Pyrkon 2024 – A Good but Overwhelming Experience

Pyrkon 2024 was huge. Well it was not a surprise but it also felt a bit overwhelming to me. Seems I am way too tired this year and need some rest. Still I had a good time at the con even though it was a bit specific experience to me.


Some people say that one cannot attend programme at Pyrkon without spending a lot of time in the queues. Having that in mind I didn’t check the programme grid before the con. I knew there are three panels I will be moderating and I supposed that may be it of programming for me. I was in no mood for long queues. It was a mistake as it seemed that there were some free sits in many programme items and I could have attended more. Still considering how tired I was before the con it was better that I spent the time socializing with friends.

A view on two buildings. One of them is rectangular while the other is a tall round spire. There are multiple people visible outside of them.
A view towards The Spire where I had panels.

The panels I moderated were all held in English in the Iglica [The Spire] building. The room was spacious but it had one big flaw – acoustics. From what I was told it worked pretty well for the audience. Unfortunately on the stage it was a bit challenging to understand everything that my panellists were saying. Of course it was not that bad to make it impossible to host a panel – just a bit difficult to catch everything.

What I need to mention is that Pyrkon took good care of programme participants. I not only got a free entrance but also received a t-shirt, convention die and one warm meal per day. Also the option to avoid the queue was great. On Friday afternoon the line for people who made a ticket reservation was around 400 meters long.

Apart from the three panels I moderated I attended only one other programme item. It was a panel for the 30th Anniversary of Copernicus Corporation. They are Polish RPG publisher and I absolutely love their work and how great people they are. Back in 2022 we managed to bring them ESFS Award for Best Publisher. The same year they were the Guests of Honour at Imladris Polcon. I couldn’t skip this item when I learned it is being held.

Three people sitting behind the table.
Anniversary Panel of Copernicus Corporation.

30th Anniversary

Speaking of Copernicus Corporation’s anniversary I should mention some other things. This year they had larger than usual space in the dealers hall. It was great to see many people coming there to buy the books and also to play games. At one of the tables they put a commemorative book to celebrate this important milestone. When I browsed through it on the last day there were plenty of beautiful and positive words! I even saw some people posting pictures of their pets called with the names of Chaos Gods from Warhammer. (It is probably the most fanous of the games they are publishing). I spent quite a bit of time here chatting with friends.

I was also very happy and honoured with the invitation to the anniversary dinner of Copernicus Corporation. As you can see above I admire their work and enjoy it. I also like them personally and consider them friends. It was a pleasure to be with the team during such an important occasion. I regret I had to leave early as my sleeping space was closing very early for the night.

A nice book lying on a table. There are some stickers and pens next to it. On the cover there is a logo that reads '30 LAT COP CORP'.
Copernicus Corporation’s Anniversary Book at Pyrkon 2024.


Accomodation is a huge issue at Pyrkon. The event is enormous (over 57 000 people visited it this year). So it should not be a surprise that most of the accommodation options in the city are getting full. Moreover for a few years one can observe increase in the prices for the Pyrkon weekend. And I don’t speak here about 10% or 20% increase. The highest offer on booking that someone posted was 22 333 PLN (~5160 EUR) for one night for 3 people. And it was not a luxurious hotel – rather a room with some old couches. What is insane is that it started to happen for people to offer option to sleep on the floor in their houses for a few hundreds PLN…

When I was in my train back to kraków the date for Pyrkon 2025 was announced. I checked Booking app and prices were starting at 1000 PLN for two people for two nights. Of course 1000 PLN doesn’t sound bad for hotel. Yet here in Poland one can usually find way cheaper venues.

Unfortunately prices are not the only issues. For a few years we are hearing of some frauds related to apartments and even hotels. They are cancelling reservations for people only to offer them for a bigger price the next day.

A large crowd of people marching.
Cult of pineapple march during Pyrkon 2024.

Considering all of those issues some fans started to suggest others to sleep even in Wrocław. It is located almost 150 km away from Poznań in the straight line. Still the train connection between the cities is quite good and Pyrkon takes place next to the station.

This year I was lucky as a friend found some extremely cheap accommodation option. The drawback was early closure (11 PM). Another issue was the size of the room as it had nine beds (and only two power sockets). It was still good as there was only 5 of us there. Still considering the above I am not sure whether I will make it next year. I cannot make any definite plans for now.


On Friday when I arrived at Pyrkon 2024 I walked around the con and met some friends. It was rather a lazy day for me. In the evening Seji introduced me to Luke Crane (whose game – “Torchbearer” we played). The next day however was rather tiring. For most of Saturday I kept walking and talking. At first I spent a few hours chatting with a friend whom I haven’t seen for a few years. We were walking around the dealers hall. There I met a few other friends at their booths.

Very large crowd of people in a big expo hall.
Dealers hall may have not been the best place for conversation nut we somehow managed.

What can I say about the dealers hall? It was 13 469 square meters big and filled with all kinds of geeky dealers. Oh next to it was another one (which I didn’t visit) that was “only” 3 079 square meters and where craftsman had their booths. If one wants to buy stuff Pyrkon is a great place to find everything at one place. There were publishers, craftspeople, and artists. One could buy anime and game merch, books, games, t-shirts, jewellery, and everything else. Some booths were not really geeky in itself. Still I am sure that the alternative fashion items found some people interested in them. I must mention one issue though. It seems that some of the dealers were offering unlicensed items from Ali Express. That is a pity.

The moment I said farewell to one friend I planned the meeting with another one. I usually see hime once per year at Pyrkon. And again we mainly walked around chatting. And once we parted I had to go to my panel after which I left the con to meet with not geeky friend who lives in Poznań.

Wax candles shaped as dice and skulls. There are D12, D8 and D20 dice.
I was enchanted with those candles.

Sunday was a bit calmer (but also shorter). Still it was great to accidentally met Ell whom I haven’t seen in years! All in all most of Pyrkon was reuniting with people I haven’t seen in years.

Missing So Many Things

Pyrkon 2024 had way more to offer than I managed to see! I walked around just part of the huge halls. I am aware I missed some exhibitions and of course most of the programme. There was a fan village which I only walked through and didn’t spend time to learn more about some conventions. Not sure if it is now possible to devote enough time to everything at Pyrkon. And this may be a good thing. Possibly this attracts people year over year. Each time Pyrkon can be a different type of experience.

A huge diorama depicting fantasy castle with a big tree behind it.
A beautiful diorama in one of the halls.

For sure the fact that I was tired and overwhelmed with everything made me miss more things than I would usually do. Having said that I had a good time and I came back home happy that I attended Pyrkon 2024. It may have not been perfect but it made me feel good. (Tired as hell but good!) I don’t know what will happen next year. I may or may not be able to attend but I am very happy that I attended Pyrkon for years. Even though it became a bit less place for me it is a great con that attracts so many people. Some of them may be dragged deeper into more fannish fandom, join local clubs and so on. As a matter of fact one person who visited our local small club in Kraków last week was motivated to look for it after Pyrkon 2024.

You can find more pictures in my FB gallery.

My next post will treat about Bazyliszek and will appear around the middle of July.

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