#ChibiCon2015 – Lesson learned ‪#CCSakurabana

This years ChibiCon, “small” winter festival held by Sakurabana Belgrade, is over. It was fantastic, fun and tiresome for “us” on the “other side” of the selling stands.

For years I’m participating in Artist Alley, that’s arts and crafts selling part of ChibiCon and Japanizam. And every year I underestimate the number of hairbands/necky’s for my stand. Well this year it was total bust! All my stuff was gone only 3h after opening on the first day. I had 12 sets of hairbands and neko chokers made as a gift for Sakurabana, even that was sold out until the end of first day (all money from that went to Sacurabana as donation for  #CCSakurabana).

In a nutshell, I learned my lesson!!! And I’m starting with preparations for this year Japanisam2015 NOW!!!
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This year I had to face the worse thing any one who make craft can face – to tell that I don’t have more hairbands/neko chokers and to see disappointed look on children’s faces. I don’t want to face that feelings ever again 😦

As for ChibiCon 2015 goes, this was everything but SMALL festival!!! The number of people was unexpected more than 2000 people for 2 days!!! You can read how our organizers have experienced this year’s ChibiCon in their report (it’s on my native language – Serbian so be sure to turn on translator in your browser):
ChibiCon 2015 Report 

As for my impressions goes – I had to miss most of it once again. I did manage to take few quick snapshots on the other day, with traditionally poor camera.

This was my spot Sulless Art

And these where some of the other participants in Artist Alley:

On the second day Mina Mistiqarts an me had our place under the spotlights with lecture “Anime vs Jdorama”
These pictures are from official Sakurabana album taken by Bojan Vasiljević

Of course, the “backbone” of every event are volunteers, and this year they where helping and giving “free hugs” 🙂

Bit one thing that really made me happy is a piece of paper, this one<3
Well, I’m going back to my crochet hook.

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#‎CCSAKURABANA‬ High School Festival – summary

Festival was on Sunday. And that Sunday morning was everything but sunny. Heavy gray clouds and small but constant rain followed by cold wind greeted me that morning. I took that as bad sign – even I wasn’t too willing to go out in that weather. Gloomy morning was followed with few other minor setbacks before I managed to go out of my front door.

Needless to say, moment when I reached club where Festival supposed to be held I was in a state of  nerve wreak. Luckily in the club where already Borivoje and Damien with Marija and some volunteers and they helped me to loose up a bit. People start to come and we had a busy task of adjusting club’s space to suite our needs. By 16:00 when our first teams started to show up things did look much better.

High mood and optimism of people around me was contagious. My “kids” (sill have in mind – they are teenagers) where busy an dedicated to their task. You could feel their excitement and optimism like electricity in the air. Music and laughter filled all the corners of Wait & Stay Club.

Some had problems with their outfits

Others prepared their booths

Our volunteers where ready too

Same as our maids

All was set and 10 minutes before official start people started to “break in” so we opened our doors. Festival officially  started. And I have to say – it was huge and undeniable success!!! 

Number of visitors was exceeded our expectations. And atmosphere was … I can’t describe it properly with words. Everybody had fun – our teams as well as guests. This was Festival but at the same time a fund-raiser for CCSakurabana, but in one point we all forgot about fund raising part and we where all just sucked in to the swirl of good mood and fun. Maybe words can’t describe but we have video to show you how it all looked like

And photos as well

 And we had some media representatives, so we have a great photo gallery on nadlanu.com portal magazine (check out the link!): http://www.nadlanu.com/pocetna/zabava/Manga-festival-Beogradski-srednjoskolci-prikupljaju-sredstva-za-svoj-kulturni-centar.g-1795437.131.html
A
nd in Monday local newspaper a small article about event:

In the end We where happy and tired but with that hyper feeling that you have when life trow you a great and fantastically overwhelming surprise. We gathered descent sum of money for our future Cultural Center Sakurabana. But most importantly we had Festival that made all our “kids” happy and satisfied – truly anime/j-drama/blog footage’s and texts like event. It was clear to us that something like this gonna happen again, a unspoken promise to all Sakurabana’s members and to us.

But more than anything else, to me, this was a proof that even if it seems like we are swim against the tide and fight with windmills – we are doing the right thing  and all our efforts are worthwhile! So we will keep on fighting!!!

Festivals, creative workshops, Sakurabana and me

Last month I promised that I’ll write more about Sakurabana, but I didn’t follow true my promise. There is a reason for that, great one at that!!! I was busy helping them and doing what I do for them on monthly basis.

So what I do for them?

Once a month I hold a “lecture” as we call it, truth is that’s a workshop, very interactive. We talk about Japanese music, popular music, we choose a band and talk about it. I prepare some information about that band or a singer. We gather and talk. There is a lots of kids (I call them my kids but they are teenagers, very bright young people) who come there to learn something more or just to share their knowledge. So sometimes I teach them but sometimes  they teach me, and that’s the best part. We had one “lecture” recently, we talked about Buck-Tick. Those “kids” are my source of positive energy.

And how I was helping them?

Well, I had an idea about festival, and people from Sakurabana loved the idea so they let me organize a festival – we call it a High School Festival. And I have to emphasize that I did this FOR Sakurabana and with help of people from Sakurabana.


Basically, if you watch anime, j-dorama or just read about Japan you can’t miss it, those festivals are part of Japanese life and growing up. They bring communities together, they are good way to meet neighbors, but in schools – they tend to show best skills and abilities of children. They put ascent to children’s  creativity, team work and ingenuity.

And, once again, Sakurabana’s kids prove to be source of great positive energy! They are bearers of this festival, they had ideas for festival activities, they are working hard to organize themselves. In 6 short days, on Sunday 16th November at 17:00 local time, they are gonna be the stars of the festival!!!

We will have:

  • Maid cafe
  • Hosts
  • OriSOr selling stand with posters
  • Music prize game
  • Origami prize game
  • Balloons prize game
  • Manga and chibi portrets
  • Fortune telling corner
  • Sweet brownies
  • raffle

And so many more fun things to do in a 4 short hours. We even have our own video:

You can call it a fundraiser event, but not with suits and classical music, we will have a joy of kids laughter and happy voices.
More about event you can find in official Sakurabana’s blog: http://www.sakurabana.info/2014/11/highschool-festival-16112014.html
o
r on our event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/714626968622733/

But if you can’t come to share joy with us and help Sakurabana build Cultural Center Sakurabana (#CCSakurabana) , you can still help by donating or just sharing Indiegogo link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cultural-center-sakurabana

Thank you!!!
C ya on Sunday 🙂