Fan Convention 14.06.2024 Poznan
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PostPyrkon, a bit too long post about how it all went

A long time ago maybe not in a galaxy far, far away, but in vast spaces of immense labyrinths, called by shamans and druids the Poznan International Fair, a Pyrkon appeared. It was a mighty and enormous creature, which took on a hard and dangerous mission – mission to find them all, gather together and through friendship tie them in a land where magic raves. So, it managed to assemble not-so-secret societies of BookWorms, MovieGeeks, GameNerds, MangaFreaks and many others, who continually accepted new apprentices to their guilds and happily welcomed all those brave fantasy adventure-seekers and weary wanderers.

Sounds nice? We like it too and can already imagine how beautiful it would look as an illustrated book, but let’s not blur it, in reality it looked a bit different. In the end, Pyrkon is not stupid wand waving and doesn’t make itself out of thin air. Then, how did we – organizers – and you – our beloved and invaluable volunteers and attendees – perform this Pyrkon?

Grey eminence, a word about the key elements

If during your visit on the Pyrkon area, at least once you came across the pavilion no. 15, then you should have some suspicions how the Festival is created. Presumably you think that it is made of brown paper and duct tape. It is true in about 98 percent. But it is not all. Actually, Pyrkon is an extremely complex elixir.

All good elixirs need a few elements. You know, a cauldron, some ingredients, a bit of magic, all this basic stuff. That is why, when you came to the Fair entrances a bit earlier and waited for the opening, some could say that it was quite a heat 😀 In a good sense. Even before entering the festival grounds you met new friends, infected others with the virus of positive energy and generally assembled your team.

A positive energy is crucial, that is why you, attendees are the main ingredient of Pyrkon elixir, without which nothing would work. And it’s worth saying that you are amazing at it! You are colourful, happy and positively crazy. Who wasn’t there among you! Unicorns walked bravely next to Lord Vaders. Superheroes talked nicely to supervillains (probably about their opinion differences). Vikings interweaved with Napoleon’s soldiers and hussars, and even some very happy hen and dinosaur. Whereas Loki portrayed in both genders perfectly got along with all Thors and Helas. You’ve had fabulous costumes, looking really godlike 😀

It was always getting dark, a bit more about you

As always, you’ve been extremely nice to yourselves as well as to the organizers. Seriously, you’re the best! You have taken in new friends, helped others, clapped in all strategic moments (even in the gastro zone, gratifying the food). You’ve warned each other (‘zaraz bedzie ciemno’/ ‘It’ll be dark soon’) and given friendly advice (‘zamknij sie!’/ ‘Shut up!’). You were remarkably thoughtful about our guests! Caring for them not to walk around hungry, probably concerned about how we treat them, just in case, you’ve given Patricia Briggs a pack of biscuits and a jar of cucumbers to Graham Masterton (organizers still can’t agree whether those were gherkins or pickles).

Orienteering – in the field and in the program

I will tell you that you were also very knowledgeable! I must admit that I specifically went to the Role Play Zone to find out whether you really knew what you were going to,coming to the lecture “How to do good?” And most of you knew! Together, we listened to what is important for us to have a successful RPG session and how to prepare for it.

In the Games Room, even late at night, you were sitting with friends at the boards, and judging by the number of green dots visible from the entresol, constantly moving around the hall, the volunteers made sure everyone knew how to play. You also visited the pavilion6 and played video games. I saw that many of you nostalgically remembered Mario and other retro games. Some of you even played bongos in the rhythm of the music game (which I envy you a little), and others with enthusiasm and concentration took part in tournaments. It looked like you had a great time. Am I right?

In addition, you danced, wherever it was possible and showed that it can be practically anywhere. And in every costume. At the workshops of Scottish, Irish and old dances (also called somewhere in the crowd “learning the clapping for the reluctant”), in the sweat of your brow you learned the steps and after a while you looked like you really knew what to do. You’ve been learning to fight everything that’s in your hand. You were in the Nerf zone, you were grabbing bows and swords and it was really great! Your clashes with bows in your hands looked very impressive. (Interesting fact: Robin Hobb – a guest of the LiteratureSection – found that Poland is a very safe country, it’s hard to say where she has been so far, if people with all kinds of weapons made such an impression on her, but it’s cute and it’s you who made it.)

