GalaCon 2018: On my way back

I'm on my way back home from GalaCon, aboard another ICE 4 travelling to Kiel as ICE 1094 with remarkably few stopovers. I'll stay here at least until Hanover.

Yesterday's second PubCon leg was a blast, the "after-party party" if you want to. Of course the Towers was crowded again. They'd even run out of chicken burgers due to the appetites of hundreds of Bronies. (Only a minor nuisance; a disaster would be if they ran out of pitchers.) It's like the PubCon after GalaCon is even better than the one before GalaCon, probably because we've all just spent an epic weekend together.

You know, it's amazing how you can sit down with Bronies whom you've never met before and have an interesting and entertaining conversation (or a complete blast). One of the wonders of this fandom. Socialising is magic.

Speaking of epic, this is the right term to describe what was going on when Elley-Ray showed up late at night. I mean, other show guests seem to hide at their hotel or inside some VIP area unless it's signing session or their panel or they've got their own table. Only a few mingle with the fans, but I've never seen anyone mingle and interact with us like Elley-Ray did. She amassed crowds of Bronies around her outside the Towers. You could only tell from her unicorn head balloon that she was in the middle of the crowd.

She had actually intended — believe it or not — to hug every last congoer. And we were 1,100+ even though GalaCon ran in parallel with BronyCon again. I'm still wondering why Jamis paid so much for a hug from her. But then again, it was for charity. And it seems to be his principle to win any and all hugs auctioned off at GalaCon. He's the Serial Hugger™ after all ever since he won two hugs from M.A. Larson in a row. (Speaking of Jamis, not only GalaCon 2019 is confirmed, but so is Czequestria 2019, probably only a few weeks after GalaCon 2019. I'll try my best to make it to both cons.)

I've met Elley-Ray again this morning at breakfast. And I was impressed about how many cons she wants to visit. By the way, at PubCon yesterday there was the vague idea to start a new con in France just so that Elley-Ray can come as a Guest of Honour. She totally would, but she can't if there's no con. Anyhow, I'm pretty sure I'll meet her again at some con. And it's worth looking forward to, she's just such a sweetheart.

The Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung has produced pretty much the usual half-misinformed nonsense. It's almost a wonder that they've neither misspelt "Brony" nor derided the Bronies as man-children or something like that. I've offered the two reporters my assistance when I met them, I've offered them to answer any questions they have, but why would they ask me about something they think they already know?

Oh, and it was impossible to get a single Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung at the station. A bunch of Bronies had gone there early in the morning and bought them all. But I've managed to catch the online article and save it as PDF.

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GalaCon 2018: Grand Finale

Okay, so my battery went out a few minutes after I've posted that the Joker has joined in. I'm at my hotel room now.

I don't know for how much exactly Perry's hat went, but all in all, the auction raised over €23,600 which is a record sum for Bronies for Good.

The finale was easily the greatest that GalaCon has ever experienced, and I've been there since the very beginning. This GalaCon ended with a bigger bang that Meganium's ginormous Cloud Kicker plushie. Record auction sum. Marriage proposal, and a spectacular result. The audience was fully justified to go wild. Both Elley-Ray and Claire were crying tears of joy. Literally.

Needless to say that there will be a GalaCon 2019. Whether it'll be able to top this one, nobody knows, but then again, you'll never know what'll happen at the next GalaCon.

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GalaCon 2018: Auction, part 13

Time for Perry's hat. Again. And it'll go for a pile of monies. Again. The audience demands it. Again.

As drawn by the DoubleWBrothers wo are at GalaCon right now, too. And they've made this years ago already.

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Now dozens of Bronies join forces with Batman so that the hat won't end up with the Joker again.
We have a number.


It's for charity after all.
GalaCon 2018: Auction, part 12

Now Perry is SERIOUSLY speeding up. One item per minute?

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GalaCon 2018: Auction, part 11

Seriously. Bronies built a working clock into a Fanta bottle that can open up and reveal the clock and steampunk Lyra and Bon Bon inside — just so that Perry auctions off yet another Fanta bottle.

Bronies want Jan to sign it because he is to blame for the Fanta craze in the first place. And he does. This will go for lots of monies. First bid is already €300.

And it goes for €500.

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GalaCon 2018: Auction, part 10

Lying Luna plushie with detachable magnetic gaming controller plus a Fanta bottle made of plush. Jan (JanAnimations) offers to sign both. (Not sure if this'll be the only Fanta today. But they did manage to slip Perry one.)

Bronies started bidding before there was a starting bid. It goes for €700.

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GalaCon 2018: Auction, part 9

Glimglam sculpture. The audience wants Kelly to sign it, and everyone quotes Sweetie Belle ("Oh, come on!"). Blame Claire, she started it.

Claire signs it and adds her con badge! (Adding a hug would be cruel to Jamis.) Result: €1,000.

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GalaCon 2018: Auction, part 8

Perry announced a Canni Soda plushie standing on her hind legs and BIZAAM!ing. Start bid was €200, but that didn't last for even ten seconds and rose to €600 without Perry doing anything.

