Aug 27 2006
Discworld Convention 2006 - Report
It's been a while since I've felt compelled to write a convention report so you have to realise that I *really did* enjoy myself! This year I made a gamble to attend Discworld and genuinally had a brilliant time. This is copy/pasted from my livejournal:
(Edited by Samphirette 30/08/2006 00:40)
Made it back from the Discworld convention on Monday night. It’s a shame I didn’t have the energy in my fingers to enthusiastically convey how much fun I’d had as soon as I returned, but I was tired from only managing about 14 hours tops of sleep in 3 nights
I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’ve never seen such a varied amount of events set up in one location. Juggling workshops, Belly Dancing, Face Painting, Paper Aeroplane displays, Music jamming sessions, Balloon Games (oh wait … that wasn’t on the event programme! ) oh and some interviews and things to do with something called Discworld and Terry Pratchett.
As they say on office notices "you don’t have to be mad to work here, but it helps", the same could be equally related to a www.dwcon.org event. "You don’t have to have read Discworld, but it helps"
I knew *of* Discworld obviously and the magic and creativity, but I had never taken the opportunity to read any books and felt terribly ashamed considering the amount of years the books have been out for. I’d still hedge bets that I was probably the only living and sane person at the convention that had never flicked through a book, even to read a chapter or two. I didn’t feel like I had to bluff it, I genuinely enjoyed hearing the guests, meeting the fans, and interacting throughout the convention from a neutral point of view. I felt very comfortable after volunteering for gophering to be placed on one of the desks Friday evening on my arrival, meeting and helping people is something I really enjoy. Could have happily done that for a few days in a row.
The opening ceremony outshone any convention I’d attended before. Listening to the charm of the campaign speeches from each guest after being chosen as Guild Heads. At that point, if I was going to participate I would have been an Alchemist (blow things up you say?), or an Assassin (Stephen Briggs had me at “we dress in black, kill people, and look cool”) or a Seamstress (womanly charms and battered eyelashes all required)
There were 9 guilds that attendees could join to participate in the devious scheming during the weekend to procure tokens from other guilds in full competitive streaks of chaos and hilarity.
Armed with my “no guild” badge, something I doubt I’ll be using next time. I watched as the Seamstresses issued licenses for cleavage to the women (and sometimes men!), also licenses to people for wanting to ogle said cleavage. The Assassins were found fining people dressed in black for impersonating them. When people were killed, the Priests were swiftly roped in selling resurrection. The Fools Guild and also the Musician Guild put on some wonderful entertainment. I can’t fault the sexiness of poi when it’s in full flow (I'm really keen to learn now!), nor listening to the lovely acoustic sounds. I even saw the Lawyers Guild out in force, waving contracts and clauses of indency at people.
It was therefore a complete mystery to quite a few of us as to how the Conjurers managed to win !
There were many events connected directly to the guests, characters or books. I attended the Stephen Briggs Interview and also the Trial of Vetinari was pure class even for a novice, I never laughed so much! We also went and watched the Reduced Discworld play – two hours of pure joy. Largely went to watch GentleBen (dubbed so because we happened to know two Bens that weekend) who had a mane of ginger hair and a natural energy and charisma that would put the world to shame, with eyes as wide as a kiddie in a sweet shop.
There were main events each night, followed by those who dared to stay awake and socialize for as long as their tired bodies would allow them. Apparently there was heavy drinking involved but everyone was civil and you couldn’t tell. My bottle of wine is now back in my car untouched (yeah I’m a slacker) and I only mustered 37cl of vodka and 2 Smirnoff Ices all weekend. Not for the want of being sober, but purely that I don’t really drink and certainly I was hyperactive enough on fun and chocolate.
Friday night was Bedtime Stories, an insightful delve with Terry Pratchett reading extracts from his latest books, including one that was in the process of being written. Saturday night Maskerade entries took to the stage with detailed costumes (including Richard's hotel sheet … which Taz tried to get her hand up later) and all routines were a delight to watch. Sunday evening a majority had kitted themselves in fancy tuxs and smart wear for the Gala Dinner. The food smelt good for us paupers wandering about outside. Monday evening for those who didn’t have to dash to work or couldn’t afford yet another hotel night, was the Dead Monkey’s Party.
For sheer entertainment value, Sunday night was brilliant coming across the wonderful string quartet in the reception area. I was back and forth talking to different people and found myself back in the bar at 3am and stayed there watching and joining in the massages and general frivolity. Then the balloon games started ….. and then I felt the need to ring-lead the games …. One or two balloons was clearly NOT enough. I retrieved every balloon in the room and launched all nine of them in the air in the center of the circle of chairs to see who was more nimble and sober enough to hit them. It was so much fun that a few of us said we should campaign to get it added to the event programme with either a timing or points system for teams to keep their balloons in …. Yeah I know ….sad but fun ….. I was sober remember )
I definitely recommend 2008. I'll be diving straight in ... gopher duties and all. Really should have got my timesheet signed more regularly, I never did earn that badge!
I went knowing 3 people (ok 2.5 technically) and ended up being chased down the hallways for hugs when trying to leave. Even then I was disappointed to be leaving on the Monday after the closing ceremony knowing there was more entertainment that evening (but I bypassed a hint or two on roomspace!)
Everyone I met was so wonderful. I spent a lot of time with Taz, Heather, Ben and Richard. Others I remember meeting often were: GentleBen, Brian, Tony, Chris, Iain, Mandy, Andy, Butcher, Sally, Ruthie, Natalie, Jeremy, Snow, Gid, Adrian, A lady in a pink tutu (names escape me but faces don’t!), A Feegle (who’s real name escapes me but you knew when he pulled a girl as her face was blue!) and many more who you would pass and stop and chat to when you re-found them in corridors of the hotel. I've already had one email though, so that's a new friend in the making
So many memories and fun and I never even took my camera
(Edited by Samphirette 30/08/2006 00:40)
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