Multigenre Fan Convention Pyrkon (pol. Festiwal Fantastyki Pyrkon) (commonly known as Pyrkon) is a Polish fan convention held annually in Poznań on the first weekend after the spring equinox and dedicated to an integration of Science fiction fandom and a promotion of science-fiction/fantasy literature, comics, film, television, video games, RPG, LARP, board games, collectible card games and miniature wargaming. Pyrkon is the biggest event of this type in Poland and one of the biggest in Europe.
Pyrkon has been held by the Second Age Science Fiction Club (Klub Fantastyki "Druga Era") every year since 2000, except 2005 when they held Polcon. (In 2011 they organised both Pyrkon and Polcon.) Pyrkon has been a non-profit convention from its beginning, and all organizers, lecturers and gofers are volunteers.
Initially Pyrkon was held at the Dębiec district of Poznań in the following places
Elementary School nr 21 in Poznań [2000–2010]
Gymnasium nr 42 in Poznań [2008–2010]
Cezamet Hotel [2008–2010]
High and Technical Schools Complex nr 19 in Poznań [2010Due to the increasing number of visitors, in 2011 the convention moved to the present location, the Poznań International Fair and the Liceum ogólnokształcące nr 2 in Poznań (Liceum Ogólnokształcące nr 2 w Poznaniu).
On 6 March 1999, Second Age organised "Science Fiction Day" in the "Sun" District House of Culture in the Przyjaźni (Polish for friendship) district in Poznań. It was the direct predecessor of Pyrkon.
The tradition of holding Pyrkon on the first weekend after the spring equinox started in 2006. Usually it is also the weekend when Daylight saving time begins – participants are informed in a convention guide book and on posters of the need to adjust their timepieces.
According to one theory, the name "Pyrkon" comes from the 10th Book of Pausanias' "Guide to Ancient Greece", where he quotes "Eumolpia", a hexameter poem attributed to Musaios, a son of Antiophemos, which states that Delphic Sibyl belonged to Poseidon and Gaia (Earth) in common, and that Gaia gave her oracles herself, but Poseidon used Pyrkon as his mouthpiece in giving responses.According to the other theory, the name "Pyrkon" is derived from pyra ("potato" in Poznań's dialect) and the suffix -kon, which is added to names of all Polish fan conventions.
Pyrkon's goals are realized in
meetings and discussion panels with science fiction and fantasy authors
meetings with books and games publishers
thematic lectures related to all spheres of science fiction
popular science lectures, especially about physics, history, linguistics and cultural studies
RPG sessions and LARP-s
lending board games (Games Room)
lending old video games
board games, collectible card games and miniature wargaming tournaments
demonstrations and premieres of board games, collectible card games, miniature wargaming and video games
thematic competitions with prizes
cosplay contest with prizes - The Masquerade
The following also take place on Pyrkon:
dancing shows and lessons
karaoke and DDR contests
Attractions (lectures, discussion panels, meetings with guests, contests, concerts etc.) on Pyrkon are divided into thematic sections. Most attractions are held in Polish.
Pyrkon 2019 had 19 program sections, which are listed below:
Integration Section – integration section is a zone to meet new friends and participate in integration games. There, you can strengthen ties with already known people, but also meet other participants with similar passions
Film Section – lectures about films and film-making, amateur film shows, lessons of creating YouTube content
Computer Games Section – computer games contests and tournaments, lectures about game design, creating Let's Play
Literature Section – lectures and discussion panels about science-fiction and fantasy literature and meetings with authors
Science Section – popular science lectures
RPG Section – lessons on making good role-play sessions, presentations of new RPG systems, meetings with role-playing games creators
LARP Section – LARP games, contest for best LARP on Pyrkon, presentations of LARP systems, lectures about making LARP costumes, improving larping skills
Comics Section – lessons of comics drawing, meetings with comic book artists, lectures about comics
Manga & Anime Section – lessons of manga style drawing, lectures about Japanese comics, animation and culture in general
Contest Section – competitions about every part of pop culture
Board Games Section – Games Room – presentations of new board games, games' rules lessons, lending board games
Beginners' Section – short introductory lectures about every aspect of Fandom for beginners who have never visited any convention, played a board game, seen science-fiction film etc.
Kids' Section – science-fiction and fantasy related attractions for children younger than 10 years old
Exhibitions, Shows, Workshops – dance lessons and shows, concerts, Lego exhibitions etc.
Fantasium Suburbium - The zone in which villages created by participants are related to the world of fantasy. There are, among others, handicraft workshops or fight and dance shows. From the groups exhibiting there, participants can hear a bit about reconstruction, as well as learn a bit of the armor creation, sewing or jewelry making
Fantasium Creatium - A place where artists from all over the Poland exhibit their fantasy-related works. Both professional artists and beginners can submit their exhibitions. Inside the Fantasium Creatium there are, among others, science-fiction, fantasy, post-apocalyptic, handicraft and science zones
Fantasium Ludicrum - The block, which includes stage performances - concerts and shows - and film screenings. The Fantasium Ludicrum performed, among others, Percival Schuttenbach, actors of the Poznań Musical Theater, there was also a performance of the "Ark" of the Theater of the Eighth Day
Fantastic Initiatives Zone - The zone is intended for festival organizers and fantasy conventions from all over Poland. It serves as a place to meet, exchange experiences and make contacts with potential members of fantasy organizations. There are also smaller Polish fantasy events advertised there
The Masquerade - One of the highlights of the program during Pyrkon is The Masquerade cosplay competition. Its participants compete in the categories: Best Cosplay, Best Own Project, Best Group Presentation and Best Solo Presentation. The main prize is the Grand Prix. In addition, the 2019 The Masquerade winner received the right to compete in the Cosplay Champions competition. The condition for joining The Masquerade is to create your own costume. It can depict a character known from the world of fantasy, but it must be made by hand. Each participant presents his disguise first only to the jury, which assesses whether the cosplay was really created from scratch. The Masquerade is traditionally held at the Earth Hall - the largest hall located at the Poznań International Fair. Due to the limited number of seats in the audience and the great interest of the audience, the show is also displayed on a large screen at the Fair, as well as broadcast live on Pyrkon's social media channels.
Time and place
contest of "The Convention Guide-Book" Web Portal (Informator Konwentowy): "The Best Fan Convention of the Season"Pyrkon 2006 – 2nd place (Winter 2005/2006 edition)
Pyrkon 2007 – 1st place (Winter 2006/2007 edition)
contest of "The Convention Guide-Book" Web Portal: "The Best Fan Convention of the Year"Pyrkon 2008 – 1st place
contest of "The Convention Guide-Book" Web Portal: "Fan's Choice"Pyrkon 2006 – 2nd place (Winter 2005/2006 edition)
Pyrkon 2007 – 1st place (Winter 2006/2007 edition)
Pyrkon 2008 – 1st place (Year 2008 edition)
plebiscite of "The Cathedral" Web Portal (Katedra): "Science Fiction" in category "The best fan convention or other SF mass event", in year 2012 simply "Event"
Pyrkon 2007 – 1st place
Pyrkon 2008 – 3rd place
Pyrkon 2009 – 3rd place
Pyrkon 2010 – 1st place
Pyrkon 2011 – 1st place
Pyrkon 2012 – 1st place