Went for €1,050. I love this fandom.

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GalaCon 2018: Auction, part 7

  last edited: Sun, 29 Jul 2018 17:52:44 +0200  
Super-cute Sweetie Belle plushie. Things have gone insane since Sweetie Belle's voice actress, Claire Corlett, helped show it off and threw in a hug. Jamis is trying hard to get it (the hug of course), and he's being sponsored by his buddies. But he has to beat €1,000 now.

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Jamis is serious. €1,100!
GalaCon 2018: Auction, part 6

Enter Elley-Ray Hennessey. Now it'll go really wild. She adds a hug and the seat next to her at the Towers pub tonight to the current auction (UK PonyCon mascot plushie + conbooks).

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  last edited: Sun, 29 Jul 2018 17:34:10 +0200  
I KNEW that Jamis (con chair of Czequestria, Gala Fluttershy cosplayer and infamous as the Serial Hugger) would bid on this. He raised it from €200 (without Elley-Ray) to €300 (with Elley-Ray) and won. They hug right now.
GalaCon 2018: Auction, part 5

It's heating up. Volunteers have installed fans on stage.

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Come to think of it, and knowing how auctions with Perry work, she may auction off at least one of the fans with her signature on it for not under €300.
GalaCon 2018: Auction, part 4

ELEVEN PLUSHIES IN ONE GO! Four Twilights, four Dashies, one Pinkie, Applejack and Rarity each in various sizes.

Starting bid is €100.

First actual bid: €400. (Buys you 1 regular-sized plushie at GalaCon.)

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Third bidder got them for €600. Guess the Bronies are waiting for the really hot stuff (such as Perry's hat).
GalaCon 2018: Auction, part 3

Pair of custom-made Vinyl Scratch-themed headphones for €300. Things are increasingly going wild.

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GalaCon 2018: Auction, part 2

A charity pin and a Twilight Sparkle's Secret Shipfic Folder card from Brony Fair 2017 (which was cancelled) have just been auctioned off for €170. So much about the dimensions in which we're thinking here. (I'm pretty sure that TSSSF card will see use in a game.)

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GalaCon 2018: Auction, part 1

Heh, Perry said she'll go through the auction quickly with a particular auction style. She's said that a few times before. Never worked.

Also, credit cards and PayPal are accepted. You don't even have to go to the bank and fetch cash to pay your ludicrous bids. (Gonna get ludicrous all right.)

#MLP #MLPFIM #MyLittlePony #MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic #convention #GalaCon #brony #fandom #auction #CharityAuction
Okay, it's working so far. A surprise indeed. Let's see if this will hold true for the GalaCon banner, Perry's hat, and I think I've spotted a bottle of Fanta down there... (To those who aren't Bronies: Long stories.)
GalaCon 2018: Recap so far

Okay, in short (I'm waiting for the charity auction to start), what have I experienced so far?

I guess I must have spent most of the time at the Kubus restaurant within the Forum, making music. Speaking of which, the only panels I've attended were the two music panels, the Ponies@Dawn panel yesterday and the Community Musicians panel today. (I've almost missed the former. A buddy of mine just happened to mention the time three minutes before it started while I was still working on some drum pattern. I had to pack up everything quickly and get to the panel. I got there halfway in time, but had I come after it started, I would have had an acceptable excuse.)

The music at the Gala Ball (Seapony Orchestra, Re:Make, 4everfreebrony) was very good, but apart from a few waltzes, there was nothing I could have danced to. Didn't matter, I didn't have a partner anyway, and it was too warm to dance. 4everfreebrony's gig was cut short because his soundcheck too quite long, and he didn't know that he only had half an hour.

By the way, I think I've been invited to Ponies@Dawn in case I'll ever get something done music-wise.

I had thought about a commission from Andy Price, but the queue was too long even during popular panels.

Of the show guests, I only saw Elley-Ray Hennessey walk around the forum because she loves to get in contact with us. Andy Price didn't have time for that, what with all the drawing. Claire Corlett and her father showed up briefly around Gala Ball and PlushieCon. I think I haven't seen Kelly Sheridan once.

I haven't spent that much money this year except on music. But I got a lot of that: one Ponies@Dawn compilation, a USB stick filled with all Bronies for Good albums so far (even as FLAC) and Velvet R. Wings' most recent album. Maybe, just maybe I'll snag 4everfreebrony's latest release after the closing ceremony.

Okay, Perry is on stage, the auction is about to start. No way she'll make it in time.

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GalaCon 2018: For The New Lunar Eclipse

Operation "Lunar Eclipse" was a semi-success.

I've seen the eclipsed moon. And I've managed to show it to Elley-Ray Hennessey, convention-crazy voice actress of Mistmane.

But that was about it.

