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Polcon 2015

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The first impression after arriving to Polcon on Thursday: silence and emptiness. Seriously. Perhaps this is the effect of comparison after a few years of attending Pyrkon, but the impression remains. Nevertheless, you have to give a chance to the XXX edition of Polcon festival, which took place on 20-23 of August 2015 in Poznan at the Poznan University of Technology campus.
Thursday, the first day of the festival, passed in an atmosphere of the very easy picnic. Beautiful weather strongly encouraged rather to sit in front of the entrance to the Lecture Centre or on the amphitheater at the back than in the classroom. Queues for accreditation was virtually non-existent, crowds were hard to come by. Despite this, lectures and meetings were held according to the plan and enjoyed some pretty big attendance. Game rooms, at first quite empty, filled with gamers as the day went by.
One downside concerning exhibitors: not all arrived on the first day.

Friday began as lazily as the previous day was whole. At the very beginning I was unlucky to choose a lecture which did not take place, however, it was the end of unpleasant surprises that day. Polcon woke up to life slowly but surely, and already around noon quite a large crowd of participants was walking around the Lecture Centre and its surroundings. The corridors were filled with people waiting for the lectures, searching through exhibitors' stalls or showing off their cosplay outfits. However, the increasing number of participants still did not create queues for tickets, which didn't ceased to amaze me until the very end of the festival. The only lines formed while waiting for autographs from two of the most popular guest of the day: Andrzej Sapkowski and Joe Abercrombie. One couldn't, of course, omit the popular and very nice meeting with the guest of honor, Wojciech Siudmak. It also attracted interest as great as the meeting with the aforementioned Brit.
One could clearly notice that far more popular, as it usually happens, were program points in the field of science and eastern culture. To be able to listen to some of these lectures participants also took places on the stairs or floor.
The day ended with an amazing fire show. And here we had a very nice surprise: it was not the usual, though impressive, show of waving fans or swords, but a consistent play with a clear storyline. A big round of applause for Spin me!

Saturday started out more lively than previous days, obviously, the most important day of each festival. The crowd became denser and more participants in costumes arrived, which definitely made the corridors of Lecture Centre and its surroundings way more colorful. There was no end to parades and photo sessions of cosplayers.
Much higher attendance meant that, on some of the most popular lectures, it was hard to get in without keeping place by the entrance. And so, the audience at the meeting with Andrzej Sapkowski filled the hall to the brim, occupying every inch of available space, even the floor and stairs. A similar interest, as usual, was granted to scientific and pop culture lectures: the rooms where they were held also lacked space.
Another very popular and one of the most important points on the agenda was the cosplay show, which drew most of Polcon participants to the hall. Long before the show, those interested in the event filled the corridors near the auditorium, waiting for admittance to inside. Quite a delay of the attraction (partly due to the extension of the preceding meeting with Andrzej Sapkowski) was still not its only weak point. Unfortunately, I must emphasize here another big drawback of the event: organizers did not foresee how popular it'd be. During the show the auditorium remained divided into three parts (cut from it were rooms for film and comic lectures) and unfortunately, to the great displeasure of participants, did not accommodate many of those interested. Nevertheless, the show itself was very interesting, albeit short. It's impossible not to mention the winner of the competition, Amidala, dressed in a costume made entirely on her own, mindful to all the smallest details. Congratulations!
Saturday's attractions were culminated with highly anticipated gala of Janusz A. Zajdel Prize, to which many invited guests came, both writers as well as artists and representatives of cultural associations. Most official part of Polcon provided a lot of excitement, especially for the rewarded writers.

Sunday awoke to life as idly as the first two days of the festival. Participants were still numerous, though not as much as on the previous day, and filled the lecture halls, sometimes to the brim. Convention attendees were doing their last shopping at the stalls and enjoyed the beautiful weather outside the Lecture Centre. Gamers still spent their time in the game rooms and didn't leave until the last minutes of the Convention.
Contrary to the worries, lectures on the last day were held as planned and, I must admit, they were probably the best ones which I managed to check. Including, most probably, the last lecture of Polcon, which, for that very reason, was prolonged by almost 30 minutes. All participants who have stayed till the end looked very pleased with this fact.

Summing up, jubilee XXX edition of Polcon should be considered as the most successful. A brilliant example of a smaller format event than Pyrkon, at least, in terms of size. However, the class and the popularity of invited guests proved that size is not always that important. The scale of Polcon allowed the lecture rooms to be almost always perfectly matched to the popularity of lectures and, most importantly, never really empty. Also, in terms of content, lectures were at a very high level. That is why it was absolutely worth coming to the festival and spend a really pleasant August weekend.

See you again next year, in Wrocław!
Translator: kantellis
Add date: 2015-09-15 / Live reports

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