Bronies will fill the Radisson Hotel in Salt Lake City this weekend as the third annual Crystal Mountain Pony Con convenes on July 17 and 18.
The convention will attract fans of all genders and ages but primarily Bronies, adult male fans. They will come together for panels, merchandise, a game room and an opportunity to show their love for My Little Pony.
Event public relations contact David Halliday said the show has caught on for adult males after a reboot of characters, animation and story line.
“The My Little Pony show back in the ’80s was very girly, but then they got Lauren Faust, and they asked her to come and reinvent the My Little Pony universe. She came up with new characters and new stories and redid the art style and animation,” Halliday said. “She had them go on adventures and have big plots. When men started watching the show they said, ‘Hey, this is actually pretty good.'”
There are an estimated 10 million Bronies and 30 Brony conventions worldwide. One reason the fandom has grown is due to Hasbro letting its product be used to create new ideas, Halliday said.
“Hasbro, as opposed to Disney, has passively allowed their intellectual property to be used. People have used it to do a lot of art, animation, music, video games and fan fiction,” Halliday said.
Another reason the show has grown for the adult audience is the important values and morals that come out in the show said Brent Wilson, former BYU—Idaho graduate and show analyst.
“I talk about how My Little Pony mirrors a lot of the same teachings I grew up with and how I appreciate that,” Wilson said. “People really think about life in this way. They think about patience and generosity and honesty and loyalty.”
The convention in Salt Lake City started three years ago as conventions in other locations thrived. This convention is expected to attract around 500 attendees, with males ages 19–29 and women aged 17–25 as the main population. The Pony Con is hoping to attract more families this year, as children ages 8 and younger can attend for free.
The convention will feature 40 vendors that make their own art, panels including show analysts and guest appearances, a game room, and “cosplay” chess match.
BYU graduate and author Max Florschutz will be a panelist for one of the writing panels that discusses fan fiction and other forms of writing.
“The specific focus of this panel is writing,” Florschutz said. “It will discuss what makes good writing and how to write good stories.”
Florschutz said he feels the show “My Little Pony” follows the guidelines for good writing.
“It has a consistent story line; the characters are very well developed and are very real,” Florschutz said. “Things go, characters go and things develop. As a writer, I like that.”
The convention will end with a dance Saturday night featuring local musicians that will play their original music. Wilson said the reason the event draws so many in is the community of fans.
“The community itself, the online community that surrounds this show, is one of the most welcoming and creative and understanding communities on the Internet,” Wilson said. “It just draws people from all over the world who are looking for that kind of environment. A convention like this is giving people the chance to meet other fans face to face.”
Halliday said the convention draws what the show draws.
“It is a place where people with the same interests come together and have fun,” Halliday said.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit crystalponycon.com.