Post-Convention Report: Griffish Isles 2021/2 - Part 2

Part 2: Sunday Events (21st November 2021) 

£3381 raised for Only Foals and Horses

Note: For more convention reports, you can read them here, or use the search label 'convention'. 

The second day of events at Griffish Isles were a more relaxed affair, with the morning free of any main hall events after the long day we'd all had yesterday. As you might be able to see from the schedules after the jump, there were less games, and the room was devoted to just the Official CCG Card game and tutorials (plus other random activities). It would've been nice to have the games balanced as per the previous day, but here was more time to play the games in the morning as a breather before the afternoon.

Thoughts on Timetable and Events

The art events were a gentler affair than the previous day, which were more focussed on tutorials, such as making plushies, StormBlaze's art storm challenge, Chaosmauser's tutorial for drawing ponies in Hideo Kojima's style, and the Bad OC Contest. Today, all those were replaced with a more relaxed art competition and doodling for the rest of the day. I would've preferred that an event or two from Saturday was moved here to pad things out, and give people more chance to see the main events (such as with the VIPs).

However, the more niche events of the day (the Furries panel and the singalong) would suffer in terms of attendance. Nevertheless, the morning was free for karaoke and vendors, which is a bonus for those of us hungover and needing a break. And makes a nice change – usually drinks and karaoke come at the same time for me. I like to give people a laugh!


Thoughts on Venue

As you can see, the venue this year is quite different to previous years. Problems are evident immediately: firstly, the creative room and foal's room (kids' activities) are in the back and a little hard to find; secondly, the bar and toilets are at the back, which created congestion on the Saturday night during the concert and/or plushie stack. What didn't help was that on that day – of all days! – some of the staff had just started! Perhaps booking for another weekend when there wasn't another event on at the same time, taking place in the pink room on the map.

However, the reception is very helpful, the bar is good, and the mane theatre was right where you needed it to be (although a bit cramped for stand up events like sing alongs due to the very short legroom – it's a lecture hall). I prefer the older venue, but this venue makes full use of its space. Its name, The Pendulum, comes from the Focault Pendulum swinging in the main lobby (a special pendulum meant to demonstrate the Earth's rotation).

Accommodation here is four stars on Trip Advisor, rooms can be from £60 - £100 a night, and if you can't afford that, there are plenty of other places within ten minutes' walk that offer reasonable lodgings. They are also close to Oxford and Piccadilly stations as well. However, safety is a must. Manchester is generally safe, but don't draw too much attention to yourself if you go out on the Friday night for a few pre drinks. Generally people will ignore you but keep away from crowds of noisy buggers if you feel you ought to, especially in costume.

Oh, and avoid the Britannia Hotel at all costs – I know someone staying there, who had their radiator stuck on full blast for two days, and all they did was send him up a fan. There are always queues at check in of about twenty people. It's noisy too.

Trains from other parts of the UK can set you back from £30 – 90 because National Rail are obscene. Trains from France or Germany are about £150 – 250. Flights from Europe cost about £200 – 300, from America cost about £600 – 800, so get a good few days here.

One of the bids from the convention.


12:00 – Musicians' Q & A Panel

The first main panel of the day, the musicians from last night did the usual thing and fielded all sorts of questions. Some of which were skewed quite heavily towards the pandemic and how they coped. They discussed the songs they were most proud of – Don't Hold Me Back for BlackenedBlue and Solidarity for Prince W, for example. Prince W revealed that he prefers smaller conventions because they have a more intimate atmosphere and he feels that as an artist he can gauge the crowd's reaction more accurately.

There were plenty of other questions asked, and you can see the video soon on our Youtube channel at Horse News TV.

CrackingLazer, PrinceWhateverer, Theolney, BlackenedBlue and BassPon3 bring the banter. CL, Theolney are part of Coltastrophe, BB collaborates.

13:00 – Furries and Bronies Panel with Reskell

This was an interesting panel, with a failry decent attendance for something with niche value. Reskell, a veteran of both fandoms, joined the furries in 2009 and the bronies in 2012. There was a comprehensive run down of what furries are – which was covering old ground to some extent as most of us know what it is – no matter how much we want to admit it. But nevertheless a necessary part of this. There was a lot of talk on the overlap, and some interesting facts, such as the younger fans taking an interest in raptor and skull suits for various reasons of identity. There are more fursuiters than you might think – 25% of all furries at best estimates. And Midwest Furfest has beaten out Anthrocon for the largest attendance.

I asked them why it was that many fans felt that the brony scene would die off after the central media finished, when two years later it has not, and furries are able to keep going. Having never been asked that question before, they felt it was because many horse conventions have a large number of furries as staff. They have an ability to keep things rolling in spite of no central media, just fan content.

So don't dunk on furries just for being furries.

You are, after all, going to furry conventions.

14:00 – Scriptreading With Guest Ian Handlin

Ah, yes, Ian Hanlin, the voice actor for Sunburst in G4 My Little Pony. He called us again at a similar time, very early in the morning, but no less bright eyed and bushy-tailed to lead us on an interactive script reading.

We were split into groups as he picked parts for us to recite lines from the episode Parent Map (Season 8, Episode 8) and veteran host HypnoHooves chose sections for each group to go through, on by one. It was very, very fun, and interactive VIP events such as this usually are. They are a main draw, with about a hundred people turning up to this one, and as a veteran of cons globally I can highly recommend them. If Ian Hanlin's there, get in, because his variety and expressiveness make them highly enjoyable. There was a lot of improvization from the audience, which added to it.

Oh, and the entire audience got to do the sound effects.



15:00 – Singalong


15:30 – Closing Ceremonies and Awards

Sadly, all things have to come to a close. The convention had to end eventually, and we were given a series of short but sweet announcements. The charity auction managed to raise £3310 for the local charity, Only Foals and Horses, and with an attendance of about 220 was their biggest convention yet! Given that the convention in November was very close to the nascent Ponycon Holland in October, the audience were more happy with the convention being moved back to May. This gives them only a seven month window to make it happen for May 7th and 8th 2022, and hopefully they can do it! The convention is confirmed for the same venue as before.

It was a very fun event, and more than worth the trip – we'll bring you more on that as we hear it.

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