Sunday, 26 July 2015

Närcon July 24-25 2015

So it's time to summarize my first experience with Närcon. Närcon is usually said to be the biggest cosplay event in Sweden. It takes place for four days in the summer at the University campus in Linköping. I first heard about it last year and thought that it sounded interesting. I got a reason to go when the Nordic Legions were asked to provide Star Wars characters for the background of the Nordic Cosplay Champiomships. Now I saw this as a fun chance to try out some of the more pure fun parts of cosplay, and that's why I decided to make a My Little Pony cosplay.

I arrived in Linköpimg on Thursday. The train ride was pretty funny. That was my first day of summer holiday so I was dead tired and fell asleep on the train. When I woke up 2 hours later the whole train felt like itbhad filled up with hairstyles in all imagineable colours and a lot of bulky bags. Anyway I didn't go to the con that evening, but just went to have some food with legion members in Linköping.

On Friday the weather was lovely and I decided to go to the con in my best cute Star Wars outfit.
To be honest not even the other legion members saw that I was wearing a SW t-shirt, but people still stopped me for some photos. I did feel like I fitted in with all the Lolitas and J-fashionistas that were there.

I realised that NärCon seems to be a lot about just showing off by walking the 1 km between the two buildings were things were taking place. Since I have no clue about games/manga/anime I hardly recognized any costume, but it was still inspirimg to see them all. I missed taking pictures of an almost perfect Viserys from Game of Thrones though.

Most of Friday was spent finding the room where we were going to get changed and waiting for our rehearsals. We had a very small part where we just came in with the prizes at the end.

I really recommend watching the whole Nordic Cosplay Championships, it was broadcast live on Swedish television and is available on SVT play. Both the opening act and the interval act are really impressive. I'm planning to watch it all when I come home, of course being backstage means that I hardly saw anything.

Here is the gang from the NCC. Members of the Nordic Garrison, Nordic Base, a Nordic Youngling (Sabine), Swedish R2-builders and a group of singers and dancers.

The competition didn't end until 1 am, so I was pretty tired on Saturday. I still went to the con at around 12, and herebI discovered a big difference from the cons I've been to earlier. At Celebrations for example there are things going on from the opening. At NärCon people werw still asleep at 12. To me Närcon felt more like a music festivaö than a con, and there is programming all through the night. People are sleeping in tents and it's really quite like a big Youth Camp. I definitely felt like one of the older people there.

Anyway at 13 my friends Anna and Henrik, Pilerud's cosplay and ArtyAnna's cosplay, had a talk about cosplay as more than just a narrow definition, so I went there. They also announced an exciting cosplay initiative, but I'm going to post about that later. Then it was time for the Brony meetup, and the reason why I had gone as Rarity. The meetupneas mostly people standing in a room singing MLP karaoke and taking pictures.

There was me and another Rarity. I had hurt my knee getting off stage the night before so I had to wear my sneakers instead of the cute high heeled shoes I had planned. I had also forgotten Opal, Rarity's pet cat, but otherwise I was happy with my outfit.

Some other ponies that were there.

Then it started to rain, a lot. Even if I wasn't in SW costumr I still hooked up with the troopers. They definitely needed assistance to get a non-waterproof Boba Fett and a cold Slave Leia from one building to the next.

Of course some fun photo opportunities also happened, like when Rarity decided to decorate one of the trooper's blaster.

I thought it looked gorgeous, but claimed that it wasn't according to imperial rules or something.

When it started to rain the con also started to feel even more like a festival. Everybody huddled into the  two buildings, and it got quite trashy. I guess that's a really big difference from a con that is run by professional staff and one that very much relies on teenage volunteers. By now all my fellow troopers started to drift away. I stayed for a fashion shoe with Japanese street fashion and then I went back to the hotel.

So is this a con I'm going to get back to? To be honest I don't know. It's always fun going to events, and this very much felt line a cosplay/nerd culture sanctuary. At the same time it's definitely targetednto a younger audience and an audience with other fandoms than me. It's quite a long journey for me to get there and it will probably depend on my mood if I think ot's worth it or not.

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