Hello all lovely people!
I'm back home from Närcon and I'll try to write this con summary quick out of the way so yeah, sorry if it's all over the place because I do have a con hangover, hehe... ^^"
Okay, so Närcon was held on 28-31 July in Linköping, Sweden. As per usual the con was held in Campus Valla and Närcon had most of the university buildings, as well as the outdoor area, in their use. You might remember from my visit to last year's Närcon that they had rigged up a fence around the whole con area that bothered a lot of congoers (even though it was erected to prevent unwanted visitors from coming in and harassing the con attendants) but yeah, the fence was still there this year but I barely took notice of it; it didn't hinder me in any way and I might be wrong but I felt like Närcon maybe didn't fence off "their competitors" (Pressbyrån, McDonald's etc) this year, although I'm not sure since I didn't visit any of those myself.
Oh well, more about that later, now let's get to the summary!
This time our Närcon company consisted of me, Sacchan, Karri and Vicktor. A few days before departure Sacchan's car got some sudden issues and didn't start regularly and yeah, we didn't want to gamble and so we ended up hiring a rental car from Hertz
student discount wohoo! Me, Sacchan and Karri ate at Max before leaving for Umeå on Tuesday afternoon. We drove with Sacchan's car to Umeå and then changed to the rental car for the rest of the trip.
We arrived at Vicktor's later than intended but everything went well and we slept there so that we were fresh and ready to leave for Linköping on Wednesday morning. On the morning Sacchan and Vicktor went to pick up the car from Hertz meanwhile me and Karri stayed at Vicktor's and chilled because yeah, neither of us two have a driving license yet.
Once we had the rental car in our use, waiting outside the apartment, we stuffed all our con stuff into the trunk and thank god we picked the slightly more expensive option with more luggage space because it really came in handy. We needed all of it.
And here I thought we didn't have that much luggage, lol.
|We drove in GOD, eff yeah!|
The driving down to Linköping went smoothly, there was no issues except that we accidentally drove past Linköping (aka the point where we had to turn to get there) and had to take a slight detour. We ate at Max in Hudiksvall and boy was there a lot of people there!
|Obligatory driving picture. Notice the high af bridge.|
|Närcon's con band 2016 and the green camping ticket.|
I heard afterwards online from a person working at Närcon that there were fabric camping tickets available, just that Närcon's information crapped (as always) which means that a lot of people were completely unaware of it, including us. I would have wanted to change my paper ticket because it almost broke already on the second day because the quality was not so good and yeah, I collect fabric tickets and those are 100% nicer anyway. This sucks. :(
Vicktor didn't camp with us but he was awesome enough to help us set up the tent. Our familiar green tent was up in no time and me, Sacchan and Karri crawled in there and prepared to sleep.
|Entrance to the camping.|
As per usual, when you camp in a tent, you wake up quite sweaty. That's what we did. We got out of the tent and noticed that, much to our disappointment, we hadn't been unique enough in our tent choice...
|Fuck, we weren't original! Guess which one is ours, by the way. :'D|
One issue that I noticed pretty instantly, once I had settled into the camping, was that Närcon had done a not-so-clever choice on the shower facilities. Last year there were two shower carts (one full for women and one split for men and non-binary people) with at least five showers per 'side' –aka ten per cart– benches to put your bags in etc and yeah, it was quite decent actually. The thing is that, for some stupid reason, this year Närcon only had one single shower cart split with one half for men and non-binary people and the other half shared with women and non-binary people. Oh, and it gets worse! :D You see, this time each 'side' of the cart had only three showers, no benches, a minimum amount of hooks to hang your stuff from, no shelves in the shower to put your soaps on etc and the actual shower was set so that the water only came in one direction and you had nothing to angle the damn thing where you needed it. I'm sorry if my explanation is clumsy but what I mean is that you didn't have one of those usual shower handles with a hose that you can have in your hand but one of those that you just press a button and water comes out and you can't control it at all.
So yeah, the showers went from a decent but still poor approx. 20 showers in total to fucking 6 showers?!?! I don't even want to imagine how many campers there were but yeah, the camping area was filled with tents and it's a big-ass pasture.
Another issue is that my fair guess is that many non-binary people aren't comfortable being forced to shower together with either cismen or ciswomen... or with anyone else for that matter. I still wonder why Närcon has not gotten at least a couple private showers for everyone that just can't shower together with strangers, no matter the gender? I mean, Närcon advertises a lot for being "welcoming to everyone" so why is the shower possibilities still so stone age and anxiety-inducing? I would definitely vote for one of those private showers because I am not comfortable showering around others, period.
