Posted by jukkahoo
No, not really. No swimming GoH's, at least yet. If on the other hand Åcon-superhero and thoroughly Fucking Brilliant Hal Duncan isn't going to be allowed into an airplane in the future, he says that "he'll be back to Scandinavia somewhere and somewhen" even if he has to swim in order to do so.
But what an amazing convention! Good people, great friends (old and new), great performances, excellent Guests (even if the Book-one suffered from unprofessional organising, sorry about that) and allround FUCKING BRILLIANT atmosphere! Youse guys råck.
This has been a long, really loooong dream-come-true and wouldn't have happened without the work of so many people, that it feels somehow a bit unfair to point out only few names, but the THANKS go to all deserving. Åcon was originally a brainfart of Ben and myself, largely made closer to reality by Tero and finally turned into reality by Eemeli, whose work and enthusiasm was the Real Deal behind it all. If only you
hadn't had the need to stick your penis into places which would spell L-u-m-i and P-a-p-u in nine months could've been there!
"Jaast kidding!", of course. All the best for the kids and especially Saija. We seriously want to have you four there the next time (if there is a next time... and why not?).
This wouldn't have been the same without our glorious Guest Hal Duncan, who selflessly sacrificed his (and mine and Sari's) night sleep, in order to party with the Nordic fandom all thru the night. BTW, Hal: I don't think I heard all of the musical/opera at 5AM, so if you could possibly send me a recording that'd be effing brilliant; you see, I have these neighbours...
Huge round of applause from these here hands go also to those fen who always answered positively when asked to participate to the programming. I don't think that anybody said "no" to me. Fancy if that would happen with Finncon...?
And what about our location? Adlon was not only accomodating, they were VERY accomodating, not to mention embarassingly polite and hard at hearing. I could think of several establishments where such ruckus as ours would've been followed by stern lecturing about silence during the night and likely ending of customer/seller partnership. "AND STAY OUT!"
So yeah, Candy. It was truly fucking brilliant and well worth every single moment of sleeplesness and blood, sweat and tears, and other pop groups. I'd do it again.
And I think we will too. Stay tuned for Åcon 2.
Some personal observations, almost in order
After all of the preparations, my con really started, when we (that's Sari and I) managed to find our way to Pasila station and met Hal, Mekku and Eemeli half an hour before our Wednesday train trip to Turku. Hal seemed likeable, Mekku enthusiastic and Eemeli slightly bleary-eyed and tired. Must've been the spring and all that pollen, methinks.
We talked two hours on the train, followed by couple more at Ben's place, where Tero was also driving us, possibly showing off his shiny car. It seemed like Hal was this very nice, somewhat tired Scott, who drank tea and ate hot cheese sandwiches. Little did we know.
The following morning rose far too early, but we managed to find ourselves to Ölcon, the un-Official precon of Åcon. Gadzoiks! Tax-free bheer and Finns. What could possibly happen? Well, you figure that out yourself, my Dear Reader.
Adlon was really just a stone-throw away from terminal, "unfortunately" the terminal in question was Birka Line terminal and not the main Silja/Viking-one. Though to be fair, I guess there are several people in this world who could've thrown the stone from the Silja coming from Stockholm and hit our hotel. It was only a three-minute walk from the ferry terminal after all.
After the check-in, most of my memories are a bit blurred. I do remember traveling back to Helsinki via Turku with Aleksi the Amazing Underwear-Guy! There was lots of programming, but I think that's mostly due to the fact that I actually partcipated in far too many of them. Let's see... Ghaps, I was on nine program items. No wonder I thought there was a bit too much programming. If I could've somehow managed to keep myself away, say about half of those, I might have mustered energy to join the room parties and power drinking. Must remember this next time. I think Eemeli can do nine items then.
Actually, I enjoyed all of the programs I saw and participated in. I had treaded some items beforehand (mainly quizzes) but overall I thought they went well'ish. Some I hadn't planned beforehand at all. Like Alternative Histories or Guilty Pleasures (that's two program items), which I think were both wonderfully entertaining, even if not ambitiously inventive.
