Loncon 3 Opening Ceremonies Rock Softly

By Francis Hamit and Leigh Strother-Vien: “Hey Kids, Let’s Put On A Play!” These words must have been uttered at some point in the decision-making process by someone on the ConCom’‘s Ceremonial Brain Trust. The result was a highly enjoyable hour of fun and frivolity that combined elements from “Waiting For Godot”, performance art, the Harry Potter films, and a long-winded debate about whether or not the venue was LonCon3 or the LonCon School of Witchcraft and Wizardry [formerly Hugowarts SoW&W].

Scenes from well-known sf films and TV, such as “2001″ and “Doctor Who” were recreated before the co-chairs, Steve Cooper and Alice Lawson, attired as professors from the school, took the stage to introduce the Guests of Honour. They were occasionally interrupted by a very large man dressed as an owl, bearing messages to be read aloud to the audience. The GOHs were “sorted” with a propeller beanie, and assigned to various houses at the school.

This was followed by short documentary film about how the bases for the 2014 Hugos and the 1939 Retro-Hugos were made. The hour ended in a sing-along of “LonCon” to the music of Petula Clark’s best remembered number “Downtown”. The whole thing defies further description, but was videoed and will hopefully be coming to a YouTube channel near you.