I am more concerned about the announcement and I feel like it will not be as well as other years. The "official" announcement of this and the "unofficial announcement of this a few days before this was announced", was the exact time when Ponycon admitted they had a 60-70 percent dip in attendance due to the move and is asking for money, and rumors that the owners of the MLP Fan Fiction site are not interested in the fandom as much, these issues seem to bring the reaction of "the fandom is dying!" to the forefront, and for once, I understand, because all of these issues, make it all sound like a scam. Las Pegasus Unicom is what we all hope doesn't happen, me too.
Back to the main issue: Now, I understand it has "never been 100% pony", but a push to allow other fandoms seems to be an anti-brony move in my opinion. While I understand that bronies have other likes and dislikes, you PAY to to to a pony convention, NOT anime, gaming, furry, pokemon, undertale, steven universe.... etc. I have been to bronycon since 2013, this will be my fifth year going, yet i am more concerned because I've seen the fandom and conventions change.
The last 2 Bronycons have had much more "nsfw and risque" art, like bathing suits, while in another thread people argues that "its art, and its not nsfw or anything and that it infrjnges on art and creativity", its still a change and the first 2 years I went, had NONE of that there at all. People in the fandom argue that "only 10 percent look at clop or not safe work", at the smaller cons especially, that is pretty much the only art. Even on the second day at Fillycon, there was someone wearing a body pillow as a cape and someone dancing with one. At the smaller cons too, there is a much closer ratio of Children and parents to Bronies, and with that art, the children (who honestly the show is MADE for) are confused.
At Ponycon there was arguably more kids under 13, than bronies, and even having those young kids kn the rave too, is dangerous for their ears. There was tweets from different twitter profiles too that was advertising a "fun event for families", which it would be, but there is way more nsfw, or risque and bathing suit types of pictures, and that isnt good for kids for obvious reasons, let alone legal reasons. Other cons like Anthrocon had legal issues, so they made a speerate area and had a parent permission form needing a notary. And of course those vendors did sell work and art of other fandoms, but to push other fandoms as the whole theme, to me just seems as a money issue.
The total attendance was down around 25-30% last year. That can be understandable because of the riots going on in Baltimore, there was a "peaceful protest woth fireworks" and the staff at Bronycon said it was "safe" and yet recommended that people not be outside alone. The convention's contract with the center will expire in 2019, so i wonder if they will keep the same area or not, they might even go to Washington D.C., and that would lose some more people too. I am also ready for the staff to deny any of what I'm saying because other cons have done that to me already. The Convention though, had more money pushing activities than usual: They teamed up with Papa Johns and sold small pizzas for around 10 dollars each, and they even added a DJ to the lineup (not naming, if you went last year, you would know) that had absolutely NO affiliation to the fandom and instead was paid for because she had her own website and was part of the anime community, to probably "add variation".
Which brings me to the next point and issue for me: the DJs and BronyPalooza. In all honesty, that is the part of the convention that amde me even want to go in the first place. First joining in the fandom in 2013, when Skrillex, Nero and Flux pavillion were the music of choice for me, BronyPalooza seemed like a perfect match since I was WAY too young to go to a festival, but even since then, its been much more different, for good and bad. The music has been more varied, which also can be both a good and bad feature, and I sure have discovered more musicians due to this, but now, it is based off of just performing what the artists want, not the fans. Last year, there were more artists due to the Fifth Anniversary, but the artists we all know: Garnika, Omniponi, Silva Hound, all started pushing the generic kind of music, that fits in every mix and included little to any Brony music at all. In a reddit post questioning this issue, Silva Hound, and others responded with very harsh responses: "It's all about ponies, you just aren't listening to the lyrics", "its tough adding pony music to the mixes", "we've passed our pony phases and want to experiment", which is worrying since that is what the artists are paid for. The Bronycon staff on that thread even admitted that they have no real requirements for playing pony music, just "recommending of one or two pony songs" and that even that is not strict, so it is worthless. They keep these artists in contracts to keep going, but if these artists have no such commitment to what they are supposed to be playing, its gonna get lower in quality.
I have been to other pony conventions and the music they played was way worse though. At Ponycon 2017, I heard the lion roar at the beginning of a movie as a sample, (I mean come on!), and I heard the song "Ghost" by Mystery Skulls the THIRD TIME AT A PONY CONVENTION. At Fillycon in Philadelphia, the first music night had Middle Eastern music being played and stops between each song in a "DJ" setlist, an unremixed version of "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites" and the musicians were partying for 2 hours and were late for their time and my gf and I couldn't stay for the ONLY REASON WE WENT, and the staff leader suggested opening the doors to anyone FOR FREE when the artists didn't like that there weren't as many people in the audience.
While one can argue that other fandom conventions can't have "only fandom music" since there is not nearly as much music, the pony fandom is entirely different. New artists are coming out daily, and there is no such shortages. The first year i went, they had the musicians that started the whole music movement in the first place, which was an amazing sight to see, but many of those have moved on. Even MandoPONY deleted his pony music, and Garnika put his pony music in a folder called "Old Music" on Youtube. When listening to Astra's set for Bronycon 2016, his set was filled with rap and trap, which may not have been any issue for some, but barely any of it had anything to do with ponies, and there were pictures of anime characters on the screen, with little to anything pony related, so I see the issue.
It's the point of "joining every fandom and not keeping the pony intact". Nobody wants to admit it, but it's true. There are people i know in other groups that hate, and i mean HATE, Bronies, so why are you pushing to have them included? I understand some in other fandoms like them, but then they go to a "Genericon" in their town and save their money, rather than joining a bigger con and paying more for less of an experience. It helps a smaller con and more than likely, they will feel less alienated knowing many people there like that than going to a con made almost exclusively for bronies. Though, my story with a different convention was WAY worse, and included issues such as: ahem A DJ PLAYING A VIDEO WITH UNDER 5 YEAR OLD KIDS TWERKING DURING THE RAVE. The staff said it was "okay", but a person working there said it was not right. The convention in name was Zenkaikon, I have no problem releasing that info.
To end this rant, many will say I am "wrong", including the staff, and i understand, but these issues TO ME, make me way more cautious. If this was free, or very local, it would not be as bad of a problem, but it's not. It costs me around 500$ a year to go, and if it is not what I want there, why use the money? Since I am not sure if Ponycon, nor Fillycon will happen again, (with the latter not having an official date, with "June 2017" and then Fall 2017), Bronycon will more than likely be my only one, I can't fly to a farther one, and id rather then just go to Anthrocon. If the con is less than 60-70% pony, I will not go again probably, and it would be depressing, that they changed to make more money.
Mod Edit Added a few line breaks to make this easier for others to digest. All original content (including typos) left as is.