BronyCon

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BronyCon
BronyCon logo.png
Status Active
Genre Multi-genre
Venue Baltimore Convention Center
Location(s) Baltimore, MD
Country United States
Inaugurated June 2011
Attendance 8,400 in 2013
Filing status 501(c)(7) (under Lunar Solis Corp.)
Website
http://www.bronycon.org

BronyCon is an annual fan convention held on the east coast of the United States for fans of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, among them adult and teenage fans of the show, who call themselves bronies. Five events have occurred to date, with the most recent one in August 2013 drawing in over 8,400 attendees. This most recent event was held on August 2, 2013 to August 4, 2013[1] at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland, as well as the attached Hilton Baltimore Hotel. Unlike previous years, BronyCon had only one convention for 2013.[2] BronyCon 2014 will be held at the same location on August 1-3.

BronyCon was previously styled as BroNYCon, as its first three conventions were held in New York City. It dropped the 'NYC' capitalization for its fourth event, which was held in nearby Secaucus, NJ. The 2013 event was held in Baltimore, MD, making this the first time BronyCon has been held outside the New York City metropolitan area. A 501(c)(7) non-profit entity, Lunar Solis Corp., has since been created to operate the convention and manage its charity efforts. Upon news of BronyCon's departure from the NYC area, a number of retired BronyCon staffers (including its original creator) created a new, separate convention ("Big Apple Ponycon") to serve the NYC metro area. The two conventions are not related.

History[edit]

Bronies gather outside the Meadowlands Exposition Center on June 30, 2012 waiting for the convention to start.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic first aired on The Hub network in October 2010, as part of Hasbro's intent to promote the fledgling network and market its new line of My Little Pony toys.[3] Though a critical success with the target demographic of young girls and their parents,[4][5] it attracted an unexpected audience of teenage and adult fans, primarily male, originating from the 4chan imageboard. The fandom adopted the term "brony", a portmanteau of "bro" and "pony", and became a highly participatory culture representing New Sincerity, creating artwork, fan fiction, music, mashup videos, and other media.[6][7] The show's creators, including executive producers Lauren Faust, Jayson Thiessen, Christophe Toverski, the writers and voice actors, Hasbro and the Hub have sought to embrace the brony community, communicating openly with the community and placing subtle nods to the fandom within the show and licensed property.[6][8][9]

One facet of the older fan base was to create local meetups to socialize about the show and other elements.[7] BronyCon grew out of the local meetups in the New York metropolitan area; it was founded in 2011 by fan Jessica Blank ("Purple Tinker"), who views the brony movement as a "men's version of feminism".[10][11] The first BronyCon took place in Midtown Manhattan in June 2011 and drew 100 attendees. The second, held in September 2011, had been able to secure the show's current supervising director Jayson Thiessen as a guest, leading to an increase to 300 people attending the event.[7] The third convention, held in January 2012, included three of the voice actresses from the show, drawing at least 700 attendees and requiring the move to a large meeting center.[12]

The fourth BronyCon, held on June 30, 2012 and July 1, 2012, had early on been able to arrange for several of the voice actors and show writers to attend. The staff was able to arrange for Faust and actor John de Lancie, who voiced the villain Discord for two episodes, to be guests of honor. Upon this announcement, interest in the convention sharply increased.[11] The staff moved the location to the Meadowlands Exposition Center in New Jersey and expanded the event over two days, allowing the convention to hold more than 4,000 attendees, while live-streaming panels to an estimated 3,500 additional viewers.[11][13]

Andrew Benage, BronyCon's media liaison, estimated that BronyCon's 2013 event would attract between 6,000 and 8,000 attendees, including a larger proportion of international fans.[14] On November 10, 2012, it was announced on the BronyCon Facebook page that the BronyCon 2013 event would be held at the Baltimore Convention Center and the Hilton Baltimore Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland on August 2, 2013 to August 4, 2013.[15] The 2013 event drew 8,407 attendees and hosted panels of voice actors and writers from the show as well as the creators of the My Little Pony comic series.

The sixth annual BronyCon convention is scheduled for August 1-3, 2014, in the same location as the 2013 event.

