The Phenomenon of BronyCon

My Little Pony is a franchise that has been enjoyed by fans for four decades, and the love for the animated series and toy line continues to spread. This may be due in part to BronyCon, which is the annual convention held for MLP devotees. The current series, “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”, is the focus of BronyCon, and fans of all ages gather to celebrate their passion for the show.

The gathering takes place in Maryland at the Baltimore Convention Center, but the first four conventions were held in New York and New Jersey. There have been six events since BronyCon was founded by Jessica Blank in 2011. The first took place in June that same year, and it drew in approximately 100 MLP enthusiasts. The second event was held three months later and had 300 attendees.

BronyCon Gallups Ahead

As more conventions were planned, the exposure and interest increased. In early 2012, approximately 700 fans attended the event, and attendance jumped to more than 4,000 later that year. The June convention was spread out over two days, and it was the last semiannual event. In 2013, BronyCon became an annual celebration, which attracted more than 8,000 MLP buffs.

Each event highlighted various guests such as Jayson Thiessen, the supervising director of the television show, Lauren Faust, the executive producer, and numerous voice actors, actresses and writers. The sixth convention, which took place in August 2014, drew in the largest crowd and raised the number of attendees to nearly 10,000.

Although children still enjoy the My Little Pony universe, adults are the heart of BronyCon. “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” first aired as a promotional tool for Hasbro’s toy line, but it surprisingly appealed to an adult audience. Males in particular make up a large portion of the fandom. The MLP culture generally consists of people who enjoy participating through various means such as cosplay, fan fiction and artwork.

Friendship is Magic..and so is BronyCon

The success of the TV series in the adult world may be due to the highly developed characters and themes, as well as the imaginative animation and writing. At BronyCon, fans can showcase their own music, creative writing, videos and artwork. Members of the fan base can also take part in a variety of activities, including playing video games and entering cosplay contests and tournaments based on a collectible card game.

Dozens of themed panels and presentations make up the yearly festivities, and there typically is an abundance of freelance and special retail vendors selling handmade or licensed pony merchandise. To add to the fan fervor, past conventions have included Bronypalooza, which is a concert put on by musically gifted fans.

BronyCon is an event that focuses on the feel-good element of the My Little Pony culture. The television show that ignited the phenomenon is perfectly represented in costumes, conversations and character traits. Fanatics eagerly awaiting the next gathering should be pleased to know it’s scheduled to take place Aug. 7-9, 2015 at the Baltimore Convention Center.