Monday, April 21, 2008

Pyratecon 2008

Pyratecon has come and gone. I didn't hear the official attendance but the organizers were hoping for 1,000 with 600 pre-registered before the event started.

With those numbers, several of the venues were too small. The pirate party Thursday night was fine. The bar was full but there was plenty of room outside and it was a nice night. The pirate dinner Friday night was far too crowded. Organizers asked people to stagger their arrival but the first ones in didn't leave so it just got more and more crowded. At one point I heard a waitress wonder if the balcony could hold everyone. The first band was good but it was hard to hear them. I would have liked them to play longer. The second band wasn't as good although they were acceptable. The bar events on Saturday night were a lost cause. If you were lucky you could stand close enough in Bourbon Street to see the bar.

The dealer rooms were a little crowned on Friday morning but things thinned out over time. I would have liked to see more vendors selling historically accurate items but that's me.

We went to most of the workshops and talks. They were all good and were under-attended. The sea-chantey workshops were especially fun. The celebrity actors from Pirates of the Caribbean: the Curse of the Black Pearl were interesting. They all played small but important parts as members of the cursed crew. None were in the sequels (no surprise, TBS showed the movie Sunday and I noticed that all three were killed outright or blown to bits). They were all interesting characters and happy to be part of the festivities.

The Saturday night parade was a huge success. Hundreds of pirates marched (swaggered?) up Bourbon Street, watched by thousands of people. The only problem was at the end when most of the parade wanted to keep going past past the Funky Pirate bar that was the official end.

So - who attends a pirate convention? There were several different types.

At the low end were the semi-pirates. These were people who had some sort of costume. There were some people who could (and probably did) wear the same outfits to goth bars and ren fairs. A lot of people had fancy costumes - red or black silk shirts, brocade coats, etc. Then there were the historic pirates. That's the group we were part of. Then there were the people doing specific characters. We saw a very good Blackbeard, eight or nine Jack Sparrows, two Barbosas, a Tia Dalma, and a couple of British Naval Officers who might have been doing Norington.

There were also a couple of ninjas which seems like asking for trouble.

A lot of locals got into the act. We noticed several costume-shop pirates in the French Quarter after the parade. Outfits like these. I always wondered where someone could wear one of these outfits in public - the French Quarter.

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