Monday, 31 October 2016

UK PonyCon 2016, Sunday: Public gaming and tiramisu

Part of the "Maretropolis High Street" vendor hall
A small part of Maretropolis High Street. I loved the pony-coloured lighting effects!
Here I am again with the third out of four reports from UK PonyCon 2016. As with the others, this is simply a record of my personal experience and shouldn't be taken as anything more than that. After all, there were many events I couldn't or didn't attend! Past the break you can get some more of my lovely rambling. :P

After Saturday's excitement, I was expecting Sunday to be a slightly shorter, more relaxed day. It started in an irritating way, though: First's inability to get a bus to turn up on time in Bradford meant that I missed out on breakfast with a few others at Riveresque. I was therefore reduced to hurrying through the streets of Leeds while munching on a sandwich from Sainsbury's. There was nothing wrong with it, but it wasn't quite what I'd wanted. Luckily, things improved thereafter.

I got to the RA a few minutes after ten, and as there were no early-morning events (except the "Icebreaker" session for newbies) I decided to do some more shopping. This proved to be quite productive. From one stall (I can't remember which one; sorry!) I bought the Egremont Pinkie – thus giving me a complete set of the excellent UK magazine-mounted ponies – as well as a nice translucent Scootaloo blind bag. I think it's official, but can't recall where from.

Off to the Nightmare Moon Theatre for the "G1 for Bronies, G4 for Oldies" panel. I'd actually been to this in 2014, but it was so interesting I went again! Jem was excellent at presenting it, despite a few more problems with picture reproduction and one or two people in the audience who could have done with being a little quieter. The talk had been slightly updated since last time round, and as previously I enjoyed it. Well, maybe not the G3.5 bit. ;P

A cherry muffin in its wrapping
I'd done cider, so the other part of the brony diet needed fulfilling!
Back in Maretropolis High Street, I took the chance to add a few art prints to my collection. Jowybean was offering three A4 character prints for a fiver, so I picked up 'Shy, Derpy and Tia to add to my Scoots from last year. I also stopped by Mad Munchkin's stand to purchase a small version of her UKPC-exclusive print, though then my mind went blank and I didn't even thank her for her panel. So I'll do that now: thank you! Finally, I went to Dori-to's stall to buy the "RUN CMC" print I've loved for years but never actually owned until now. :D

Lunchtime? Lunchtime! No trekking round the city today; we had the sense to simply go to the RA's cafĂ©. Some quite nice home-made cheese salad sandwiches for me, plus a cherry muffin which was delightful – a full size muffin. You know who you are! ;) Also Diet Coke, but hey ho. Why can't these places offer Sprite/Fanta Zero or something? I noticed across the room that a family group had acquired a Mailmare Derpy plush just like mine from last year's!

Cosplay Parade time now – back to the Nightmare Moon Theatre! I've never really wanted to participate in this myself, but I'm always impressed by the imagination that goes into people's costumes. There's always something unexpected that happens at these things – remember the ball pit guy from BUCK 2014? This time round it was a Flufflepuff with a mind of her own (allegedly) who thought soaring over the audience would be a really cool thing to do. :D

Derpy and Spitfire ponysuiters
Derpy (in Nightmare Night costume!) and Spitfire having fun
And now to the Daring Do Room for something I'd been waiting to do for a year: Rainbow Dash Attack! The Kids' Karaoke going on before overran by a bit, and I'll confess I was starting to think they'd have to drop RDA. I'd have accepted that – I'm all for kids getting priority – but yeah, I'd have been disappointed. But yes, I did get to play! And considering I was doing this in public, I think 42,000 is a fairly solid result. (The winner got about 75,000.)

The reason I couldn't overrun with RDA was that the Charity Auction was about to begin back in the NM Theatre. This was very enjoyable (though it massively overran its time slot!) and contained some great bidding wars – most notably for the Rainbow Dash banner by Sparkler, which finally went for £210! Mind you, Archer just winning a Derpy statue will be what sticks in many people's minds... I did bid on a few things, but just didn't have the cash left to win anything.

We filed out of the auction at about 4.30pm in the hope of one last cider – but alas and alack, the bar had closed. Silly people; they'd have made a fortune! So all that we could do was to have a final (we thought!) quick sing-song, make up ludicrous Hitler/Starlight Glimmer crossovers (there was a WW2 comic on the wall, all right?) and do any last-minute shopping. I went and got a couple of UKPC wristbands, which I'd forgotten about yesterday.

Sparkler's banners at the charity auction
What? No, no, it's sheer coincidence that this one of Sparkler's banners is central
Back again to the NM Theatre for the closing ceremony, always a bittersweet occasion. Technical derpiculties delayed it a bit, so we had an impromptu singalong, though both "Winter Wrap Up" and "Smile" got cut off halfway. :P Then the usual thanks, prize announcements (our quiz team won "best answer" for Daft Night's "Twiggly Wiggly Woo") and more thanks. Plus – hooray! – the announcement that yes, they did intend for there to be a UK PonyCon next year. :D

About eight of us, not really wanting this fantastic weekend to end, headed for Pizza Express for a couple of hours of eating, chatting and generalised silliness. Surprisingly, it was nearly empty. Still, the food was nice – after a simple American pizza, I had tiramisu, my all-time favourite dessert that I really shouldn't eat. These guys were all great, and helped me postpone the post-pone for some time. Eventually, though, it was time to get back to the bus station and my hotel.

So, UK PonyCon 2016 really was over now, something every one of us regretted. I think it was Griffin who described it as "your own little village in the city", and that's a brilliant description of how it felt. In my final blog on this subject, I'll briefly say how Monday went and also give some thoughts on my experience of the convention as a whole. You'll also get a merch haul photo, which some of you may already have seen on Twitter.


  1. Another lovely write-up of the final day. :)

    I'll try and get round to posting my experiences in the next few days.

    1. Thanks very much! :) Writing it definitely brought back some great memories.

      And I'll look forward to that!

  2. Oh thank GOODNESS for the full size muffin. I don't need to add further comment.


    Oh okay. Well once again thanks for such a detailed report about the day, which of course provides plenty for the visitors to look back on too, if they hopefully find this page. It seems like it was another pretty packed day, which is no bad thing. And the High Street with all those goodies and colour looks amazing!

    It's a shame that things didn't start so well with the bus problems, but thankfully the rest of the day seems to have gone very nicely indeedily.

    1. "Cherry muffin. A muffin with cherries." I do like packaging that makes things absolutely clear. ;)


      And again, you're very welcome! It was a rather more laid-back (and shorter) day than Saturday, but there was still plenty to be going on with. The bus thing was a mild annoyance, but tbh I can live with that given how much I enjoyed the rest. :)