Another week, another show – the last couple of months have obviously been a busy part of the calendar, and this spurt of the show season has ended with one of my favourite shows: Euro.
There’s obviously the usual stuff to talk about, but first, the pictures (with usual “I’m a bad photographer and the light in the hall makes me worse” excuses):
As for myself, I was over the moon to get gold for the ducks, the Oakwood Studios prize and nominated for best of show. Despite Paul announcing that I didn’t even use wooden plinths, I will point out that the board they’re mounted on is, in fact, made of wood (although I think it’s just pine). So, my delicious trophies:
Anyway, there’s been a lot of talk about the attendance, which was certainly down. Golden Demon was on the same day, which I assume took away a lot of the fantasy figure painters and all of the fantasy vehicles. It’s a real shame, because it’s great when the hall is full and there are no empty tables, but the show circuit is busy at this time of year and other (political) shenanigans almost certainly kept some of the Europeans away.
Despite that, I still had a great time at the show – I think the extra space in the trading hall being used for demos was a really good idea. It made the whole thing feel much less mercenary than it has in past years, when you’ve struggled to move because the traders’ tables were crammed in.
I’d also point out that the quality at the top end was still right up there – Euro still has a reputation as a tough show, which I think brings out that competitive streak. I remember back in the day, the ‘Euro gold’ was almost legendary; it’s perhaps lost a little of that glamour as the numbers have dwindled, but you do still see much of the same level of work on display. I can also say that the judging was still very tough because I was judging the fantasy figures and I’m a complete bastard.
As with all shows, it’ll live or die on the punters turning up – I know that I think it’s important for the UK to have a ‘big’ show that’s reasonably accessible to other parts of Europe to bring people in. At the moment, Euro is really the only show to do that (I discount GD because it’s restricted to GW, which means it’s cutting out huge parts of the hobby – historical figures, flats, etc.). Perhaps another one will turn up, but I’ll support Euro for as long as I can.
I do think that a change of venue could really benefit the show, especially if it can be moved somewhere with a larger appeal – perhaps somewhere with a castle, or a particularly nice town square. Something really British (ideally not Jeremy-Kyle-and-Eastenders British). The shows I’ve most enjoyed attending have all had something to do outside the show, especially cafes and bars to sit in the sun and talk nerd-things with other nerds.
So, with Euro out of the way, I believe the next show I’m planning to attend is a little show in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, in June. It’s mostly vehicles as far as I can tell (like, 23 categories of vehicles and one for figures), but I thought I’d check it out anyway. I might not drag the ducks to that.