Oh well, I was supposed to wear my Greece cosplay today but I honestly couldn't be bothered and so I just put on a black yukata and rolled with it. I also want to mention that I decided to leave out my Kazuma Sohma cosplay because he didn't fit in the luggage and the weather was too unstable to risk taking any vintage silk kimonos with me; it would get ruined by water stains.
|Of course someone drew the Pokémon Go teams!|
|The path leading to C-huset, the main con building.|
|A map showing C-huset.|
|Pasta kebab! Oh and yeah, that Lemon Fanta was godly.|
|Närcon "Campus road", leading away from C-huset.|
Nevertheless, Artist's Alley had some really nice stuff for sale this time around. I actually ended up spending more money on AA stuff than on "normal con merch", haha.
|These adorable octopus and squid magnets. ;A;|
|Cute amigurumi figures. Notice Tingle!|
|More amigurumi figures from the same artist.|
Otherwise we didn't do anything special on Thursday, it was the "check out the con" day. A couple hours before midnight me and Sacchan got tired and headed back to the camping but what we weren't expecting was that the night was about to be freezing cold. You see, all previous times we've camped during Närcon the nights have been comfy cool but this one night was so damn cold we were shivering and had to almost hug each other to stay warm under the only blanket we shared. I really regretted not taking wool socks, more than one blanket, a mattress to lay on and more pillows. I went to camping thinking "nah, I won't need that shit because it's fucking Närcon in southern Sweden with its heat waves". Oh boy how wrong I was. :)
Friday morning. Toasty morning. I smelled sweat and looked like shit. We all kinda did.
Me and Sacchan woke up before Karri and headed to the con to eat breakfast. After checking for cheap options we decided to go with the crêpes because it only cost 15 SEK. I must admit though that I was bothered that the cafeteria menu said "pannkakor" when it's fucking "plättar". Pannkakor is those thick square ones that you prepare in the oven on a baking sheet and plättar are the thin shits that you make with the frying pan, no matter the size! D:< Why can't people get it right?
|Mina fucking plättar med sylt och grädde.|
Me and Sacchan headed back to the camping to put on our cosplays, or at least most of them. It was impossible for me to do my makeup inside the tent because it was boiling hot in there and just unbearable. I sloppily put on whatever I could, took my makeup bag and headed back to the con to occupy a toilet and fix the rest of the costume there. Sacchan helped me improvise the eye makeup for my Lugia gijinka because I really had no idea what to do.
|Some sort of costume pic...|
Below are some photos of what the Närcon vendors had to offer this year:
|There was a cosplay shop, selling props as well as costumes.|
|There were at least a couple wig sellers.|
|A lot of plushies and cute mascots where everywhere.|
|Don't forget the figurines!|
|And of course the Pokémon Go hype brought with it |
it's own merchandise. Those shirts are hella cool though.
|There was a vendor selling vintage kimono, tabi etc.|
|Notice those ridiculously cute bird wallets.|
I was soooo close to buying one. ;_:
|Of course there were also pins in loads.|
A lot of the vendors were the same or similar to what Närcon was selling last year, so just take a look at my last year's summary to get a more complete view of what the merch diversity was like. ^_^
Närcon had a fair amount of activities, games, rooms for specific communities (Touhou, Pokémon, Magic: The Gathering etc) and there was a lot to do if you wanted to. But because me and Sacchan are simple congoers
|Sometimes you find silly shit... ~|
There were quite a bunch of amazing costumes but also funny costumes! We spotted someone who had dressed up as a can of Sprite, pommes frites and a guy dressed in a carrot costume.
|There was a MtG tournament...|
|... and in the MtG room there was a table filled with a fuckton of cards. :D|
|There was a figurine room with Monster Hunter figures!|
|OMG Angemon and Takeru!!!! ;A;|
|The backside of Bandai Namco's booth, showing the upcoming games.|
|Their gaming booth.|
|The promo goods that I received for entering the competition!|
Once the clock neared midnight me and Sacchan once again headed back to the camping to sleep while Karri stayed at the rave. Neither of us is much of a rave person so sleeping sounded more interesting to us. Luckily at least this night the tent wasn't as goddamn cold as the previous night but it was still kinda chilly.
Oh and yeah, I can't remember which day this was but while in our tent during the night we overheard some nearby campers talking about duct taping a "pipe" to a guy's thigh. Of course it sounded like something dirty was going on but when Sacchan went outside of the tent (to fill the water bottle, mind you) it turned out that the guy had an actual plastic pipe duct taped to his thigh and seemed like he maybe had to do some kind of challenge and walk with it taped on, to the con. It was funny at the time (not knowing the real reason) but I heard afterwards online that the poor guy was a con worker and had actually broken his leg and used the pipe as a support to be able to walk. I must say that I give all my respects to him and I hope he still had a nice con experience and got his job done. Such determination!
Same thing again. Me and Sacchan woke up but, much to our surprise, noticed that Karri had not come back to sleep! We wondered where the heck he had been because neither of us had heard him entering the tent at any point and his belongings were scattered exactly the same as yesterday – untouched. Oh well, we didn't really worry because the odds of Karri getting beaten up somewhere doesn't really exist, lol. xD So yeah, we continued with our morning procedure, aka fetching something to eat. By the time we had eaten we were stuck in C-huset for a while because it had started raining. I was worried that our tent might have leaked but once the rain almost ceased we headed there and noticed that everything was alright, except that a bit of water had entered my side of the tent because of some unavoidable derps while rigging up the tent.
