Sunday, 21 October 2018

UK PonyCon 2018, Saturday evening: Tears of Joy, Tears of Laughter

Buy VIP ticket, get evil villain badge. And G2 Silver Swirl – who was a quiz answer!
I had a date with the cinema room at 5:30pm to see, for the first time ever, the 1986 G1 movie on the big(gish) screen. I'd seen it at home so knew what to expect, but I was glad to get this opportunity – not something you'd have at a strictly brony-focused convention. I don't regret going, but it was a shame that a technical fault meant the film played noticeably too slowly, badly affecting "Nothing Can Stop the Smooze" and making the movie as a whole feel very slow-paced, even more so than it actually is.

It was well after 7pm by the time I got out of the film, and the Crystal Ball had begun. This was UK PonyCon's first real attempt at an evening concert. Steely Hooves was on stage at this point, accompanied by StormBlaze. They worked well as a duo, though sadly I only saw bits of their act. I was hungry, and for some bizarre reason there was no food on sale once the daytime café had closed. (This would get my vote for the 2018 iteration's most irritating feature; Bristol last year did better as its bar sold snacks and sandwiches.) The solution was a quick run to Tesco Express for some egg sandwiches, which I had to eat in the street owing to venue restrictions on outside food.

The Scootacanvas I bought from Jowy. The little easel came with her! :D
I was really keen to get back for 8pm, because the next act was EileMonty. I'd last seen her perform at BUCK 2013, but for various reasons had ended up elsewhere for most of her act. Five years on, I was getting an unexpected second chance. EileMonty did not disappoint, with a 13-song set that included both Pony and non-Pony tracks. We got the likes of "The Moon Rises", "Dark Horse", "The Magic Inside"... and, wonder of wonders, "I am Octavia", which I'd missed in 2013 and been kicking myself over ever since. I had found my way up to the balcony, where crowd noise was lower. It was an enormous thrill to be there for this, and I'll admit to shedding a few tears.

It would have been nice to hang around for PrinceWhateverer and BassPon3, but the Pub Quiz was calling. Team Custard represent! As usual, ultimate Derpy fan Archer was asking the questions and as usual we made a mess of many of the old-gen ones, though we ended up with a worryingly impressive (by our standards) 32 points out of 90. I'd managed to remember to buy a Galaxy bar earlier on, but in the heat of the con venue it had melted to such an extent that it was basically a drink by this point! Never mind: the whole thing was immense fun.

EileMonty performing under the stars. With a roof intervening, thankfully
After the quiz, those of us who didn't have trains to catch hung around for the Saturday finale: the Cartoon Riff. In this UKPC staple, Waterfire presents a bunch of weird and/or terrible cartoons she's collected since the previous con, and there were a couple of highlights this time. One was an anime with hilariously clunky Toblerone product placement... and the other was Crab Rave. Yeah, yeah, I know it's a popular meme – but we did it properly. Lights off, bass up, glowsticks waving. It was glorious. This is where the tears of laughter come in!

We got our coats from the cloakroom and spilled out into the street. As it was 11pm by now, few of us went on anywhere. I went straight back to the hotel and did the minimum of preparation, then sank into bed hoping for a good night's sleep... which I didn't get. There was the most almighty racket from the street below until past 4am, worse than any other city centre I've stayed in, and it was only when sirens were heard (not that kind) that I finally grabbed a couple of hours of shut-eye. Not the ideal preparation for Sunday, it has to be said.

The Crab Rave in full swing. Amazingly, the Noise Control Officers didn't come round
Next time: Derpy Fever!


  1. Crab rave? @_@ What... what the heck?

    1. Par for the course for the Cartoon Riff. There's a reason it's the last event on Saturday night. :D

  2. > One was an anime with hilariously clunky Toblerone product placement

    Ah, the Netflix-original Jaden Smith vehicle "Neo Yokio". We actually had a cosplayer this year at the New Jersey anime con I staff carrying around a prop of the giant Toblerone. (Fake, thankfully; though you CAN actually buy a Toblerone that big, it wouldn't have survived long in the June sun.)

    1. That's the one. After the con, StewArt drew Toblerone pony (Toblerpone?) and you can see her here: