Friendship is Definitely Magic: Everfree NW 2014

written by Luis Ongpin (@LuisOngpin)

This year I attended my second Everfree Northwest Convention as a Photographer at the Seatac Hilton Conference Center in Seatac Washington. For those who are uninitiated, Everfree NW is a convention for the fandom of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, a animated program now having just completed it’s 4th season on the HUB network created by Lauren Faust (Powerpuff Girls, Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends).

The fandom is typically comprised of adult male fans (typically 18-35 and older) who refer to themselves as Bronies (Bros who like Ponies), although the term Pegasister is sometimes used for females. The guests this year included voice actresses Cathy Weseluck, Michael Dobson, Rebecca Shiochet, Maryke Hendrikse, as well as Georgia Ball and Heather Nuhfer two of the writers for the comic book and my own good friend Tony Fleecs who does the art for the comic.

wassup Bro...ny

wassup Bro...ny

Festivities this year at the convention included the typical Q&A panels, gaming, karaoke, arts & crafts, Animated Music Video showings, or AMV, Cosplay Contests and a Charity Auction that this year raised over $40,000 for childrens hospital. What impressed me most of all was a quilt that was custom made by 34 different artists which raised $20,000 by a bid by one of the Bronies who goes by the handle ‘Caredwyn’.

this custom quilt was auctioned off for $20,000... all for the sake of charity

this custom quilt was auctioned off for $20,000... all for the sake of charity

This year’s cosplay contest was hosted by none other than Lifted Geek’s very own Bloo, who did a tremendous job of organizing and facilitating the event. The show was divided into Foal (Young children) and Ponies (Adult Cosplayers), and prizes were given out to the best cosplay in their catagories. There was many amazing cosplays of the Mane Six, and the heroes and villains of the show including Sunset Shimmer, Princess Luna and our favorite clumsy fan favorite mail mare pony, Derpy Hooves. The end of the evening on Saturday had their annual ‘Ponystock’ rock concert, consisting of music performances by over a dozen fan-musicians who have created their own music based on the themes of the show.

Bloo hosting the cosplay contest

Bloo hosting the cosplay contest

One of the biggest and most obvious criticisms the Brony community faces is a perception that adults, and especially males who like My Little Pony are weird. This come from adults who grew up with antiquated notions of which gender should watch which show, like GI Joe and Transformers are for boys and My Little Pony and Barbie for girls. However, now with the resurgence of these classic shows, there is a growing acceptance across the board for whatever fandom you're interested in.

Although some of the fans may be what be regarded to as ‘socially awkward’ by many outsiders, and many are used to being mocked, especially by news programs, like ‘Fox News’, a majority of them have their hearts in the right place as they strive to live by the shows motto: ‘Friendship is Magic’ wherein there is a strong theme of acceptance of all types of people in the culture, whether they are straight, gay, handicapped or just different in their own way. Although the fandom as a whole can seem very odd, especially to the outsider, there is a lot of fun and

D'awwwe... lookitdem FOALS!

D'awwwe... lookitdem FOALS!

At the end of the day, I respect anyone who loves and promotes their fandom, regardless of how they do it, and it’s good to see this fandom proliferate and hopefully with each coming year they can continue to grow this community that has becoming a great way for the fans to connect with each other; creating long lasting friendships that cross over into their real lives.

see ya next year! Friendship really is MAGIC!

see ya next year! Friendship really is MAGIC!

make sure to check out our official gallery from the con right here on Lifted Geek!