Tolkien News

Celebrate Tolkien 2017

I’ve always been envious of Tolkien-themed events like Mythmoot, HobbitCon and DragonCon’s Tolkien track (which they sadly don’t have anymore), but that doesn’t stop me from being happy that others get to go. I recently learned about a Tolkien-themed conference that’s going to take place in Greenville, South Carolina later in the year and it’s called Celebrate Tolkien, which is all about, you got it, the Professor!

It takes place over the course of two days and costs $299 to register—I know what you’re thinking because it’s the same thought I had, that’s a lot of money. I was able to speak to Dan Cruver, the man behind the @JRRTolkien twitter account, and this is what he had to say about the price, “[It’s] truly reflective of the cost of hosting the event. As a first-year conference, we can’t benefit from economies of scale from having thousands of attendees, so it’s the cost of hosting a high-quality event in a beautiful venue for 180 die-hard fans, and bringing in notable presenters from all over the world. The price point might not reflect what other fan festivals charge, but it’s a fairly low price for what conferences of this caliber are asking. One thing is for sure, the attendees are in for a real treat.” With that amount, I can only imagine what’s in store for those who get to attend!

The Tolkien community has been around for decades and it’s definitely not going anywhere anytime soon, so that led me to ask Dan if we could expect to see more conferences like this in the future, “We hope to host more, but we’re taking them one event at a time. If there’s enough interest, we will organize more for sure!”

“I sensed a real need for there to be a real-life community for those who follow @JRRTolkien. Most followers are fans of the books and/or movies, but there is a passionate core who deeply care about the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien and the legendarium he created, and we want to bring them together. I’m the curator of the feed, but many of these presenters are friends and are collaborating with me to make the event possible. I also have the help of my friend Ben Arment, a seasoned and supremely gifted event organizer, who is handling logistics.”

The conference has an impressive lineup of guests, from scholars including Lisa Coutras to artists like Justin Gerard. “As curator of @JRRTolkien, I’ve been privileged to meet many extraordinary people—from fans who possess breathtaking expert level knowledge of all-things-Tolkien and Middle-earth to formally trained scholars who’ve forgotten more about Tolkien and his legendarium than I know. But my great joy is to see these two groups of special groups of people brought together to celebrate their common interest, Tolkien and the world that was created in his own mind and experience. But, if I could choose one ‘dream guest’ it would likely be Viggo Mortensen, my favorite The Lord of the Rings actor, tied, of course, with David Wenham as Faramir. Those are two you can’t go wrong with. Oh, and Liv Tyler too… I’d also be thrilled to have Weta Workshop grace us with their presence as well. Why celebrate the wonder of Tolkien’s world if we can’t have our dreams, true?”

While there’ll be presentations happening throughout the two days, attendees can also expect a pipe smoking competition, games, Middle-earth themed food and music, and a party on the first night. “Rub shoulders with the presenters and other guests, test your knowledge of Tolkien’s works, win prizes, and enjoy the community that has come together for this special occasion.” If you’re like me, you don’t have any experience with pipe-smoking but if you are interested, they’ll provide a little tutorial on-site and will have prizes for rings and other shapes. Think you can top Gandalf’s ship?

Image credit: New Line Cinema

As for the food? I asked Dan if there would be lembas (the food of our people, haha) and he responded, “We need to save a few surprises for the actual event, but that’s a great idea! But we have other not-to-be-missed-ideas that will be kept secret, kept safe…” Guess you’ll have to attend to find out!

The schedule is as follows:

Thursday, November 9
8:00 AM – Check-in
9:00 AM – Session 1
10:30 AM – Break
11:00 AM – Session 2
12:15 PM – Lunch on Your Own
1:45 PM – Session 3
3:15 PM – Break
3:45 PM – Session 4
4:30 PM – Dismiss
7:00 PM – Evening Party (Location TBA)

Friday, November 10
8:00 AM – Doors Open
9:00 AM – Session 5
10:30 AM – Break
11:00 AM – Session 6
12:15 PM – Lunch on Your Own
1:45 PM – Session 7
3:30 PM – After-Party
5:00 PM – Dismiss

Celebrate Tolkien

When: November 9-10, 2017
Where: The Old Cigar Warehouse in Greenville, SC

Check out their FAQ to learn more about the event and click here to register!

Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.