First of all, I've taken my tripod with me in vain. I forgot to put the coupling plate back on the camera, so I didn't have one with me. Besides, I couldn't focus on such a dark moon anyway with all the lights around me. Manual focus was the only way to go, and even that didn't work because I could barely see the moon through the camera. (I've taken lots of photos of the full moon with the same equipment successfully.) The "spontaneous Luna party" idea with the playlist didn't work either because the battery in what I've brought along as a speaker turned out to be empty, and nobody else carried a speaker. Last but not least, I've b0rked one of my favourite pairs of jeans. (Good thing I've brought two spares, and I hope nobody noticed.)

The lunar eclipse has cut my visit at the Pub Meetup rather short, so I have to have my dinner at my hotel room instead.

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GalaCon 2018: The Day Before

Okay, so I've finally made it to Ludwigsburg after a whole lot of hassles caused by the heat.

First, my train from Hamburg (ICE 1023, it was a bit unusual to ride an ICE 1 through the Rhine Valley, but it had a power outlet for my MPC, and the BordRestaurant served breakfast which the BordBistros on IC trains don't) was delayed enough for me to miss my originally planned connection in Mainz. So I stayed on the train until Frankfurt Airport. The train I was told to take from there (ICE 519) was first announced to be delayed by 20 minutes, then by 40 minutes, then by 50 minutes, then by 60 minutes, and 58 minutes after it should have arrived, it was declared cancelled.

The next possible connection (ICE 577) had an increasing delay, too.  A few minutes before it should have arrived, it was announced to arrive at the other platform (the long-distance part of Frankfurt Airport has only got two platforms, and it's usually clear where trains going to where depart). However, I didn't want to haulall my stuff over to the other platform (what with only one lift on my platform working, and that wasn't the closer one), and so I decided to take ICE 915 instead which was almost in time and which was shorter (my first ride on a Velaro, yay), but I thought that there might be enough space since everybody and their grandmothers had changed platforms.

Boy, was I wrong. Even the first class (Pulse Wave travelled in style again) was so crowded that we were standing in the alleys. This, however, was not allowed on the high-speed line between Mannheim and Stuttgart so that everyone who didn't have a seat was "thrown" off the train in Mannheim and told to take ICE 577 which was to depart from the other track at the same platform (and which was delayed by an hour so that it had actually departed from Frankfurt Airport after ICE 915).

Good thing about ICE 577: It wasn't so full, also because it was significantly longer (my first ride on an ICE 4, yay). Not so good: It came in the wrong way around with the first class at the wrong end which meant walking to the other end of the platform. And since the first class was at the end now, I had to walk the whole length of the train with all my luggage (I was the rearmost passenger on the train, didn't quite think this through). Also, this brand-spanking-new train had a flat spot below me, not as bad as on my first train, but still.

The train from Stuttgart to Ludwigsburg was a typical local anachronism. A brand-new TRAXX 3 pulled five Buntlinge (lightweight cars for local and suburban trains, built in the 1960s and 1970s and refurbished in the 1990). No air conditioning (at least the windows can be opened), and getting my luggage into and out of the car was even harder than on the various ICE trains. (By the way, the only kind of ICE I haven't encountered today is the ICE 2.)

So I'm at the hotel now. I've been to town for some shopping (mostly drinks). Seriously, this town is bustling with Bronies, and there were still a few metalheads in town (the Scorpions are playing a concert almost right opposite the GalaCon venue as I write — someone should give Klaus Meine his likeliness as a pony plushie). Now I'm going to take a shower, and then I'm off to the pub meetup at the Towers.

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GalaCon 2018: Three days to go

Three more days until GalaCon starts, and two more days until I travel down to Ludwigsburg. I'm going to bring a whole lot of stuff because I want to use my spare time at the Con to work on some music — in addition to the usual stuff I carry to GalaCon and back.

Now I've just found out that there'll be a total lunar eclipse the evening before GalaCon, and the weather will be great (if you consider searing heat "great", but that's GalaCon for you). Now I also need to pack a tripod for my camera...

...and compile a Luna-themed music playlist.

#MLP #MLPFIM #MyLittlePony #MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic #convention #GalaCon #brony #fandom #LunarEclipse
2015 Brony Fair part 1

The fourth and last in a series of four convention reports I managed to rescue from my now defunct Friendica channel.

Friday, April 10, 2015. The evening before.

Me and my plushies arrived at my hotel about an hour ago. This was the first time I travelled to a #pony event — this time totally not a #convention — in someone's car. And it was my first ride in a hybrid. It may also be the first time that I think I haven't forgotten anything. (I didn't bring my DSLR on purpose, don't think I'll need it, and I don't have to lug it around all day.)

In fact, I think I'm supplied with at least everything I'll need. Hairdryer (yay), refrigerator with drinks and chocolate (have to pay for this when I leave, though), glasses to go with the drinks, modern flat screen TV (which unfortunately can neither mount my phone nor my ext2-formatted media player, so obviously no embedded GNU/Linux), free wi-fi that works without login and enough wall sockets for charging my several electric devices.

Did I mention the plushies?
By the way, the way that LowT drove, he shipped Twilight Sparkle with Seafoam because his Twilight plushie (Nici, large size) standing between the front seats kept falling over against my Seafoam plushie that I kept on my lap.

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