You were also happy to paint figurines for battle games and I will tell you that I have not yet seen people as concentrated as you. You created your work with great calmness and you were responsible for the precision so needed when creating a working elixir.

You have not been distracted even by the exhibitions placed around, and they really were excellent and also attracted crowds of visitors. They were responsible for the visual side of the elixir. You know, do not be deterred and want to drink it. There were amazing pictures and pictures, there were gadgets from Star Wars and Star Trek, Transformers and beautiful costumes. And who among you returned with memories to childhood and tried to remember the names of all exhibited at the Pokemon show?

You also visited the fantastic villages where Vikings, elves, survivors of the apocalypse, Putties, Naruto with friends and many other colorful characters sat. And let us not kid ourselves, they were in the elixir to stir in the right moment. There was always something going on. There were fights and shows, and you could get a tattoo, ask for hair, or just sit and learn more about the villagers.

We have added the Oriental Blessing to our elixir with the Far East Fantasy Section. There you not only came dressed up as known and loved characters from manga and anime and listened to the lecture. Most likely there was also a serious clash of exact minds with artistic souls. Waiting for the lectures on the gray paper, which were taped to the walls, you were drawing figures from the manga and sabre tooth bunnies, but you were also doing complicated mathematical activities and encouraging others to do so, leaving tasks to them.

You were also in the Vendors Land. Ufff, I have a working theory that there was a magnetic field that could pull a person in even by a button from jeans. In any case, there was a boiling work all the time, so we were sure that the potion would not be undercooked. Well, how many things there were! If any of you entered there and bought only what you intended to buy, I officially grant you the Order of the Brave Consumer of the Year. For the most part you went out with things that you had no idea about, but basically are essential to life. Exactly as Epic Voice Guy said in the promo movie.

Fundamental questions, panels, walls and other building or finishing materials, that is all about our guests

Our incredible elixir gained a distinctive flavor thanks to our amazing guests. And it turned out that it was an excellent mixture. Have you been on the panel with foreign writers? They do not need any moderators! Patricia Briggs, Robin Hobb, Orson Scott Card, Graham Masterton and Peter V. Brett were able to discuss with each other, but also to make jokes about each other in an incredibly charming way. And do you know what? They really did their best for you. Card could not arrive at the appointed time because of a delayed flight, but he came to you straight from the airport, without a moment of rest, to join the panel in which he took part. He also came an hour earlierto his autograph session, so as many of you as possible could get his signature. Patricia Briggs was very eager to walk around the whole convention and give autographs also outside the planned sessions. And do you know what Brett did? He was sittingin his autograph session until he signed the book for the last fan arrived! It is scary just to think how much time he spent there. He also liked the Polish language very much and even bought a T-shirt with difficult Polish words.

Jesse Cox also learned Polish, this fact is known to all participants of the Online Entertainment panel, in which Jesse spoke with Felicia Day and Jon Bailey. He eagerly shared his new knowledge with others, and thanks tohim our American guests know now such basic Polish words as “poo” and “ass”. There was a lot of laughter during the panel, we listened to the incredible voice incarnations of Epic Voice Guy and we found out how many times Cox met Felicia Day, but there were also more serious moments. Our guests told us what motivated them to make a career and what they think is a recipe for success (now we know that lack of money and desperation are all we can dream about when we want to become famous). It was not without a moment of horror: you asked Cox to repeat the sentence ” w Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie”(In Szczebrzeszyn a beetle is buzzing in reed), which for a moment was an immediate threat of a major jaw dislocation and the first tongue got broken in history, but in the end we did not have to call for medics.

