Beyond BronyCon: Inside the My Little Pony Convention, Everfree Northwest

Categories: My Little Pony

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The timing couldn't have been better, really. Three days after my final recap of the second season of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic was published on The Exhibitionist on August 15, I'd be in Seattle attending Everfree Northwest, the first annual My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic convention. Specifically, it was the first My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic convention to bear the name Everfree Northwest -- there have been plenty of other fan conventions in the twenty-two months since the show has been on the air, most notably the quarterly BronyCon, but this would be the first one I'd attended, and I was going to be a part of it!

I'd originally been invited to attend as press, but that fell through for various reasons, and the only real downside is that I didn't receive another press lanyard-badge to add to my collection like the one I'd gotten from Further Confusion. On the other hand, I was going to be doing a panel about my adventures recapping the show, so that upped the anticipation and adrenalin.

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I arrived at the Seattle with my traveling companions (and former Frolic co-regulars) Ilene and Porter the day before Evefree began, but we weren't the first to arrive, as we immediately gathered by the spray-painted truck parked in front of the Holiday Inn.

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Registration began at 8 a.m. on Friday at the other hotel hosting the convention, the Marriott. The timing was going to be a bit close, since my panel was at 11 and I had a tech setup scheduled for 9:30, but I figured we'd be fine if we got to the Marriott by 7:45. Heck, even though overall attendance was expected to be in the lower four-digit range, how long could the registration line be? After all, nobody ever shows up for a convention on the first morning, particularly not when it's a work day. (And a school day for many, for that matter -- both work and school commitments were why my girlfriend Marta couldn't join us). SO we'd be first in line to register, go to breakfast, and make it to my panel's setup in no time.

Turns out well over 100 other people had the same idea of registering right away. In the first of many attempts over the weekend to humanely corral the herd, they seated us in one of the Marriott's ballrooms. The crowd was excited and happy to be there, even so early in the morning, and there were spontaneous sing-alongs of songs from the show such as "B.B.B.F.F." (cf. "A Canterlot Wedding, Part 1") and "Winter Wrap Up" (cf. "Winter Wrap Up"). And though we were in the untamed frontier of Washington, the new and improved California flag made its first appearance (cf. "Lesson Zero").

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I didn't take a census and thus cannot offer percentages, but that morning in the pre-registration room and throughout the rest of the weekend, I saw every age range and all points of the social constructs known as race and gender represented. Whatever the standard media narrative may be -- thanks a lot for that, Wired -- fans of the show are found in all demographics.

Costume-wise, that morning there were already many a Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie, a couple sets of Flim Flam Brothers (cf. "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000"), and at least one baby dressed as Spike.

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My panel, "Deconstructing Equestria: On Recapping Ponies For Fun and (Very Little) Profit," was ... well, it definitely happened, I'll say that much for it. My recaps were never what you'd call "popular" or "known to exist by many of the fans," but about 20 folks showed up out of a combination of curiosity and not being able to get into the Opening Ceremonies. Ah, my people!

I talked about how I came to do the recaps, my philosophies on writing about pop culture, and I did a PowerPoint version of my recap of "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000." As always when I'm performing, I found a particular audience member to act as my gauge, and making that one teenage girl in the third row crack a smile occasionally was evidence that I didn't totally bomb.

Since it'll pay off later in this article, let's enjoy the title song from that episode right now.

While I was a bit melancholy about the lack of attendance at my panel (I had this fantasy that somebody who's read my recaps would come up to me and say that they'd read my recaps), but at least once it was done I could exhale and enjoy the convention itself -- and there was much to enjoy.


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11 comments
campboys
campboys

That lovely moment when, over a year after the fact, you realize that you hosted a moderately wel known blogger. I was the unfortunate soul stuck in control of the Pre-reg room. My first convention as staff, as A/V crew, not PR or any of that. All in all, I did well enough that the head of staff and A/V director both wanted me back for this year (really fun to try and schedule when you move to MO for college). I thouroughly enjoyed the experience, as you appear to have as well.

Mongobeef
Mongobeef

So Something I'd like to say, I know the person who made the plushies pictured at the top of page 2 (The Shining Armor and the Cadence) She was super excited to see that they were going to be featured like that.

Traj
Traj

It's a shame that your panel was scheduled against the opening ceremony, that sounds like a rough timeslot. I've really enjoyed your write-ups though, will you be doing S3?

PixelCoder
PixelCoder

Heh, I was the one who mistook you for Pixelkitties. Sorry about that. I was very tired by the end of the con, and because of some kind of ASD I tend to make a mistake every time I open my mouth. :P But now I know who you are and I can say, I love you Sherilyn! And we're both in SF—hopefully I'll see you around sometime!

dutchsct
dutchsct

Great article!I'm sorry to hear EFNW didn't go as planned... there was some serious star competition there.I saw your event in the schedule but didn't know what 'recapping' was... I thought it had to do with custom pony toys :P 

sherilyn
sherilyn

@studiesincrap Actually, it's about Everfree Northwest, not BronyCon.

SherilynConnelly
SherilynConnelly

 @Traj True enough -- amidst the registration and rescheduling turmoil of that morning, I appreciated the audience that did show up all the more.  And heavens knows I've played to smaller crowds in my day. :)  Also, I'm glad you liked the recaps! I will indeed be doing S3, though I'm currently planning to wait for the season to finish before I start recapping it...

SherilynConnelly
SherilynConnelly

 @PixelCoder Aw, shucks. :) Apology accepted, and don't worry about it -- being mistaken for Pixelkitties is hardly an insult!

SherilynConnelly
SherilynConnelly

 @dutchsct Heh.  Recapping is an esoteric concept, that's for sure.  And something that I might not have properly expressed in the article is that I really did have a lot of fun at Everfree, my own silly anxieties notwithstanding.  I have nothing but positive feelings about the overall experience, and I intend to return in 2013.

sherilyn
sherilyn

@studiesincrap I see what you did there!

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