And I agree with many, that the panel on Book Collecting was waaa-ay funnier and interesting that the title says. One of the best panels I've been in. It is a fascinating subject (at least for me and I dare to say, to all panellists, maybe even Sari... then again, maybe not) which gives ample opportunities to just be funny ha-ha as well as thoughtful.
Adlon was, as said, very accomodating and just the right size for this kind of con. Åcon could be slightly larger, but not that much. 80 to 100 would be just right, the latter in order to fill up the whole of hotel and thus giving us the free reins to do there whatever We want and not worry about other customers. Which we actually didn't, really. There were few saucer-eyed people, who had no idea where they had landed and why, but in reality we saw very little of other hotel customers. There was that group of about hundred little kids who came to eat at the restaurant, though, but other than that, it was mainly just us.
And the conference-room was OK, too. Could've been bigger, but not that much (maybe then, if we'd be more than hundred in all). The biggest flaw was the AC, which made the place somewhat discomforting after 30-40 minutes. I think we almost lost people during Hal's GoH speech, which lasted for hours (OK - or as we say in Åcon, "ÅC!" - hour and a half). This is something we have to think about in the future. Next time we might think of using more technology. Somehow it was sweet to see in the Pixellated Techno Peasantry -panel, how the panellists were all aching to tap the all powerful innernets and show its sekrets. And all they had was a whiteboard and some third-rate felt pens. Try to be techno-savvy with that equipment!
I personally think that there was about the right amount of programming. Proper free "morning", few hours of programming followed by a decent break and then a number of serious and less serious items, all well and truly doused with bheer. Now this is what I call a con: good-humoured participation, loose timetables (which still follow some kind of order and schedule), beer/drinks readily available and possible to take to your con-room, relaxed atmosphere and a mix of fun and games with thought-provoking ideas. A meeting of friends and fellow enthusiastics. Fan-stuff. Fandom. Cheers!
So, yes, I think that I'd like to organise another Åcon. With some brilliant GoH and all you wonderful people. You are The Best!
I am a little worried about You swearing so much. Has Åcon Fucked up your brain or is it just the Beer? :D
Nice to see that everything worked well.
Posted by: Kenneth | May 23, 2007 at 09:18
Yes, well. That's totally and completely the "fault" of Hal (that's Hal-him, not me, as in Hal-me...), since he has repeatedly called Åcon "Fucking Brilliant!" and who am I to say anything more or less than our illustrious Guest of Honour? :)
Then again, it could also be the bheer.
Posted by: jukkahoo | May 23, 2007 at 09:32
And a great HUGE humongous thanks to you Mr Halme, after all you carried the biggest load of Åcon with the planning of the programme and being the master of ceremonies and whatnot. So THANK YOU!
Posted by: Ben | May 23, 2007 at 12:27
Yes! Åcon was fuckin' Åwesome! A huuuuuge thank you to JukkaHoo (and Ben & Tero & Eemeli) for organizing the best and most relaxing weekend in ages! Fandom at its very best (and noisiest). Next year again, hopefully?
Posted by: Kisu | May 23, 2007 at 12:56
He is lying about not getting the sleep, though. Because I am smart that way, and think room parties until wee hours of morning are a) fun b) integral part of hotel-cons, I brought ear-plugs. It really, honestly made me smile to wake up around 8 a.m., take out the plugs and hear Infernokrushing opera being sung next door. Go fandom!
And yes, I except a small incident of my husband acting like an idiot, I had a good time: The bar had Newkie brown, programming did not suck, Al was fucking awsome GoH, and it was great to see other nordic fans again. Also, I knitted a cute hat.
Posted by: Sari | May 23, 2007 at 14:30
"in order to fill up the whole of hotel and thus giving us the free reins to do there whatever We want and not worry about other customers. Which we actually didn't, really."
Actually, we did. What you heard from Hal's room was, most of the time, us trying not to be too loud.
Posted by: Johan | May 23, 2007 at 15:10
And, yes, it was a really good con. Cheers to all the organizers, Hal, and everyone else. I had a great time.
Posted by: Johan | May 23, 2007 at 15:13