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Lunafest report - 15th November 2014, Hamburg, Germany

Discussion in 'Event Feedback' started by Silver Broom, 18 November 2014.

  1. Silver Broom

    Silver Broom Tireless Traveller

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    Last weekend saw the 3rd annual Lunafest take place in Hamburg, Germany. I finally got the chance to attend this unique event, and I feel compelled to share with the UK community what the experience was like.
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    What is Lunafest, you may be asking?
    It's a huge meet-up / party / music event. Since its inception in 2012, it's been held in the "Rock n Roll Warehouse", a concert venue hired out for the weekend. I believe in previous years it was only an evening event, but this year it started from 12 noon.

    How it went
    The afternoon comprised an impressive array of vendors and their merchandise in the side rooms, with general socialising going on both there and in the main room. The merch was very impressive, including some excellent plushies, unfortunately I don't have many pictures (other than the one below, which was in the secondary vendor room which Zunt had all to himself).
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    Zunt's famous Smart car, a clue that I'm in the right place. How he gets the vast array of merchandise he always has for sale in there I do not know.
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    And here is but a tiny selection of said merchandise. He also had official Japanese pony plushies, badges, vinyl figurines, and much more.


    The main room had a bar, staffed by brony volunteers. All the food and drink was included in entry (alcohol only served after 17:00), apart from the custom cocktails which were modestly priced (2-3 €).

    The afternoon featured tournaments for the Collectible Card Game, and Fighting is Magic: Tribute Edition, after an opportunity to practise/learn. The CCG tournament was hosted by Rayliath. Any of you who were at GalaCon this year might recall his very large selection of cards for sale at his vendor table. I lost heavily in the 1st round (of 16-player KO) to the eventual runner-up (though I was very unfortunate, but that's another story).
    The final of the CCG, and the semis and final of Fighting is Magic, were projected onto the stage screen with live commentary.
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    The live CCG final.
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    Later in the evening, after the stage screen was used for an hour or so as a cinema for popular fan videos, the musical event began, with performances by JayB and The Dark Cloud, among others. The vending areas were replaced with a quieter chill-out room, and a large games room, featuring My Little Karaoke, Fighting is Magic, and some dancing game (Stepmania?) with MLP custom pack, and real, solid, arcade dance panels.
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    There were two of these big plush Luna heads providing lighting by the stage, mirror images of each other. The manes are foam in the inside.
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    This desk is huge!
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    The ponified arcade dance game.
    The party went on until 04:00. I felt I had to call it a night at around 02:30, as I felt I needed some sleep after an early start to the day. There were around 50-70 people still left at this time though. Helpfully, the Hamburg S-Bahn (metro) runs every 20 minutes throughout the night at weekends, and my hostel was on a direct line (and a very good hostel actually, one of the best I've ever stayed in).

    Conclusion
    Lunafest really is an event like no other, although the nearest comparison would be to say it combines elements similar to the London episode meets, and the Super Winter Brony Party. I will definitely try to go again next year. While one could incorporate this into a long-weekend break, I only decided two weeks ago I was going to this and didn't have any time off work. But, I could fly out early Saturday morning, fly back Sunday afternoon, direct to/from Hamburg, which has direct connections with plenty of UK airports (a nice change from GalaCon/Stuttgart where I have always had to travel from Scotland to London first).

    Lunafest has historically been known mostly by the German fandom (and discussed mainly on bronies.de), but it is open to all, and as of this year they have also had their own website and forum, with all the information there in English as well as German. The guide book was also in English, although the main functional language was German (e.g. for PA announcements, except for the important stuff such as legal/safety rules). I was expecting to have been the furthest travelled, but oh no! One visitor had come all the way from Israel, no less, and was using Lunafest as an opportunity to have a 5-day visit in Germany!

    Lunafest is huge, and was at capacity again with nearly 250 people. It could have been even more though, and this year they were looking at hiring a much larger venue (which could fit up to 1000), promoting it more internationally, and having guests over (who had been confirmed) such as Acoustic Brony (from UK) and DJ Tetsuo (from USA). Unfortunately, not enough advance sales were made for the organisers to be comfortable of meeting their costs. Thus, they had to revert to their original venue (the one also used the previous two years), which also meant delaying the event by a few weeks. To be fair, I feel they did not promote themselves widely enough, although I think they did have a post on Equestria Daily at one point, and they were handing out flyers at GalaCon. Perhaps this is because they didn't want to make big promises to those having to travel a long distance until they were sure of enough support, but this is a bit of a chicken-and-egg scenario. So that plans do not have to be cancelled again, their intention is to fund a larger-scale event by a crowdfunding site, and if that is not successful, it will remain at the tried-and-tested venue which has still worked well these past three years.

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    My souvenirs from Lunafest. T-shirt (very nicely printed), guide books and entry wristband.​
     
    #1 Silver Broom, 18 November 2014
    Last edited: 18 November 2014
  2. Stargazer

    Stargazer In love with a witch and proud bf to Tak

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    It looks like you had a great time, it's one I will definitely be considering for next year.

    Letting your country down :p
     
  3. Silver Broom

    Silver Broom Tireless Traveller

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    3-15 loss as well (I don't think I've ever lost worse than 9-15 before)
    My opponent (Akitos) drew and played Nightmare Moon on the opening turn, which really screwed me over as it stopped me boosting my Mane (Premiere Rarity) and I had to redraw a hand of three cards I was unable to play (all had a minimum 2- or 3-white requirement). If I had won the toss and had first turn, I would at least have been able to boost in time, but such is life.
     
  4. Stargazer

    Stargazer In love with a witch and proud bf to Tak

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    Yeah a turn 1 NMM does tend to wreck most plans.
     
  5. Boring Ugly Pink Earth Pony

    Boring Ugly Pink Earth Pony The Laughing Mare

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    Is this my cue to look guilty? :p
     
    Stargazer and Silver Broom like this.

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