The Empty Stage at AM2
When I had the pleasure of attending AM2′s first year I found it to be an amazing first outing for a convention. While the floor was small, the atmosphere was big. The floor had a great many cosplayers, and the venders, games, and artist alleys framed a stage at the end of the hall where there was always something going on. There were performances by music artists like Icarus Kid, and fun events like the Iron Cosplay, where fans went up on stage and tried to create costumes based on a surprise theme. This year the stage was off in a corner and, for the most part, remained empty. Other than a performance by Anime Cafe, a group of dancing girls in Gothic Lolita maid outfits, there stage was quiet. The ample gaming area was cut in half, with a few fair style games on the floor and card games in a room upstairs.
Everything this year felt like it had been cut in half. The vender area, the gaming area, even the floor itself was a fraction of its size. Last year there were open tables inviting congoers to have a seat and intermingle and add to the friendly atmosphere amidst games and photo booths. This year there wasn’t much area to sit down aside from the food court area.
Year one had an amazing charm. For a fledgling convention it had incredible heart, and when you walked onto the floor you could feel engaged. There was music and fun events that you could watch or even participate in, but this year it feels a little tired. To put it bluntly, it felt like an anime themed swap meet. This can change, but it needs your help. The stage didn’t get put off to the side to discourage events. It was put there because there weren’t that many events planned. You can organize an event for next year, visit AM2′s website. These conventions are a celebration of fandom and camaraderie within the fan community. It’s up to the fans to help breath life back into the exhibit hall.