Tuesday, 1 November 2016

UK PonyCon 2016, Monday: Goodbye Giant Horse City, plus Afterthoughts

Me holding a tub of custard
I'm not going to dignify this picture with a response... :P
Sorry for forgetting to post this blog this morning! Anyway... the Monday morning after a convention is never the most enjoyable time, all the more so if the con has been as great as UK PonyCon 2016 was. I didn't know of any farewell breakfasts, so I had a quiet early morning and checked out around 10 am. Once again, the bus into Leeds was late, though I did hear rumours that an accident had blocked the road earlier. Past the break for more!

I headed into the city centre and visited the Trinity Centre to pay my respects to the Giant Horse one last time. (Turns out that I actually only missed a meeting with someone else by a few minutes!) Then it was off to Muffin Break, which at this time of day had plenty of space, for a cappuccino and a Black Forest muffin. One of their dairy-free range, so no cream topping, but it was a very pleasant bite anyway.

There's little more to tell. I walked across town to the station, hoping I'd bump into someone else ponyish but not actually doing so, and bought a jumbo sausage roll from Sainsbury's for the journey. Again a CrossCountry Voyager; again uncomfortably overcrowded. I changed at Derby to another train, where I had the luxury of a seat, then after a brief baguette break in Birmingham it was time to go home.

Con staff at the farewell ceremony
"Your souls... give them to usssss!"

I absolutely loved UK PonyCon 2016, and I'm now pretty sure that it does indeed top the rankings of the MLP conventions I've been to. Almost everything important went extremely well, while the things that didn't work out were generally minor. I enjoyed the company of some very fine people, did plenty of singing, participated in stuff, bought merch, ate muffins and drank cider. All in a great venue and amid a wonderful atmosphere.

The con staff deserve immense credit for making UKPC16 as good as it was, and I hope they'll get it – not to mention a nice long rest! As for Leeds itself, I warmed to the city a fair bit as time went on, and the Royal Armouries Museum itself proved to be a very good venue with a sensible layout. Well, apart from having to dash upstairs every time I wanted to go to the toilet! A shame it was adrift in a bit of an empty wasteland, but never mind.

Even in the three years I've been attending, UK PonyCon has changed quite a bit – and let's face it, we G4 fans probably have a bit to do with that. Back in 2014, it felt like a  small-scale event that had suddenly grown but still wasn't quite used to coping with such a large attendance. This year's con was on quite another level, and as long as the core multi-gen and broad family appeal is retained – it's not "mini-BUCK" – I'm all for that.

The stuff I bought at UK PonyCon 2016
I actually got two wristbands... but I was wearing one at the time :P
So, what about next year's UKPC? Too early to think too much about that, but I do hope it's possible to find a suitable venue further south for 2017. I'm lucky in that I live in the Midlands and can travel relatively easily, but southern MLP fans have really had a hard time of it. In the past five years, UKPC13 in Cardiff is the only pony convention of any kind to have been held south of Leicester. I'd far, far rather have a northern UKPC than no UKPC, but still.

Anyway, that's for the future, as is the fact that if my health behaves itself then I want very much to attend the 2017 iteration of the convention. I had such a fabulous time this year that I wouldn't want to be anywhere else that weekend. The memories of this convention won't be going anywhere any time soon, and I can honestly say it was one of the best weekends I've ever had. So long, UK PonyCon 2016, and thanks for all the ponies!


  1. I Loved Ponycon too. In a few ways I enjoyed it more than BUCK (and not just because I got to sing 'Pony princess good, High School great') and I think it has adapted to the large influx of us G4 Bronies quiet well, however I do worry that we may force it to change too much from its roots. I like the family friendliness and the G1-G3 inclusivity of the event and would hate for that to change too much.

    1. I agree with every word of that! Well okay, not the BUCK bit as I wasn't there, but definitely the rest. For example, I wouldn't want stuff like the kids' events to be pushed out for bronyish things. I don't think they will do that, since there are still a lot of pre-G4 fans going (which is good). I'm also 100% in favour of their family tickets, which also help to make things broader. I think UKPC got the balance pretty much spot on this year. :)

  2. .... Hi. I'm Here to leave a Message. I'll start with a premise: Despite the mixed reception, I LOVED the S6, there were A LOT of episodes I loved, with only one I legittimately disliked (The Cart Before the Ponies)... And then... The finale happened... And made me few like... An ice Arrow hit My heart... I couldn't stand How the Writers treated the Mane 6 like they were garbage to throw in the trash can to give the spotlight to other characters. While I love Starlight, the way the Writers Got rid of the Mane 6 to give her the spotlight was forced and insulting as much Samus being scared of Ridley in Metroid Other M and Penelope betraying the Cooper gang in Sly 4. I don't want to see the six heroes who accompained me For my five universitary years treated like that again, so desperate call For desperate measures: Of the Movie won't be the end of the Series... It Will be For me. To me the Movie Will be the Series finale, I'm gonna pretend everything coming afterward never existed. Just like Pokemon, I think MLP is starting to running its Course, and the S6 finale was the first sign. I'll quit it at the apix of its quality, the Movie Will be Perfect For that.

    1. Um... okay? I don't agree with you, but I have no problem with people having different opinions. Not sure why you're leaving that comment on this post, though, since it doesn't even mention the finale.

    2. I haven't caught up with all of Season six yet, but have enjoyed all I have watched. I dont think the finale was something to leave the fandom over (I will leave that until Starlight Glimmer has wings!) but I do think the finale had an alternate main 6 that no one asked for (way back when! http://www.equestriadaily.com/2013/07/discussion-alternate-mane-6.html )

  3. Of all the things to use as a header image for a blog, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't have predicted you'd be have something like that before the con. ;D

    I ended up catching a train to Derby about 10 past one; not sure how far apart we were, but it's funny to think you had a change at my home city. :)

    1. The best things about cons are (usually) the ones nobody can predict. :D

      I can't remember tbh. Maybe an hour or so? I was deliberately taking things fairly slowly, but Leeds station is a bit of a dump "railside" so I didn't stay there long.