You also had fun at meetings with Polish guests. During the meeting with the Darwin Film Group, the room was bursting with laughter every now and then. We listened how Marek Hucz and Jan Jurkowski are writing scenarios, what it was like when they started their career on YouTube and what they are planning to create in the near future. They also shared with us a memorable thought and I will quoteit, you can treat it as a randomly chosen verse from a guest or speaker. I am quoting from memory, so a bit imprecisely, but it sounded more or less like this: “When you spend a lot of time together, then stupid things come to your mind on their own”.You have to admit how many of you have just thought it was the essence summarizing your stay at Pyrkon? 😀

But our guests were having fun with us as well. Foreign guests of the ComicsSection praised the atmosphere and announced that they would also like to come next year. Jesse Cox celebrated his birthdayduring Pyrkon. He got a cake and played with the volunteers at a party. Felicia Day was eagerly exploring the convention. She was delighted with the Children’s Section and she told the organizers that she would gladly bring her own child there. No wonder – the kids were having a great time there. They were presenting their costumes to others, watching shows, painting and playing in a house made of blocks and filled with them. Zone of Playmobil was also very interesting. Children had at their disposal sets of blocks to play and they could watch interesting movable exhibitions from Ghostbusters and How to Train Your Dragon.

And in general, you can count on our guests in every case. Jakub Ćwiek told the participants how to fulfill his fan dreams, so now we all know how to meet Tom Hiddleston, bypassing bodyguards and cameras. By the way, we also learnt that we would never entrust to Ćwiek to book our airline tickets if we do not want to unexpectedly find ourselves in Istanbul. Pyrkon still entertains and educates.

Volunteers – Pyrkon’s orange paladins

Of course, our potion could not have happened without the absolutely wonderful volunteers. When a Sleep-deprived Organizer could barely put one foot in front of another and kept falling asleep in strange places, losing sight of the bubbling brew, the Bustling Volunteer still had lots of energy, which he derived from some recesses inaccessible to the Organizers, which one could only access with a Volunteer Pass. The things they did were magic. They were always there where they were needed, they always knew exactly how to help, and they were always ready for new challenges. And you should know that a volunteer’s responsibilities can be completely unexpected. Just how unexpected, learned a volunteer positioned in the Earth Hall during Percival’s performance. Being suddenly dragged up on stage and giving an unplanned performance before an audience of two thousand must be a memory for life. So, you know, when going to Pyrkon be prepared for anything, and by the way, let us know if that volunteer requires therapy. 😀

Since we’ve mentioned Percival, let’s stay with them a while longer. Did you go? Have you seen them? Listened to them? If yes, then you know that it was great. The music was truly gripping, and with the perfectly synchronized lights and the dancing of wonderful acrobats, it made a really tremendous impression. The whole show was extremely well prepared, and the choreography could sweep you off your feet (did you see that guy with the sword, who can make you feel bad about your own coordination or lack thereof?).

As you best know, many ingredients came together to make this unique potion, more than we have mentioned here. So much more that we, the organizers, kept nervously glancing over, waiting for it to blow up into our faces. 😀 But, in the end, the only explosion was one of great fun. You made all these seemingly unfitting puzzle pieces come together and work really well. And that’s real magic. We got an amazing potion with a very rich flavor variety, which we hope gave all of you a lot of joy this last weekend. You were wonderful. You made this event. It’s thanks to you that the atmosphere was so fantastic. It was apparent that you were enjoying every minute, and that it gave you a lot of energy. We’ve got so much of it that it’s enough to organize another Pyrkon. Thanks for being there, and we hope we’ll see you next year. And now I’ll finish this off, so that you in the spirit of convention solidarity don’t advise me to “shut up”. 🙂

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Magda Walczak

Filolog z przypadku, leń z natury. Jeśli nie musi, to piechotą nie chodzi, ale ujdzie w tłoku. Zdarza się, że coś jej chodzi po głowie, chociaż nigdy przed 9 rano. Za to jej miłość do seriali przechodzi ludzkie pojęcie. Lubi chadzać swoimi ścieżkami, mimo że radzą jej raczej pójść po rozum do głowy.