Yush, this otter here got back safe and sound from Eurofurence 18 in Magdeburg.
To sum up everything up front: It was bloody awesome! Those 4 days were packed with things I will never forget!
In detail: Well ... where to start ... I guess arriving in Magdeburg is a good start. The Maritim Hotel isn't that far away from central station ... I didn't know how it looked or how big it was beforehand, so my lovely matey gothwolf was kind enough to get me from the central station and led me there.
The first thing I saw was a big building with a roundish exterior, thinking "Ok, so it is a big hotel". Approaching it closer I saw flagpoles and couldn't believe that there even were 4 extralarge "Eurofurence" banners swaying in the wind, thinking "Okeeee, if they even got banners this big that means it is even bigger than I imagined" ... and when I entered the lobby I was more or less baffled: Behind a red carpet was a large wooden ancient romanian prop greeting all guests of the hotel, combined with TONS and TONS of people.
As some of you know, I am a very shy person, so such masses really intimidated me @__@
After registering and getting my hotel keycard with a cute EF imprint in romanian style on it I went to my room ... 604 ... waaay up the 7 story building and boy was I baffled again when I saw the whole lobby-area from up there, seeing the totally MASSIVE banner hanging down the railing. Getting to my room and settling things out, getting my suit out of the stuffed confinement that was my suitcase to let it breath air again I went for a stroll with Gothwolf through the lobby and hotel areas, seeing and photographing my first fursuiters on the way which were totally adorable .. and weren't in the least the last ones I would see and hug during those four days.
After a bit of walking around I decided to finally give suiting a try. Mind you that this was my first time at a con, my first time suiting and my first time walking around for longer times than a few minutes in it. After setting everything up and changing I was good to go, totally nervous to go out but did in the end and boy I loved it! Some people came up to me for photos or wanting me to strike a solo or group pose with other suiters. Some wanted to play around with the webbing on my handpaws, even some kids came up for hugs or high-fives, totally cute and I loved it :3
Suffice to say I liked what I was doing but my stamina wasn't nearly enough to walk around that long, even with under-armour heatgear on I couldn't last longer than maybe 45min. I also received my first hug ever from a suiter on that day that I won't forget for a long time, such a fluffy feeling, I definately want more on the next EF <3
The event schedule was packed to the brim with panels and stuff to do, sometimes so much that they overlapped and you couldn't get to all of them. But I also liked to stroll around the lobby area for a great amount of time to just shoot photos of the countless suiters, I really got a love for them. I also visited the dealers den to get me some prints and comics as well as saying hi to a few people in there.
The concert was a real bringer, I enjoyed it, mad props to :urticoicon: for the singing, you totally rocked the stage! And don't get me started on the guy with the electric violin, he was an awesome player and entertainer, sadly I didn't catch his name but the folklore songs he did were amazing. Also hearing Foxamoore play live was a thing I won't forget either.
One thing I also really looked out for was the fursuit group-photo. Imagine yourself in your suit, suiting for the first time, nervous as a deer in headlights, getting packed elbow on elbow with ... how many were in there ... 500 or so other fursuiters in the main stage area and then DJ Kenai started the turntables, turning the groupphoto into one huge mass of dancing fluff. I panicked at first but it was totally awesome and I really enjoyed myself while dancing off for the first time, good times <3
The dance-contest was also really funny ... but I and I guess all others felt sad for the poor guys that had to dance twice because of the technical problems in the sound-department. Props to "2" the ranting gryphon to improvise a bit of stand-up comedy while everyone waited and threatening Cheetah to dance solo if it happened again xD That was entertaining at it's best. The intermission part was also fantastic where the dance contestants pulled people from the audience on stage to dance xD
The pawpet show was something I thought would be ... well ... boring. Imagining seeing a puppet show didn't sound that thrilling but boy was I told wrong. The story, details of the puppets, comedy involvement and sheer professionalism put into it from people that do this as a hobby was astounding. I totally loved it!
The BigBlueDance was also kickass, just as the Fursuit Friendly dance, the choice of music was really to my liking and I enjoyed myself with just dancing about or taking countless of photos.
Sadly I wasn't courageous enough to join the fursuit parade through Magdeburg. I guess for a first-time suiter there are limits ^^;; But I will definately join next year, as I will also suit a lot more in general the next time :3 I was also a little bit sad that I didn't get a slot for Thalians Photoshooting session, the registering line was so full everytime and the slots were gone within minutes each time :(
Well, and now here I am, at home again writing this ... there was someone who told me about a thing called PCD (Post-Con-Depression) and damn it really struck me hard :(
Nevertheless I have to say that I totally enjoyed myself for my first convention and my first time suiting. I will definately attend next years EF as well because I made some friends I definately want to see again and a dozen people I only had the chance to exchange a few words with but also want to greet and glomp again next year.
gothwolf: For taking me by the hand during the con and making this event a thing I will always cherish, I luvs you <3 canislutra: For being an awesome friend and person that walked around with me a lot and took photos of me while suiting :3 urticotheranox: For being such cool roommates, it was definately a fun time with you guys :D joleii and Faolin for being so utterly nice to me :) ironstripekazama: You two crazy guys are really something I look forward meeting again, those jokes were gold! :D zenicelyonbigwig: For letting me take photos with you, hugging and generally being totally nice people <3
And so many others I don't know the names of, but surely will get otterhugs from me when I see you again next year.
Mad props to all the people and staff that made this convention possible and an event to look after again!
Expect a massive amount of photos coming up people :3