Location and dates[edit]

Dates Location Attendees Notable guests
June 25, 2011 Midtown Manhattan 100[13] Cabal, founder of RainbowDash.net
September 24, 2011 Chinatown, Manhattan 300[7] Shaun "Sethisto" Scotellaro, Jayson Thiessen[7]
January 7, 2012 Hotel Pennsylvania,[16] New York City 850[17] Ashleigh Ball, Andrea Libman,[18] Nicole Oliver,[18] Daniel Ingram, My Little Pony: Fighting Is Magic development team,[19] Alex S., Shaun "Sethisto" Scotellaro, fan artists John Joseco, Pixelkitties, and Egophiliac.
June 30, 2012 – July 1, 2012 Meadowlands Exposition Center, Secaucus, New Jersey 4,000[13] Lauren Faust,[20] John de Lancie,[21] Tara Strong,[22] Amy Keating Rogers,[23] Peter New,[24] Nicole Oliver,[25] Andrea Libman,[26] Meghan McCarthy, Cathy Weseluck,[27] Lee Tockar[28]
August 2, 2013 – August 4, 2013 Baltimore Convention Center and Hilton Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland 8,400[29] Andy Price, Katie Cook, Heather Breckel, Nicole Oliver, Lee Tockar, Cathy Weseluck, Michelle Creber, Madeleine Peters, Amy Keating Rogers, M.A. Larson, Brenda Crichlow, G.M. Berrow[30]
August 1, 2014 – August 3, 2014 Baltimore Convention Center and Hilton Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland TBD Daniel Ingram, Kazumi Evans, Tabitha St. Germain, Andrea Libman, Heather Breckel, Tony Fleecs, Katie Cook, Andy Price, Terry Klassen, Rebecca Shoichet, Sabrina “Sibsy” Alberghetti, Josh Haber, Claire Corlett, Ian James Corlett, Peter New, G.M. Berrow, "Big" Jim Miller

Documentaries[edit]

John de Lancie, wearing a "Brony" shirt, addresses the attendees of the 2012 Summer BronyCon

BronyCon has attracted the attention of filmmakers as to document the brony phenomenon. One such documentary is Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony. Prior to the 4th BronyCon, documentary filmmaker Michael Brockhoff started a Kickstarter-funded project to create a documentary about the brony culture to be filmed at the convention, tentatively titled BronyCon: The Documentary.[31] He was joined by actor John de Lancie, who voiced the character of Discord from the first two episodes "The Return of Harmony" from the second season;[32] Faust had envisioned Discord based on de Lancie's earlier role as Q from Star Trek.[33] De Lancie had not initially considered the role to be significant, but after airing of the episode, discovered himself to be awash in enthusiastic fans of the show praising his performance. Since then, he had become fascinated by the brony culture, comparing it to the growth of fans from the original Star Trek series, and signed on to be an executive producer for this documentary.[34]

Brockhoff initially sought for $60,000 to create the documentary but this was quickly met. Brockhoff adjusted the goal part way through, looking to secure $200,000, which would allow him to film at the homes of fans of the show and elsewhere outside of the convention, and to bring aboard both Faust and Strong as co-executive producers along with de Lancie. This goal was also met well before the end of the pledge period, and so an additional target of $280,000 was set to allow the filmmakers to get additional coverage on two European conventions (GalaCon and B.U.C.K.) and perform more remote coverage of specific aspects of the brony culture.[31][35] The funding drive ended with more than $340,000 in pledges, making it the second-largest film-based project to be funded on Kickstarter.[36]

Brockhoff and his team have announced plans to rerelease the documentary with additional content after its release to Kickstarter backers in a film package, Bronies, that will be available for the public through retail and digital storefronts as well as for showings at film festivals, to be completed by 2013.[37] After an initial showing at Equestria LA in Los Angeles in early November 2012, the producers opted to change the title of the film to Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony, reflecting the larger scope of the project.[38]

