Official language: English
The usual basic ticket price: ~80€
About the event
GalaCon is the largest MLP: FiM con in Europe, held annually since 2012, on the weekend at the turn of July and August. In 2023 (alongside the venue change), the date is moved to mid-September.
Every year, Friday’s unofficial pre-party in the Towers Pub at the Ludwigsburg town square becomes a place to meet friends from past years, chat with random fans, and drink cider together. Many participants arrive the day before to meet there, partly because during the weekend they do not have to think about the dilemma of whether to participate in the program or say hello to long-unseen friends from all over the continent.
The convention is full of events of all kinds throughout Saturday and Sunday: from interviews with VIP guests, presentations of community projects and autograph sessions, through thematic competitions, music (and other) games, to community entertainment of all kinds. Everyone will find their favorite activities here.
You will also find a large number of sellers of various merchandise: the sales area occupies a large part of the convention space, so you can find everything from posters to stuffed animals. But prepare a full wallet: as this is the largest event of its kind on the old continent, merchandise prices are among the higher ones.
GalaCon is regularly visited by several foreign guests – thanks to its size, it can invite those you usually won’t meet at any other current MLP event in Europe. So if you want to see actors, scriptwriters, and other MLP: FiM creators live (you can ask them questions during the panels), GalaCon is your choice. Over the years, all the main character voice actors and most of the scriptwriters have appeared here, some of them repeatedly.
A large part of the program consists of community guest panels, workshops, and presentations of community projects. Whether you are an artist, writer, musician, programmer, designer, or another creative artist who is dedicated to fandom creation, you will find not only others who are interested in the same, but you can submit your work or project to the con program. At the end of Sunday’s program, there is a charity auction, which usually brings more than one unexpected surprise.
Concerts performed by guests and community musicians take place on Saturday evenings. Usually in two halls: live concerts in the style of an official ball (the actual Gala!) with the appropriate dress code in a smaller one and a classic concert / DJ party with dance music in a larger one.
In addition to the official program, you will find many fans with their own activities – often in the vicinity of the venue, which consists of a paved area with a fountain and a grassy area with trees. Snacks and a terrace with many seats are also available on-site.
Sunday night after the closing ceremony belongs to the unofficial after-party, taking place at the same place as the pre-party: in the Towers Pub at the town square, until later night hours. There is no better place to discuss last weekend’s experiences and make plans for the future. By the time con visitors have made up other informal events in Ludwigsburg, such as Stair-Con (happening in the evenings next to the NH hotel) or Parkplatz-Con (at the parking space near the venue).
Of all the events in Europe, GalaCon offers the widest range of activities and entertainment, as well as opportunities to meet both guests and the community. If you can afford to visit it, be sure to try to attend. Considering the number of events and entertainment which are available to visitors, the price of a basic ticket is not that high. Meeting fans from all over the continent (and sometimes beyond) is definitely worth it.
Since 2017, GalaCon has been organized by the Pony Events Federation e.V. association, which also covers the Everfree Encore music festival.
The first GalaCon, which took place in Youth Hostel in Stuttgart, was similar to current smaller European brony conventions. It was one of the first brony cons in Europe and was adventurous in many ways – for example, you were able to sleep at the venue and when you bought accommodation alone you were mixed with random bronies in the hostel rooms. Since 2013, when it moved to Forum am Schlosspark in Ludwigsburg, it has a character of a large official event with a large-scale program for more than a thousand visitors.
Due to the pandemic, 2020 and 2021 were held online. In 2022, GalaCon returned to Ludwigsburg, but because of increased costs, GalaCon 2023 is moved to another town in the area and will be held in the Bürgerzentrum in Waiblingen.
The mascot of the event is Canni Soda – an earth pony of yellow color with a dark brown mane, whose best-known abilities include a super-strong brohoof called “Bizaam”. Her cutie mark represents a copper teapot (in German “die Kanne”) – the coat of arms of Stuttgart district Bad Cannstatt, where the GalaCon was supposed to be held for the first time in 2012.
Although Canni is the most known one, the event has two other mascots: Sani Soda, sister of Canni (representing medical volunteers), and her husband Wachman (from the German term for guard; security-volunteers mascot).
The creator of Canni is Kiyoshiii.