Nightmare Nights this year was amazing. This 5 year My Little Pony fan convention was possibly the most fun that I’ve had at a convention in a while. True, this is what I said about the third and last year of Fiesta Equestria, but I definitely meant it both times.
This last year of Nightmare Nights was just that, it’s last year. They had announced it was it’s last year on their website, we all knew what we were getting into, and because of that, they got way more people than they expected, selling out of their V.I.P. passes, shirts, etc. I even went to it because I could not sit on the sidelines any longer.
You see, this convention was not just Dallas’ last Brony convention, but Texas’ as well. It sucks, and that feeling was apparent for all 3 days sure, but really hitting home on Sunday… especially when I started whistling the song ‘Winter Wrap Up’ and a person said something like, ‘sad, isn’t it?’
To back up, let me explain that this convention had amazing guests from the show and comic: Lauren Faust, Elley-Ray Hennessy, Tony Fleecs, Nick Confalone, Jim Miller, Shannon Chan-Kent, Andrea Libman, G. M. Berrow, and M. A. Larson.
My favorites, however, was youtuber Dusty Katt as well as the band The Wonderbolts. Dusty Katt was in charge of the charity auction, where he shaved off his mustache, someone from the convention bought a $6,000 artbook only to give it back to the woman who had donated it, as well as a… giant… Toblerone? It had a lot of signatures from guests, and that was pretty cool.
The Wonderbolts! Band is a Brony band that does both covers of songs with their own unique sound, as well as songs discussing moments in both the show as well as the fandom. They really rock, and they have made my last two conventions amazing
Now, The Wonderbolts to me, are what Poochy was to Homer Simpson on the Simpsons. Anytime they weren’t on stage I kept wondering, ‘Hey, where are The Wonderbolts?’ Sadly, my recording of them in concert messed up. Two of The Wonderbolts did a sing-a-long on Sunday that was pretty entertaining.
There were a lot of panels from the creative side of the fan community. Animation, Web comics, Fan Fiction, Music, pretty much every genre that could have had a presence there did, and that is pretty cool. They had a Who’s line is it anyway styled panel, and that too was nifty.
The artist alley and the dealer’s room was… well… existed? I’m guessing that the difference is that one space was cheaper than the other, so the larger stands went into the dealer’s room? I don’t know. They had some cool stuff, and I even purchased some art… so yay?
Now it’s time for some of the negative aspects of this convention. First off, it was it’s last. Second off… it was it’s last. Third? The cosplay show.
I have been spoiled by anime conventions that take cosplay very seriously, let me start off with that. The room was the same one that was used for the sing-a-long and karaoke… and it was not set up properly. There were chairs in front, which is true, but there was also a bunch of chairs with tables in the back… it wasn’t cleared… it was hard to see due to the elevation not being that high… Main events is really where cosplay should be at a convention. That said, eh…?
The MC did not do a great job separating the divisions, the cosplayers did not do what I expected of walking on stage, striking a few poses while pausing for photos, and then slowly walking off stage. It’s typically walk on, pose, pose pose, walk off… and the people running it did not have them do that… which is a nit pick, but some of the better cosplays really should have had us focus on them for longer to truly appreciate them. I did appreciate that they let anime, video game, and OC characters into the show though. That was pretty cool.
Fourthly… The Game Room? It seemed to be a BYOG situation, and people did eventually bring more stuff to play, but there were only two video game consoles eventually set up… and I just think that this room could have been better utilized either in it’s execution of a game room, or as something radically different… after all, rooms are not cheap.
The convention was pretty emotional, and I loved most of it. Closing ceremonies had a lot of great stories being told, and tears were shed as people explained why this community has pretty much saved lives… one way, or another.
Then they played a joke on us, as they sent us on our way home thinking that there would be a convention next year, but ultimately we are still left with the same question we had when we arrived at the convention: Where do we go from here?
The MLP community has had a taste of convention life, and no one knows where they should go to wet their appetite. Furry, Anime, Sci-Fi/Fantasy conventions? Maybe… but that wont feel like home, and how a space feels is important. From my gatherings, there might be a mass exodus from Texas to other states for MLP conventions, and that might help convention such as Brony Con which their attendance in 2017 is down from their record breaking 2015 year by 38%.
Texas gas station Buc-ee’s has an MLP display… maybe we can just hang out there until we have a place of our own? Who knows… things aren’t looking great for the fandom though.
For more convention photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/netsenshi/albums/72157665655388659