Because the rain had made the weather cool we thought that it could finally be an idea to put on our cosplays completely inside the tent (so that we wouldn't have to go back and forth) but yeah, as soon as we started it cleared up completely and I felt burning hell returning, fffuuu fffuuu!
I put on my Ibuki cosplay for this day and yes, I know I completely changed the order which I had originally planned to wear my cosplays at. I just went by mood and weather and Ibuki felt like a good choice for Saturday.
Fun thing is that at some point I saw a guy who I really thought was Cidi and I was really confused for a while, until I heard him talk fluent Swedish with another guy. I guess Cidi has a Swedish doppelgänger, or at least someone who looked really similar, lol.
These photos show the outdoor area behind C-huset, aka Zen Garden:
|One of the exits to the outdoor area. |
Notice the funny palm tree decorations hanging.
|Comfy hammocks to chill in!|
|Don't forget the bouncy castle! There's no age limit!|
|People had fun drawing with chalk outdoors!|
|Bootlegs galore! Notice the hilariously bad |
Umbreon-Espeon... Espreon... plush. :-DDD
|I spent a lot of time checking both mine and Sacchan's StreetPasses!|
|Me and Sacchan shared a portion of marinated yakiniku made |
of entrecote and it was delicious.
|The aftermath of wearing waraji.|
|Shitty bathroom selfie feat. Sacchan.|
|Pokémon Gaiden's poster at the door.|
|Inside Pokémon Gaiden. It was comfy!|
|People were raving wild.|
The last con day. We woke up late-ish and had to wake up Karri, who was sleeping like a log. It felt a bit bad to wake him up because he stayed up late and raved all night and came to sleep only a few hours before we had to wake up. The thing is that we didn't really have much of a choice because the camping closed 10:00 (local time) and the camping site had to be completely emptied 12:00 at the latest. So yeah, we took down our tent, Vicktor drove to the camping site with the car and we loaded the trunk with our mountain of luggage.
One fun thing though was that on Sunday morning it was quite windy and one of the guys next to us (he cosplayed Misty, Man-Misty) had his tent literally blowing away with the wind and he chased after it like a madman – I really had to keep my pokerface in check because it looked hilarious. xD
|Camping sign saying when everybody had to leave.|
So yeah, me and Sacchan gave up our hopes on Donkey Kongs and went inside C-huset instead to get something to drink for free.
Along the rush I managed to lose my Närcon kåsa somewhere and panicked – it's not like I would have any use of it anymore but I wanted to keep it as a souvenir memory. I ran around C-huset asking the vendors I had visited if they had seen it and luckily I managed to get it back. After that we hurried back to the car where Karri and Vicktor were waiting for us. I felt really bad for delaying the trip because of losing my kåsa...
The car trip back up to Umeå went all fine and we arrived at Vicktor's apartment quite late. We had time to leave back the rental car but there was some issues with delivering the car keys so that had to be done on Monday morning instead.
On Monday morning we took Sacchan's car from the parking lot and drove back up to our final destination, but before leaving Umeå me and Karri went to eat at a local kebab place with a funny name. Ordered some huge cheeseburger, even though it's a kebab place.
|Kebabnekajse. :'D For those who don't get the pun Kebnekajse is|
the name of the highest mountain in Sweden.
Okay so, overall Närcon was a really pleasant experience and I would go there again next year. As I said in the beginning the fence wasn't an issue this year and I didn't experience nor hear any bad stories that happened behind the scenes or to other congoers. I had no issues with the information, except that a con worker at Josbaren told me that you could only get water with the Närcon kåsa outdoors, which seemed weird because last year there were "drink stations" outdoors where you could get tea, coffee and even cold chocolate with it – this year the only place I found where you could use the Närcon kåsa was inside C-huset's cafeteria.
My main complaint is about the camping showers but that I already wrote down earlier so I'm not gonna go through it again but yeah, Närcon please get more showers to the campers.
I do regret completely missing out on the building next to C-huset though, which I heard was where all the gaming happened. I had no idea it was there because I just assumed that said building was reserved for con workers, just like last year. I know because last year, before the con officially opened, I had a horribly urgent bathroom need and got permission to go to said building's bathroom (or at least I assume it's the same building in question, might be wrong though) only when I had two workers escorting and watching over me there. So yeah, it didn't cross my mind that Närcon had expanded their activities to even more campus buildings and I of course forgot to check the con map thoroughly as well... Oh well, my mistake.
And before I end this post here is a picture of my Närcon loots (excl. mochi):
There's an Articuno face mask (or Team Mystic, if you may), a Mikazuki Munechika plush mascot, a Yamato no Kami Yasusada gashapon rubber strap, a Lugia pin, a signed print from Yaya Han (one of the Guest of Honors), two octopus magnets and some Pokémon acrylic necklaces from different Artist's Alley sellers. There's also a Monster Hunter rubber keychain with the Quest Clear icon.
|Remember those promo Tekken cards from the Bandai Namco booth?|
This time I got a Super Rare gold foil card!! 8D
Thank you for reading my summary!
Shiro Samurai out.