Heh, this should have been done a week ago , but regardless.
OMG, that was so much fun
It was amazing, meeting other people in real life who shared the hobby, sitting at the panels with the guests of honour, buying pony souvenirs and much more
I don't have a lot of pictures of the convention proper, mostly the cosplays, as that was the most visually interesting thing. I have a couple of pics of the panels as well, but I presumed there is little need as people should easily be able to watch most of those on youtube, most of them are already up .
For the first time to have journeyed out of the country on my own everything went surprisingly smooth. I arrived in Ludwigsburg in the evening and checked in at my Hotel which lay less than three minuttes from the Convention. The Hotel was expensive but the short distance was so worth it. Even before the convention proper there was fun to be had. I met a couple of other bronies outside the convention in the evening, where we had a few good talks until near midnight and watched episode 100 and 'Does Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep' on a makeshift projector, before long we even had a small crowd of fans joining us
imgur.com/SYA6Nfv - Hotel Nestor, where I stayed. Fun fact, all the guests of honour stayed there as well, and saw all of them there.
The convention opened 9:00 Saturday, and there were quite a few people waiting outside. The first time in my life where it has been fun to wait in line, people were busy discussing the show or the upcoming events and quite a few had shown up in cosplays or with plushies or other souvenirs from home or other conventions.
The convention proper was started in high gear. We begun with a panel in the main theatre where we meet all the guests of honour:
Tabitha St. Germain - Voice of Rarity, Luna, Nightmare Moon, Granny Smith, etc.
Daniel Ingram - Songwriter for the show.
Jayson Thiessen - Animator and Co-Executive Producer for the show.
Jocelan Thiessen - Jayson's wife, Animator and Storyboard Artist of the show.
Michelle Creber - Voice of Applebloom, singing voice of Applebloom, and Sweetie Belle (up to season 4)
Gabriel Brown - a.k.a. Black Gryph0n, popular singer/animator/reactor in the fandom, close friend of Michelle.
Monique Creber - Michelle's mother and friend of Daniel Ingram, vocalist and producer (not on the MLP though).
After we were told the program, Michelle and Black Gryph0n kicked off the convention in awesome style with a performance of one of their songs (which I recorded most of): www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApFnQN…
After the opening ceremony there was a panel with Daniel Ingram and Monique Creber. We got to learn some interesting things, the one of most immediate concern being that most of the songs in season 5 are in the next half, so we have quite a treat to look forward to
Later there was a panel with Black Gryph0n and Michelle Creber, that was one of the funniest times at the convention. I really got to like them even more by seeing them in person.
I spent quite some time of the day walking around the convention and getting pictures of the people cosplaying (and the panelists for that matter), and had great fun watching the Cosplay Contest.
imgur.com/ZcPnDXN (The main theatre - only half-filled at that point)
imgur.com/QCts22K (The guests of honour)
imgur.com/ZE4Um2S (Panel with Tabitha, Michelle, and Black Gryph0n - day 2)
imgur.com/nC1DRnw (Kareoke, show and fan songs - day 2)
imgur.com/sYRH22t (Dashie in a remote control tank)
imgur.com/qQHJqVz (Alicorn Amulet Trixie)
imgur.com/YJCs2Gn (Moon Guards)
imgur.com/CDhARW0 (Moon, Sun, and Crystal Guard)
imgur.com/DEX0GYD (Pinkie Pie in gala dress)
imgur.com/pDVpKwu (The original wonderbolt costume)
imgur.com/dYCjWNt (Chrysalis at vendor table)
imgur.com/BT2weYt (Chrysalises with Chrysalises)
imgur.com/brEzIgZ (Adagio Dazzle - she was the Panel Moderator for the convention)
imgur.com/LPF76tA (Princess Celestia)
imgur.com/VkqZ9ix (Princess Luna and her royal guards - my favourite cosplay(s) of the convention)
imgur.com/ol1QCps (Poses with Sombra - 1)
imgur.com/rY3NKmK (Poses with Sombra - 2)
imgur.com/bEJ3ZkM (Poses with Sombra - 3)
imgur.com/vA21vA7 (Poses with Sombra - 4)
imgur.com/raOXXUZ (Poses with Sombra - 5)
imgur.com/YDDALCK (Poses with Sombra - 6) - I did one too, but that one is not on my camera.
imgur.com/ScPOe9n (Poses with Sombra - group shot 1)
imgur.com/boG4dyw (Poses with Sombra - group shot 2)
imgur.com/lnVeXxX (Cosplay Contest group shot)
imgur.com/3dROFud (Cosplay contest group shot - zoomed 1)
imgur.com/0AvJrIM (Cosplay contest group shot - zoomed 2) - see the girl cosplaying as Sunset Shimmer in the white dress to the right? She had guts, she asked Black Gryph0n to dance with her to during his and Michelle's concert at the Gala (at one of Michelle's solo-songs), and he agreed.
