There is a variety of factors that make a succesful convention, usually these are gained along with the many years of organising, overcoming and learning from the early errors, trying out different ways and choosing the right path.. with Confuzzled you don't have any of that. Althought this year was only the second one of its existence, it didn't feel that way at all. It comes across as a very solid con in terms of its goals, presentation, and standards it offers.
Looking back at it I have to admit that it's a type of con that I was starting to miss since Eurofurence 12. Since EF started to grow, local cons remained small, there wasn't such a thing as a medium-sized con that offers both plenty of space for socializing that is usually a domain of the small cons, and professionally performed entertainment that we know from big sized conventions, all under one roof. Such was Eurofurence as I remember it from years ago, and such is Confuzzled, that - as far as I understood correctly, wants to keep itself in this way. In fact this simple attribute played such strong cards that I'm deffinitely considering to think of this convention as one of my yearly "must-attend"s.
I guess this time I'll break my report into a list of things that I feel should be mentioned instead of writing miles long novels.. ;)
- This year I played a role of a guest of honour together with Cheetah. I can't stress enough how deeply honoured I feel that I was picked for such a thing. Althought it made me worried for a while thinking of how would the people react, the truth is that I couldn't ask for more support from everyone. It was breathtaking and I'm immensely thankful for everything mainly because it was a very strong point that what I do is in fact not meaningless as I often tend to think. Also, I was very glad that I was able to get to know such a huge number of new people! Everyone was so friendly and openminded, I can't thank enough to all of you who stopped by at least for a short chat, I really appreciate that and <3 u all! =)
- The first day started with a little mishap and I spent nearly 3 hours at the Manchester airport against my will ;) It all turned out to be an honest mistake and I don't really care about it at all, in fact, it was the first time I had some time to accomodate to the rather bizzare English kitchen, when I got served lasagna with.. *drumroll* chips ;) Also, it was the first time I learned the appropriate amount of tipping in the UK, because as it turned out, 50% IS too generous! =)
- There wasn't much to do apart from walking around and chitchatting with some of the orga people, helping them out, walking around the hostel and trying to absorb the local feel.. Also, at one point we went out for a little walk in the city With Furble, Frost T. and Jacquie Chien, had a lovely lovely coffee at the business lounge in a bank, then had a real coffee at Starbucks, etc. It was an easy day and quite nice, althought it didn't feel like a con yet ;)
- The first day's evening was amazing, we all were taken out for a classy indian food dinner. I love going out for food like that, to some really pricy restaurants - you always get so much more than just a mere food.. it's something like an adenture, a breath of a totally different culture and a very intense lesson for your taste.. well, this one cleary was the case thanks for the generous amount of spice they call "mild". I have to point out that the evening before my departure back home I was out for a dinner at Nandos with Frosty and Jackie. I tried ALL the spicy sauces they offered and even the Extra Extra Hot one was still only a baby brother of the food they gave us at the indian restaurant. ouch! but very nom! ;)
- Yagfox snores! Usually I don't mind even a very loud snore because I was brought up with my snoring father in the next room. Really, in terms of snoring I'm very ver satile and it works like an effective sleeping aid. Yag is different, he sounds evil, like a pieceful little zombie '=) (sorry Yag) XD
- Friday, the official convention starting day.. finally becoming a convention! Filling up with people, first suiters appeared, along with people in silly hats, moustaches and extremely intimidating accent. Yes, the Victorian theme was catching up ;) Just.. some people took it a bit too far '=)
- The food! This time I realized that I won't survive without an external help. The burger... ohhh the burger x.x I promise Mr. McDonald, I will never say a bad word about you ever again! Unfortunately YHA's approach to food degraded from "things that you eat to feel nice" to "the basic substances you require for not dieing". A clear downer of the con, however not a con's fault really. Also along the craptastic adventures of hospital food and dirty forks I noticed the food was suspiciously repetitive each day. Recyclaction? Freezer? I'll leave this to your decision. At this point I have to thank to my awesome roomates, Shay, Sonnypup and Kwisa, who were willing to escape the junkfood reality for one night and get a great sushi menu at the ever so wonderful japanese restaurant Te.. Tepa... *something japanese*. :3
- Lazers! The ever so awesome Yagfox prepared a very nice show with his laser unit, showing a good amount of art submitted by furs. That was something new, and I really enjoyed it, also made a photo of me standing under a huge green projection of Tabbiefox.. which reminds me - where are these pics gone? :D
- Snirf! Did I tell you how much this suit rocks before? Well, I'm doing it now! I was totally stunned, and I still am, althought he usually acts like a big ol meanie.. or maybe that is the reason why people think he is so amazing? ;)
