Six years ago today, I met a number of really fabulous people, including my partner in this blog. We met in New Orleans at the Duran Duran Fans Convention. This convention was a three day event when Duranies from across the country came together to celebrate our mutual love for the band. There were many fun activities as part of the convention, including Duranie games, the vendor fair to buy merchandise, and the dinner/dance. In many ways, that weekend is a blur as it truly felt like one big party!
The thing that sticks out the most to me (and did then) is how many great stories were shared. I heard so many fans talk about their adventures as fans, including going to shows and seeing and/or meeting the band. Everyone seemed excited to hear about each other’s experiences and had their interest (obsession!) fed by them. We all wanted to have stories to share, if we didn’t already, and felt strongly that we would be able to soon with the album, Astronaut, coming out and a tour soon to follow. Would we all respond in the same way now? I suspect not.
It seems to me that when you join or rejoin a fandom, everything seems great in the beginning! All of the other fans seem so open and welcoming. There is no negativity and everyone seems considerate and honest. Of course, this positive energy was partly coming from the band at that time as they were, or seemed, happy to be back together. It all seemed new again for ALL of us. Since then, two new albums were released and many tours took place. Now, most Duranies recognize that things are not always happy-go-lucky within the fan community as more and more people had their experiences, both with the other fans and with the band, and some of those experiences were not positive ones.
Does that mean that there shouldn’t be anymore conventions? Should meetups no longer exist? Interestingly enough, a group was started on facebook during the summer about a possible Duran Duran convention. Currently, the group has over 550 members. Yet, I haven’t seen anything happening in regards to a convention. In fact, there are no administrators left in that group. Why couldn’t a convention happen now? Why didn’t more happen after that 2004 one? Is it because there is no interest? 550 people would say otherwise. Is it because it is difficult to plan? That could very well be true. Is it because Duranies are too negative, with the band and/or each other? That could depend on who goes, I suppose. Perhaps, people would say that they are interested and end up not going in order to save money for a tour.
Personally, I think that conventions and meetups still have their place and can be incredibly fun! I wish that there had some been one between the shows last summer and whenever the next shows happen. After all, a convention could end up not only being a ton of fun but also the beginning of great friendships!