Monday, 30 July 2018

BronyCon to call time after next year

At the end of this year's BronyCon, the organisers made a big announcement: the 2019 iteration will be the last. There are a few reasons in a short FAQ at the bottom of their official homepage, but the impression given is that with attendance on a downward slope, they want to call it a day before BronyCon turns into a shadow of its former self. They'll be aiming to go out with a bang in a four-day finale in early August next year.

I never made it to BronyCon and I never will (reasons are several, but include health issues) but this news still hit me. After all, for as long as I've been in this fandom – since spring 2012 ‒ BronyCon has been around, and its 2015 edition was the largest My Little Pony con ever held with just over 10,000 people attending. That is a record that will never be broken, so it will always be the largest convention in history for fans of talking pastel ponies.

This is not the end of the MLP fandom. It's not even the end of the brony fandom. I do think it may be one more tentative step on the road towards G4 becoming a part of the wider MLP fandom – which, after all, has been running since long before Twilight left Canterlot; the My Little Pony Fair in the USA and UK PonyCon over here started in 2004. But a show as popular and successful as Friendship is Magic doesn't just fade into nothingness. There will always be bronies.

Will there always be brony conventions? Well... "always" might be a hostage to fortune. But they're surely not all going to disappear in the next year. BABSCon has already said that it will continue while there are enough people going to make it viable, while Everfree Northwest and GalaCon in Germany have made similar comments. The likes of SEAPonyCon in southeast Asia show that you don't need to be in America to have a good time. Here in the UK, the year features three conventions for the first time since 2016, with UK PonyCon looking set to break its attendance record yet again.

Of course BronyCon will be missed when it's gone. How could an event like that not be? But please don't make the mistake of equating one convention, however large and star-studded, with the fandom as a whole. You know what is the fandom as a whole? All of us who are in it. Whether we run cons or attend meets, whether we draw fanart or write fics, whether we buy custom plushies or chat about Pony on social media...

As long as people are talking about MLP, our gloriously silly fandom lives on.

Let's keep it that way.


  1. Sad news to wake up to this morning, for sure. I'm very thankful that I had the opportunity to attend one last year. I have strong hopes they'll have a good attendance next year from people knowing that it's the last chance.

    I think it's inevitable that you'll get people saying it's the end of the fandom, and they won't be convinced otherwise. But people like you and me (and a lot of others) know that isn't really the case.

    1. Yes, I'm sure they'll make it a special finale, and I really hope they do. I'm glad you got to experience it for yourself while it was still around. :)

      And agreed. I'm not that interested in spending energy trying to convince people who won't be convinced. I'd rather spend that energy enjoying myself with what's still there. :)