Later in the evening was the Gala Evening. First with one of the fandom's musicians playing the music, and later in the evening Black Gryph0n and Michelle did a concert with a lot more energy in it. Which was one of the most fun parts of the con. I love dancing. In fact, dancing to fast-beat music has about the same effect on me as alcohol has on most people, I become a lot more energetic and confident, and have a heck of a time . Heh, Black Gryph0n even remarked upon this as I was first to really kick it into gear on the dancefloor when he and Michelle started playing one of their fastest songs . I had such a great time there
[link] - Michelle & Black Gryphon - "Crusader" / "Are We there Yet" - (one of their songs, I am dancing just out of frame )
For the most part Sunday was more relaxed than Saturday. I had seen most of the convention the first day, and the second was also much shorter, stopping at 17:00 instead of going to midnight like Saturday. That does not mean there were no great moments though
The first panel of the day was a awesome and hilarious surprise: Daniel Ingram, Tabitha, Monique Creber, Michelle Creber, and Black Gryph0n did a voice-reading of a full-length fictional episode written by Tabitha, about Princess Luna having tooth problems while trying to teach the Mane Six a class about dreaming.
The roles were are follows:
Daniel Ingram - as Pinkie Pie (who was surprisingly good at imitating Pinkie)
Tabitha St. Germain - as Fluttershy, (and obviously) Rarity and Luna
Monique Creber - as Celestia, Applejack, others
Michelle Creber - as Twilight (unfortunately Applebloom was not in the episode, but she has a really good Twilight voice)
Black Gryph0n - as Rainbow Dash, Spike
I have no pictures from this, and I doubt you will find any videos, as we were asked specifically not to film or take photos.
After that hilarious fake-episode (some of the jokes of which I seriously hope gets into a proper episode) we had a proper panel and Q&A with Tabitha, Michelle and Black Gryphon, which was rather informative.
Later on the day was a panel with Jayson and Jocelan Thiessen. I learned quite a bit about the behind-the-scenes process, the relationship between Hasbro and DHX (the studio that produces MLP), as well as some tidbits about episode 100.
After spending some downtime, buying last minute pony-swag, and singing briefly pony-Karaoke (I got to sing lead in 'Apples to the Core'), then the convention was beginning to near its end, with only the auction and the Closing Ceremony remaining.
While I can't really call the charity auction a highlight (not really my thing) there were quite some moments of fun there. Such as things going to surprisingly high prices, having to restrain myself from participating as I did not have the money to do so, the crowd demanding the auctioneer (see Adagio Cosplay above) selling her hat as well (which actually went for 810 euros, bronies are insane ), and a group hug with the guest of honour being sold for several hundred euros even. By far the highlight of the auction was the bidding-battle for the guests-of-honour-signed mascot banner of the convention, between a guy cosplaying as the Joker, and a guy with a changeling plushie (a glorious villain fight) which just went higher and higher to heartfelt standing ovations from the crowd, and eventually going to the changeling for a startling 2.500 euros, as said Bronies are insane .
The convention ended with some heartfelt words from the staff and guests of honour (Michelle even finding it one of her favourite conventions yet, out of the 25+ she has been to). It was surprisingly sad to leave, there is nothing quite like leaving a convention. But that was okay, as not only was it great to have been there, but one of my personal best moments was still to come.
After the convention ended I returned to my hotel to wait in the foyer as there were still seven hours to my plane flew home. But just as I entered to wait I met Michelle Creber who were about to leave. I had a short talk with her and told her how wonderful it had been to have her there, beaming brightly she gave me a handshake and a hug before she left. Out all the guests, she was the one I liked best, so enthusiastic and fun-loving. I think I am going to like Applebloom even more from now on.
Less than an hour later, Tabitha St. Germain came over to where I and a few others were sitting. I gathered that she knew them, but before she left I told her as well how much of a pleasure it had been to see and hear her at the con, and to my surprise she too just gave me a hug. So, hugged by both Applebloom and Rarity, and outside of the con even was quite the delightful surprise.
Then I returned home and completed the lovely journey by ponifying my room with all my new posters.
I have only two small regrets about GalaCon (beyond it not being longer). The first was that I only discovered the karaoke so late on the second day, as that was great fun and I wanted to participate more. The second is not getting a plushie, the things I had most wanted to buy there but they were far too expensive . Oh well, I just know that to next time
All in all, it was an amazing experience, I can't recall when I have last had so much fun. And I am greatly looking forward to going again sometime