What are the fringiest, niche-iest fan conventions in America?
August 14, 2012 11:19 AM   Subscribe

What are the fringiest, niche-iest fan conventions in America?

I want to explore the nature of obsession and fandom by traveling to some seriously off-the-grid fan conventions. So far I've looked at Railfan conventions and Yaoicon, but I'm looking for more! Lay 'em on me.
posted by tweebiscuit to Society & Culture (43 answers total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
 
Especially looking for conventions in the northeast US. Northeast Canada works too.
posted by tweebiscuit at 11:22 AM on August 14, 2012


Does the Gathering of the Juggalos count? (previously on Mefi)
posted by The Michael The at 11:23 AM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Cowboy Poetry--doesn't seem that niche to me, but maybe to someone from the East Coast?
posted by Ideefixe at 11:23 AM on August 14, 2012


The Gathering of the Juggalos definitely fits the template I'm looking for, yep!
posted by tweebiscuit at 11:24 AM on August 14, 2012


Does Anthrocon fit? It's the con of the fandom that everyone loves to hate, furries!
posted by that girl at 11:27 AM on August 14, 2012


X-Day?
posted by julthumbscrew at 11:29 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


My mom just told me about a relative who attended the American Political Items Collectors National Convention in Columbus.
posted by jabes at 11:38 AM on August 14, 2012


BronyCon 2012: for Bronies, Adult Male Fans Of My Little Pony.
posted by alms at 11:43 AM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Laurapalooza I may or may not have attended this event in 2010.
posted by kimdog at 11:56 AM on August 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Winter SWL Fest: a conference of radio hobbyists of all stripes, from DC to daylight ... It covers much more than just shortwave; mediumwave (AM), scanning, satellite TV, and pirate broadcasting are among the other topics that the Fest covers.
posted by mykescipark at 11:59 AM on August 14, 2012


The classic film / film collector conventions I mentioned in this FPP a couple of months ago probably fit: Cinecon, Cinevent, Cinesation, and Cinefest.
posted by bubukaba at 12:07 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


This may or may not fit your criteria for "fan convention", but the New Bedford Whaling Museum's Moby-Dick Marathon is pretty durn niche. Similarly, Bloomsday.
posted by quatsch at 12:10 PM on August 14, 2012


Oh, and Moxie Fest!
posted by quatsch at 12:12 PM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Filk fandom is a pretty fringey segment within sci-fi fandom. Its biggest US gathering is Ohio Valley Filk Fest (OVFF), though there are smaller conventions throughout the year.
posted by ActionPopulated at 12:12 PM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, and Lebowski Fest, which is exactly what it says on the tin.
posted by ActionPopulated at 12:14 PM on August 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


Dark Shadows Festival (there was a TIL episode about this.)

The National Button Society Convention (link is to state and national cons coming up!)

My brother went to Winkie Con, the longest running Wizard of Oz con!

North American National Model Horse Show

I'm not sure I should direct you to a scooter or micro-car rally. But those are fun parties mostly with an anorak side.
posted by vespabelle at 12:20 PM on August 14, 2012


GenCon?
posted by xicana63 at 12:32 PM on August 14, 2012


Gen Con is about as far away from fringe/niche as you can get in a gaming convention, actually, and not particularly fannish. Still probably worth going to, though.

I was going to mention ConTemporal, which to my understanding was a steampunk oriented convention/mass LARP. The website is currently down though.
posted by daikaisho at 12:44 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


These are great choices, guys, thanks so much!
posted by tweebiscuit at 1:04 PM on August 14, 2012


Maybe this Cracked article helps you to find out why you don't want to attend these cons.
posted by MinusCelsius at 1:05 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are a number of sea shanty festivals. More than I was expecting, actually--I was just searching for the link to the single one I knew about in San Diego!
posted by rhiannonstone at 1:10 PM on August 14, 2012


DomCon. Los Angeles or Atlanta, your choice.
posted by hwyengr at 1:18 PM on August 14, 2012


Twins Days Festival
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:36 PM on August 14, 2012


The International Guild of Knot Tyers has conventions. I found that out while exploring the wonderful book "The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Knots & Ropework." Who knew?
posted by Invoke at 1:43 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Four Days In May and Lobstercon are for people who like to design and make very low power amateur radios.
posted by scruss at 1:49 PM on August 14, 2012


Twin Peaks Fest!

"Damn good festival ... and hot!"

DISCLAIMER: AFOREMENTIONED FESTIVAL LOCATED IN WASHINGTON STATE MAY NOT IN FACT, BE HOT.

posted by leotrotsky at 1:55 PM on August 14, 2012


Speaking of Twin Peaks, you just missed Twins Days 2012, which is pretty amazing. I don't know if "multiple births" counts as a fandom?

I have always wanted to report on the Blackpool, England Elvis Impersonators' Contest and Convention.

A friend of mine runs the Boston Burlesque Expo; something he does that is a bit special is to honor ladies who were burlesque stars of the past at each convention, and these older ladies are often amazing characters.

A friend of mine is a regular at the Betsy-Tacy Society Convention, a gathering for fans of the early 20th century children's books by Maud Hart Lovelace.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:30 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]




International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society Convention.

Dorkstock (for fans of the John Kovalic comic Dork Tower)
posted by Madamina at 3:17 PM on August 14, 2012


This year's Steamcon is shaping up to be pretty seriously geeky.
posted by mephron at 3:39 PM on August 14, 2012


The North American Discworld Convention is next summer in Baltimore.
posted by nonasuch at 3:43 PM on August 14, 2012


If you want to get meta, SMOFcon is a convention about organising science fiction conventions. Corflu is the convention for science fiction fanzine fans. You just missed Vividcon, which is devoted entirely to fanvids. RCW139 is a Due South convention which revived itself even though the show's been off the air for 13 years.
posted by penguinliz at 4:22 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Howard Days.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 4:41 PM on August 14, 2012


You just missed DefCon, the hacker convention.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 5:28 PM on August 14, 2012


The Black Orchid Weekend is a convention for fans of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries.
posted by eugenen at 6:45 PM on August 14, 2012


WisCon is the world's leading feminist science fiction convention.

LeakyCon is a big convention, but if you are outside of Harry Potter fandom, you've probably never heard of it.
posted by baniak at 7:17 PM on August 14, 2012




Here are a bunch of cosplay conventions.

What about a Civil War reenactment?
posted by SisterHavana at 10:00 PM on August 14, 2012


How about the Pinball Expo?
Or Hamvention? 25,000 ham radio operators can't be wrong!
posted by Marky at 11:50 PM on August 14, 2012


The International Barbershop Quartet Convention happens on the 4th of July every year.
posted by zoetrope at 9:42 AM on August 15, 2012


You just missed AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI
posted by jaimystery at 5:30 PM on August 15, 2012


I've been to GenCon and it's a pretty mainstream-type gaming convention.
posted by IndigoRain at 7:16 PM on August 15, 2012


Late to the party, but, there's Rollercon for roller derby. And about a month ago was the first JuniorCon -- which was for the Jr Derby girls ...
posted by theRussian at 9:20 PM on August 22, 2012


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