Hello, hello, I’m back from the biggest fantasy festival in my beloved country. It has always been an incredible experience. It’s a place full of magic and treasure with the most surprising character in every corner.
To describe Pyrkon for a never goers… It’s an enormous space filled with all the geeky/nerdy things. Apart from a huge vendor market, there’s another hall for gamers – both digital and analogue, great exhibitions of stunning stuff and art, a lot of lectures and plenty of people bonding together over their favourite fandoms. And of course, cosplay. A LOT of cosplay. Both professional including Masquerade – the big competition of cosplay specialists and simple but creative. It’s Pyrkon, you can be anyone you want to be! This year you could even meet a human Internet Explorer who lag-walked and spoken with a lot of ‘loading breaks’.
There’s a saying that each year Pyrkon gets worse. In some ways, it may be true. But in my personal opinion, the organizers do try their best. Not only through small ideas which simplify the event such as a balloon at the end of the queues, but also by expanding the most popular subjects. In the last 5 years of attending the event, I could see it grow. With both the expansion of places and ideas.
The biggest plus recently is definitely creating the tickets to events. Each attendee gets two slots with their ticket to exchange for the priority queue. It is amazing, especially if you have a lot of lectures you want to attend and you want to make sure that no matter what you’ll be there. Obviously, not all of the people can get what they want but at least they don’t need to queue with hope for the next 2 hours to make sure of it. What’s bad about it – every person that contributes to Pyrkon’s program does not get this opportunity since they pay for their tickets at the event, not before. I hope they’ll change it eventually. I don’t mind when I get the ticket if I am sure I have one and then why do people that actually do something for Pyrkon get fewer privileges? (Yes, the price for the event is lower, depending on the number of events but whatever since I attend Pyrkon anyway).
EDIT: Volunteers do get the program tickets and they do not pay for the Pyrkon ticket.
So basically, my experience of Pyrkon orbits somewhere between films, series, comics, Pop!s and sometimes board games. I go to lectures concerning the given subjects, run around searching for bargains at the market and take pictures of everything amazing in between – cosplayers included. It was a surprise for me that some years ago Pyrkon merged film and series rooms. After all, these subjects are huge these days. But well, at least there’s less to choose from.
Each year the attendees’ number rise higher than the previous one. This year it got over 50 000 which is a hell of a score. I can never see it. The crowd is always enormous anyway and it doesn’t change much. So far there’s enough place, but there will never be enough chairs in the catering zone.
I don’t exactly know how to determine whether this certain festival was good. All I can tell is that this year the lectures weren’t so interesting for me. I believe it was the least number of lectures we attended since the 2014 edition. And this year’s vendors didn’t make my eyes glow too much. But then, they don’t change that much and it could easily be me being used to them. After all, I had to narrow my interests pretty much to have any cash for food.
As I mentioned earlier, this year had a huge number of improvements. There was a stage for the fire performance, there were clearly marked lines and such. They gave up inviting actors (which is sad, because last year Sebastian Roche was supposed to come and he didn’t) but there were a lot of other famous and talented people. Not my division, though. In case of some big events at Pyrkon, I didn’t attend any of them. I think I still try to be somewhat aside. Another plus was definitely expanding the RPG section. Board game players got two big halls just for themselves. One for the ‘classic’ games and another just for role play.
What I would like to change is probably the lecture halls themselves. If you want to attend the lecture one after another, you probably won’t. Not only you can’t stay in the hall after the lecture (there’re pros and cons of that) but if you come 10 mins before, it’s highly possible that you won’t get in. And for a person who prefers that sort of entertainment, it is an inconvenience. I hope they’ll think of some bigger spaces or something. It’s hard to figure out a solution for this but well. One can dream.
If somebody’s wondering about my own lecture – it didn’t go as planned. It was supposed to be way funnier but I clearly am not 100% myself at 11 PM, after a very long day. So for all that attended ’50 Shades of Wilson’, I do hope you enjoyed at least part of it. It was way more stressful than my previous one. I’m planning to write it all down soon. And again, thanks to all of you.
All the people who appear on my photos are entitled to let me know for the HQ versions or to link their pages etc. I shall not, however, delete pictures. I think these are pretty nice.
Pyrkon official page (also in English)