Tuesday, 9 February 2016

BUCK 2016: Last of the Line

Note: this is an "initial reaction" sort of post, bashed out with very little editing. I may give some more considered thoughts at a later date. Or I may not!

Nethesem, the chairman of BUCK, has put out this official release, and the headline to take away is this: there won't be another BUCK after this year. Not ever. It's worth reading all the way through, since it gives a little insight into just how much effort the convention staff have put into making the con happen since 2012. Having attended in 2013 and 2014, I can't help but be appreciative of the mountains the BUCK guys have moved to make a full-scale con happen in the UK, one of the hardest places to put one on.

Hard as it is for me to say, I think they've made the right decision. As Nethesem says himself, the numbers just don't stack up any more. The prices that have to be charged to break even are so high that not enough people want to come – and you can't run a convention on the scale of BUCK with a couple of hundred attendees. Something has to give, and given that the BUCK guys understandably don't want to compromise or downsize, there's only one realistic option. The alternative would be pushing ahead without sufficient funding in place, and that way lies madness.

This does not mean that the pony convention scene in Britain is dead. As far as I know, both UK PonyCon and BronyScot intend to return in 2016, and BUCK's demise may even leave a space for a third smaller event in 2017. However, I think that, once April is out of the way, we will have seen the last of the all-singing, all-dancing brony extravaganza events. The economics just don't work any more. Maybe Europe only has room now for one such event, and that event is GalaCon. It's been a long, hard road for BUCK, and they've done amazing things. But now there's just one more to go.

Yes, of course I regret not being able to attend BUCK this year, and after this news was announced I did have another think to see if I could make it work. Sadly, my problems are in some ways similar to BUCK's: the numbers just don't add up. I could only afford it if I dropped plans to do pretty much anything else pony-related, UK PonyCon included, and I'm just not willing to do that. So I'll be supporting from the sidelines, to my great and probably lasting regret. Those of you who are going, though: make this one last party to remember, eh?


  1. Damn, that is a shame. I almost managed to make it to BUCK in 2012, since I went to the UK very close to that time, and now I wish I had made a bigger effort.

    1. I wasn't at BUCK 2012, but from what I've seen it was nowhere near as large as those that came after it. I did go to 2013 and 2014, which were the peak years, and those were indeed amazing.

      But yes, it is a shame. I'd have loved for BUCK to go on -- but the ticket prices are getting silly now (twice GalaCon's) and so this is better than struggling on and seeing it peter out.