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Thoughts from Portus

Written on July 13, 2008

The below is a batch of disjointed thoughts that flow in a similar vein. As I said before, ideas are still gestating, but I just had an interesting idea pop into my head and I’d like to get it down before it gestates into nothingness.


A year or two ago a friend of mine was comparing her younger days in the late 70s and early 80s traveling up and down the east coast going to sci-fi cons to some of our friend’s experiences at about the same time, traveling around following the Grateful Dead. She noted several similarities, but did allow for one major difference. As she put it, they “had better music.”

Now, at the end of not only my first Potter conference, but my first con of any sort, I’m not sure that the new generation of fandom will end up suffering from the same fate.


Random thought that keeps popping up in my head after seeing the Wizard Rockumentary;

“Wizard Rock kids are the brats of fandom. They are undoubtedly the future of fandom, but they aren’t willing to just sit around and talk about it. They also want to sing and dance. They aren’t just happy with being who they are, they want to celebrate it.”

The average age of any event at Portus dropped 5 - 10 years (may be more) when the event was WRock.


Young fans have no history of festivals, but they do know cons.


And now, the idea that prompted this garble of thought:

What if we jettisoned the festival model and instead used cons as the driving model? A weekend. A hotel. A crap load of music. Workshops and classes on recording, distributing, doing shows, booking tours, song writing, using software tools, all kinds of other stuff. Not just let people dance and sing, but show them the tools and then teach them how to use those tools, so that they can take part instead of just watching.

Big events for the “stars”, but also smaller events for up and coming artists. Open mic sessions.

Let folks rent out conference rooms for shows. The FL kids, as an example, could pool money to rent one room for their performances. Boss Fight or Nerdy South could rent another room to showcase their artists.

Maybe even expand outside of just music. A theater running vids and fan movies. Fan fic workshops.


It is a thought, you have to give me that.

Credit for my ah ha moment needs to go to The Blibbering Humdingers, Fred Lives, and House of Black, who were responsible for this scene that I found when I showed up at the Post-Portus Dance Party

Blibbering Humdingers

Fred Lives and House of Black

Filed in: Thoughts.


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  1. Comment by Jason T:

    I think that the con setup you’re describing sounds like a good model; I’d just wonder how much it would cost to put on and what kind of numbers it’d draw, never having arranged something like this myself. Then again, the music festivals that give money to charity don’t expect to be making money anyway, so as long as it were set up as a non-profit thing, that might work out.

    July 15, 2008 @ 12:07 pm
  2. Comment by Lizz:

    I think music presentations and the like are something that COULD be added to Wrockstock programming, but I’m not sure it’s something Abby has any interest in.

    July 15, 2008 @ 8:13 pm
  3. Comment by Lizz:

    They’re also something that could be added to symposium programming. It’s up to the attendees and presenters. If it’s something someone wants to do, then they can talk to the people in charge and possibly organize something.

    July 17, 2008 @ 11:38 am
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