Oh boy, last weekend was a wild ride at the NecronomiCon in Providence, RI. I attended as a Silver Key, which is the second-tier admission level. There’s the general admission, Silver Key, and the Gold Key with process ranging from $98 to $400. If you’re interested in seeing the different perks included in each category, you can check them out here. For my Silver Key, I got the following:
- A full four-day pass to the convention, and all related panels, talks, gaming, workshops, vendors, and exhibits
- A ticket to the infamous Cthulhu Prayer Breakfast*
- A pass to the Black Lodge party
- A Silver Key sigil pin – denoting your status at the convention
- A commemorative convention T-shirt (please include size in your order comments, or we will follow up with everyone individually for sizes and styles)
- A copy of our special 2019 memento book, featuring art and stories from our special guests- with specific mention of all Silver key members
It was an amazing experience and I’m honestly exhausted now – totally burnt out – which I guess is just testament to how much fun I had this past weekend.First off, I landed on Thursday and missed early admission at 4:30pm. I was still able to get into the Black Lodge Party, hosted at The Dorrance. In essence, it was a small cocktail party for all the Silver and Gold Key members. Since it was a smaller event, it definitely made it easier to meet new people versus the more general events such as the Drunken Innsmouth Sea Shanties or Trivia Night.
The next day, I checked out the vendor room, which was awesome. There were booksellers, gaming stores, and lots of prints and art and props.
One of the cooler items was The Necronomnomnom, a Lovecraft themed cookbook. The Lovecraft Historical Society had radio plays on USBs and in really creative packaging, as well as Miskatonic University varsity pins.
I explored the city a bit more, checked out the gaming room, had a late lunch, and came back in time for my Call of Cthulhu RPG session. The gaming room for the convention was really awesome. You could sign up in advance for a game being hosted – for example, CoC, Eldritch Horror, and Arkham Horror. In addition to that, you could check out a game and play it with your friends.
After the RPG session, I went to the Eldritch Ball (Carcosa themed this year) where they had some interesting music (I say interesting because while it was good music, it wasn’t really dancing music), belly dancers, and burlesque shows.
It was a lot of fun to see everyone in costumes, I myself made a black halo to go with my tentacle corset!
The next day, I spent some time at panels, and watched part two of the indie film festival. One of the best films, in my opinion, was a film based on Lovecraft’s Pickman’s Model but done in a darkly humourous Bob Ross style!
I explored the city a bit more and played Cthulhu Wars in the game room, then came the Drunken Innsmouth Sea Shanties and Trivia Night.
Sunday, I headed home.
Overall, it was a great experience though there were some logistical rough spots on the part of the convention. Surprisingly, despite being a well-established event, they only sent out the agenda maybe half a month before the actual event. For someone flying in, this was frustrating. Part of the perks of being a Silver Key is free entry into the Black Lodge Party and the Cthulhu Prayer breakfast. As a fastidious planner, I bought my plane tickets a month after I had purchased my convention ticket. Well, then I found out the breakfast was going to be on the Sunday, the same day I was flying out, so I couldn’t go. If I had known, I would have made the effort to try and find a later flight.
Another example was that their agenda had no location information for the events so I had to ask someone where the vendor room even was. Another problem I encountered was that the agenda said that the art show was from 11a.m. until 5p.m., but when I went to the venue, there was a paper sign on the door that said it only opened at 2p.m. In the end, I wasn’t able to go since I was busy all later that evening.
Finally, there was an Easter egg hunt being hosted by the Sandy Petersen gaming booth. If you found an egg, you could redeem it for a prize at the booth. There was no advertising for this at all, except a small paper sign by the registration booth. A few people saw me turn in an egg and were asking what that was about, so I know I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know.
Beyond that, every event I went to was a lot of fun. However, I don’t know if I would get a Silver Key ticket again, despite how much fun the Black Lodge party was. I still had to pay for the Eldritch Ball since only Gold Keys got into that for free. So really, I didn’t feel like it was worth the $200.I do think the NecronomiCon should work a little bit more on their logistics and communication.
There were so many times when I just didn’t know where to go or what was going on, which made planning my day out was difficult. Case in point: the art show.
Bonus Content: There is a Lovecraft themed bookstore in the Providence Arcade shopping mall – which ALSO had an open-air eldritch market going on Saturday. Very, very cool.
Anyway, that was my take on the NecronomiCon, for whatever it is worth.
x P.L. McMillan