Today due to a combination of factors – old age forgetfulness and a busy day at work – I neglected to secure tickets to the Doctor Who convention, Gallifrey One, that I have been attending for the last six years. When we started to attend Gally way back when, it was something we did at the last minute (heck we registered at the convention) and you could either purchase a day or the whole weekend. Gallifrey One to me, was always about a fun casual atmosphere to meet and interact with stars of the show. It was a refreshing change of pace compared to what I remember about visiting conventions (cons now for the social media generation) and it made me want to return year after year.
The past few years as Doctor Who has gotten more and more popular, demand for the convention has gotten crazy! Three years ago, they first sold out a couple of months before the convention started. (I believe this was the year of the autograph incident where I was denied a Peter Davison autograph out of sheer disorganization by the volunteers – I think everyone was just overwhelmed and honestly, not a typical event.). The next year they sold out in 12 days, and this year they sold out in 75 minutes! With no Guests announced! Crazy. But you know what? The folks that put on the show have worked hard over the last 25 years to build a community that a lot of people want to visit.
So I have mixed emotions about not getting tickets. It is not like I wasn’t warned (the organizers were very, very clear they expected a quick sellout – even if no one had an idea that it would be this fast!), but at the same time it just seems like a lot of work to arrange your whole day around getting a ticket for something – even something you really want to do. Am I lazy? Maybe, but now that it has become work, it just seems like less fun than when you could just roll up off the street and visit the convention and instantly be part of the family. A more formal experience where you have to reserve in advance like ComicCon or brave long lines to hear people talk who, sorry, don’t do autographs (like the big stars at some of the old Star Trek conventions) is not the type of experience I am interested in, and is why I stopped going to conventions back in the 1990s. I think Gally is trying desperately to hang on to what made it so great and I do not want them to get bigger, just better.
Sadly, I can’t have my cake and eat it too. I can’t sit on my rear and hope that I will get a ticket for something just because I want it. I also can’t expect people to stop being interested in Doctor Who. Times change and unless I want to be left behind, I’ll need to do a gut check and decide if I want to invest the time to get what I want. In the meantime, there is a chance that I can try and get a ticket transfer sometime in the Fall. Hopefully I will remember to do it and not just let the whole thing slip my mind until I read something on Twitter from the many people I follow that are fans and Gally attendees. On the other hand, if I do decide to be left behind, then it has been a great ride with some great memories and I wish them all the best.
But don’t count me out just yet! I may see you all there next year!!