A similar documentary film, A Brony Tale, is an upcoming Canadian-American production directed by Brent Hodge. Comparably to Bronies, this film will follow the brony phenomenon, as well as the journey of Ashleigh Ball, one of the show's voice actresses, during the third BronyCon event for which she was a special guest.[39]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "BronyCon 2013 Moves to Baltimore". Equestria Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  2. ^ "Addition to Bronycon Venue Announcement". Equestria Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-11. 
  3. ^ Stelter, Brian (2010-10-10). "A Children’s Channel Retools". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-10. 
  4. ^ Kern, Mark J. "Hub TV Network Scores Record High Audience With Outstanding Performance of Special Royal Wedding of the Year on 'My Little Pony Friendship is Magic'". Hasbro. Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  5. ^ Ashby, Emily (2011-01-30). "My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic - Television Review". Common Sense Media. Retrieved 2011-05-09. 
  6. ^ a b Watchcutter, Angela (2011-06-09). "My Little Pony Corrals Unlikely Fanboys Known as 'Bronies'". Wired. Retrieved 2011-06-09. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Vara, Vauhini; Zimmerman, Ann (2011-11-04). "Hey, Bro, That's My Little Pony! Guys' Interest Mounts in Girly TV Show". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 2011-12-01. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  8. ^ Griffiths, Daniel Nye (2011-08-15). "Colt Success". Wired UK. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  9. ^ Busis, Hillary (2012-04-13). "Saddle up: You're invited to a 'My Little Pony' royal wedding -- EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  10. ^ Wilson, Melody (2012-07-03). "Why do These Grown Men Love "My Little Pony?"". Slate. Retrieved 2012-07-03. 
  11. ^ a b c Wilson, Melody (2012-07-03). "Brony Love: Lauren Faust, Creator of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Live from Bronycon!". Bitch. Retrieved 2012-07-03. 
  12. ^ Tucker, Reed (2012-01-10). "Horsing around!". New York Post. Retrieved 2012-01-11. 
  13. ^ a b c Wennemer, Rob (2012-06-29). "Pittsburgh guys profess love for My Little Pony". Pittsburg Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2012-06-29. 
  14. ^ Wegner, Adam (2012-08-24). "Bronies: Why It's Totally Okay for a 20-Something Dude to Love 'My Little Pony'". Zimbio. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  15. ^ "BronyCon 2013 in Maryland". BroNYCon Facebook Page. Retrieved 2012-11-11. 
  16. ^ Mathias, Christopher (January 10, 2012). "BronyCon 2012: Bronies, Adult Male Fans Of 'My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic,' Gather In New York (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. 
  17. ^ "BroNYCon January 2012". Meetup. 2012-01-08. Retrieved 2012-06-28. 
  18. ^ a b Sethisto (2011-11-04). "Pinkie Pie and Celestia Heading to BroNYCon!". Equestria Daily. Retrieved 2011-09-23. 
  19. ^ Mane6 DevTeam (2011-11-08). "Mane6 at BroNYcon". Mane6. Retrieved 2011-09-23. 
  20. ^ "Lauren Faust Confirmed for the next Bronycon". Equestria Daily. 
  21. ^ "BronyCon Turned Upside Down, Starts Raining Chocolate". Equestria Daily. 
  22. ^ "Tara Strong on Twitter". 2012-05-27. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  23. ^ "BronyCon Announces Amy Keating Rogers". Equestria Daily. 
  24. ^ "Peter New's announcement on Facebook". 2012-04-17. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  25. ^ "Princess Celestia (Nicole Oliver) Invades Bronycon". Equestria Daily. 2012-05-03. Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  26. ^ "Andrea Libman Returning to Bronycon + Livestream". Equestria Daily. 2012-05-09. Retrieved 2012-05-09. 
  27. ^ "Cathy Weseluck on Twitter". 2012-06-27. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  28. ^ "Weekly Convention Updates!". Equestria Daily. 
  29. ^ "Bronycon 2013: the men who love My Little Pony". Channel 4. 2013-08-06. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  30. ^ "BronyCon 2013 Guests". BronyCon 2013 homepage. 
  31. ^ a b "BronyCon: The Documentary". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2012-05-21. 
  32. ^ Collins, Dave (2012-07-01). "Guys who like My Little Pony gather for 'BronyCon'". Associated Press. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  33. ^ Mathews, Anne (2012-05-24). "The 10 Nerdiest Easter Eggs in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic". Topless Robot. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  34. ^ Standefer, Lillian (2012-05-24). "DCC 2012: JOHN DE LANCIE TAKES YOU FROM STAR TREK TO MY LITTLE PONY". Scifi Mafia. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  35. ^ Jules (2012-05-30). "Kickstart BronyCon: The Documentary". Wired. Retrieved 2012-05-30. 
  36. ^ Connelly, Brendon (2012-06-12). "Bronies Make My Little Pony Convention Film The Second Most Funded in the History of Kickstarter". Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  37. ^ "Bronycon Documentary - Release Details". Equestria Daily. 2012-07-07. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  38. ^ Michael Brockhoff (2012-11-07). "BRONIES". Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  39. ^ Angela Watercutter (2013-08-21). "Our Enduring Fascination With Bronies Continues With Yet Another Documentary". Wired Magazine. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 

External links[edit]