during the first day, be sure to check out the recording below.

    Day Two

    Day two started off strong with the Directors Panel with Big Jim and Katrina Hadley, telling us all about what goes into directing candy colored horse episodes and candy colored human specials.

    Several more panels and events were held throughout the day, but the major event of the second day of each GalaCon is of course the charity auction. Hosted by Perrydotto and Cattivo, who presented and auctioned off several pieces of pony or Fanta related merchandise (The Fanta part is a long story, but we want to specifically note that GalaCon is not sponsored by Fanta in any way). This year all the raised money would go to the Animal Equality charity.

    Later on Kazumi Evans, Katrina Hadley, Big Jim and Ashleigh Ball joined in to help out with the auction as well.

    And of course no Galacon Charity Auction without Joker getting a new hat

    The total amount raised during the auction was €11,805.

    After the auction it was time to bring another edition of GalaCon to an end. The auction transitioned right into the closing ceremony where staff, volunteers and guests were brought up on stage for words of appreciation for their efforts in making this another great convention. This was followed by the confirmation of GalaCon 2018 and one final big BIZAAAAM! to end the 2017 edition.

    We usually have a great time at GalaCon and the 2017 edition was no exception. With major pony conventions in Europe becoming more scarce it is great to see conventions like GalaCon still going strong. And while GalaCon is over for now we can't wait to see what our visit to Ludwigsburg in 2018 will have in store for us!

    For the full recording of the GalaCon main stage during the second day of the event, you can watch the video below:

    Footnote by "User": 

    Having been to a number of pony conventions in North America I decided to try out Galacon as part of my first trip overseas involving Amsterdam and then Germany. The convention itself had a setting unlike my past experiences as it felt more quaint. Being able to walk up to marketplatz during the day and take in the farmers' market just outside of the large church and hearing its bells go off every hour and sometimes multiple times during each hour was surreal. The convention itself was smaller than what I've been used to but it had a charm to it that I won't forget. I have Galacon in my plans for next year and probably will once again make it a part of a larger vacation. Everything else during my European experiences from the food to accommodations I've never taken in before. The food is simply better in every conceivable way (outside possibly the price) and the accommodations took a bit to get used to. I'd highly recommend this convention to anyone who wants to be more adventurous and be a part of something that's unlike conventions on the other side of the Atlantic.