- The cartoon workshop! Good gawd it made me nervous :P It's one of those amazing things when you think you are prepared, but a minute before it starts you realize you have nothing to talk about! Well, I managed to keep up for an hour before Furble brought me another kawfee, so I guess it went good '=) Also, I can't judge how succesful I was, I hope I didn't bore anyone, personally I really enjoyed it. I have to thank everyone who came, I wasn't expecting such a massive attendance, also, at 10:00am, an hour that every sane creature should consider a night! ;)
- The dances! I will kick myself till like forever, but I missed out Swolf's dance by presence. I didn't get much sleep the previous night and when even amixture of kawfee and redbull wasn't working, I flopped and decided to recharge. This was a terrible mistake tho because of course, the dance woke up, and of course I heared every single tune he played. And one thing I didn't know before, he is almost exactly the same blood type when it comes to party music setting as me. There wasn't a need for any kawfee, there wasn't a need for any energy drink.. I was laying on my bed and it was so strong I almost ran down in my pj's to dance my ass off. Unfortunately (or maybe luckily), I didn't. The dance ended around 3am which was quite unusual.. but as I later found out there were some steps taken from the YHA's side. Big shame. Swolf, I hereby state that I officialy love you and when I grow up, I will be you. xD
- The other dances. The unfortunate incident of the previous dance night led to some changes in the setup. The volume was cut. Also, Kenai's set began about 2 hours late. This resulted in two things - lots of furs went already to bed, and the other half was not interested. Frankly because the volume was so low, you could have a nice romantic dialogue in front of one of the speakers. Me and BBF noticed this and decided to go head against the wall, and eventually fixed the issue by ignoring the YHA being lame about it and soon enough lots of people started to pour in. That happened about 10 minutes before I was supposed to take over Kenai's set. Naturally, I didn't want to play the asshole role and let him have a longer set, shortened mine, but tried to pump as much energy as I could which really worked like a charm until the current wave of dancers wore out. It was already 2am, a mere hour of my set when I decided it's only fair to pass it on to BBF so he wouldn't have to deal with just 5 keen dancers that are usually left late at night, and I'm really glad he was able to get some more waves in and entertain!
It was nice, the DJ's more or less did what their intended, but it could have been better. I was glad to have a chance to say what I wanted to say with my set, althought in a real hurry, but again- the 2 hours delay plus ANOTHER delay thanks to the low volume incident didn't help at all. It could have been better and I certainly hope it will be the next time. Also once again - I'm very thankful for all the positive feedback I received, I am deeply touched! :)
- Charlie the unicorn! I don't need to say much about him because I believe everyone knows.. just a quick note - I was given the amazing honour to loot him after the con! He is right here, looking at me with his magical eyes of hope and wonder. He survived the flight and is fine. Also, the check-in officers loved him so much, they gave me a free seat in the plane, for his full safety!! =)
- The fursuiters! Althought I heared them complaining there wasn't too much to do around the venue I didn't really notice any less of a fun ;) There was a huge lot of them and the amount of interaction possibilities were endless! Also, the Badger Parade and photoshoot outside the hostel was a very big success. For a while the otherwise gloomy weather decided to get smart and provided an excellent light for photography, so everyone managed to take amazingly clear and saturated pictures. I feel an urgue to mention Timduru here. Those who've already seen the photos must be nodding along right now I'm sure because this time the hyperactive meerkat's invention went beyond the limits yet again. To me a bit scary tho, I am very afraid of clowns and anything that resembles them ^^; but that's just me ;) Anyway, here, soak up the jesterness!
- This was also the first time I tried to create a traditional cel modelsheet. Of course since I was going for a Confuzzled item that was supposed to raise the money for the charity - I went for Brok the badger (duh xD). The sucky thing was that the throwers at the airport smashed the glass even tho it was wrapped in layers of foam and bubblewrap.. they really know how to destroy the luggage! But luckily it was just the glass, the actual cel remained untouched. It got to the auction after the very first day and eventually got sold for 180£!! o.o Well, time to open a custom cel commissions! ;)
But to finally wrap it up - it was one hellova con. Very entertaining, and very "tabbie friendly" =)) Like I said in the beginning, it's deffinitely a GO in 2010, I already can't wait for what the orga team prepared for us. Judging according to the new venue, it's gonna be HOT. I'm very thrilled about the dedicated nightclub thing.. and the PCD? It was present, very strong this time. I had to stay one extra night because of my flight, being there as the YHA turned back into a silent and boring youth hostel. Seeing the empty spaces that were so vibrant just a few hours ago was pretty hard.. I can't thank enough to Frost T. Wolf and Jackie for taking me out to dinner in the evening, that really made things easier for me! Thank you guys! =) *hugs*
And thanks to all of you again who were there this year! You rock!
P.S.: Don't get too drunk and don't decide to pass out at a public place. You WILL end up like this to attract BBF's camera ;)