Friday, 26 December 2014

Cons, cons everywhere!

Well, everywhere in the UK, that is. In the last few days and weeks, we've seen no fewer than four pony conventions announced for 2015 in this country, plus another one for 2016. Two of the events in question are returning after successful outings last year, while another two are newcomers aiming to take advantage of the absence of BUCK next year. And talking of BUCK, the behemoth of British brony bashes will be coming back as well, albeit not until 2016. So, here's the run-down:

Great British Brony Convention – 24/25/26 July, Manchester
A completely new venture, the GBBC takes the "BUCK replacement" concept almost literally by being held in the Manchester Conference Centre, only a few hundred yards down the road from Manchester Central itself. This con is intended as a one-off event, as the organisers don't wish to compete directly with BUCK when that returns (see below). Nevertheless, it takes several cues from that con, such as a Friday night concert. Captain Hoers and Mush have already announced their attendance, but it's highly ambitious, especially with another con happening 40 miles down the road just a month later...

My Little Convention – 29/30 August, Southport
Another newcomer for 2015, this con's venue has been announced as the Floral Hall in the Merseyside/Lancashire resort. Early bird tickets are already on sale (£45 for Standard tier) and planned events include a Saturday night concert, an area for up-and-coming musicians (apparently modelled on BUCK's Cadance Stage) and the inevitable CCG tournament. No guests have been announced yet. MLC was originally planned for Norwich, but has chosen to move across country for better transport links – although holding the con over a Bank Holiday inevitably means that there'll be rail engineering works to contend with.

UK PonyCon 2015 – 10/11 October, Leicester
This is a two-day convention covering the entire My Little Pony fandom, with a strong emphasis on collectors but also catering for families, bronies and other ponyish types. This means that the attendee profile (and therefore the atmosphere) is very different from other cons, with everyone from young children to grandparents coming along. The venue, the Mercure Grand Hotel, is the same as this year's, but 2015 will see the con gain the use of the entire hotel, not just half of it as happened this year. This should do a lot to alleviate the crowding problems that affected it in 2014.

BronyScot – "October/November", Edinburgh
Scotland's very own brony con faced challenges in its debut year, resulting in the decision to reduce the planned two days to one. This disappointing outcome was responsibly handled, though. This, together with good organisation, resulted in a well-received convention, so it's good to see it returning in 2015. After an unfortunate clash of dates with UK PonyCon last year, the two organising teams are on good terms and have made sure that this won't happen again. The popular Rock Nessie concert is set to return, while tickets look likely to remain attractively priced.

BUCK – "early 2016", venue TBA
Yes, the big beast of the UK pony convention scene is returning, probably in a new spring slot. Plenty still needs to be thrashed out before exact details will be made public, but I can guess at several things: it will be the biggest of all the British conventions, the tickets will be the most expensive, it will have the best range of guests and events and it will be the most slickly run event. BUCK's membership of the European Pony Convention Union is also a big plus, indicating that it abides by a number of rules to protect con-goers and staff alike.


  1. So UKponycon is Leicester then? Well I guess I'll be going to that then!

    1. Ditto. I hadaload of fun there this year, and definitely want to go back. :)