I’ve been a regular attendee of MTAC or The Middle Tennessee Anime Convention, for the past seven years, or simply since 2008. Every single MTAC has always been the absolute highlight of my year and some of my best life experiences. From the “flood con” year that was pure hell, to the year I filmed for my college class, it has always been exciting and a chance for me to be whoever I want to be.
This year the con was in a new hotel and a new location, Murfreesboro Tennessee, and personally, I found it to be the least fun year in memory. The problems with this years con started with the overall size of the convention center being far too small to accommodate the massive crowds that showed up on Friday morning for registration. At about 10am, the con had reached its max capacity and was closed until 4 PM to try and fit more in. If massive crowds and long lines in cramped hallways were not enough, there was confusion as to what line went to what event. As usual, there was the normal con delay with Opening Ceremonies starting an hour late. With no intro video or hype to start the con, the entire weekend felt lacking in creativity an atmosphere.
Saturday started off much better by having more cosplayers show up. This gave the con some much needed life. Unfortunately bad attitudes had already been set and crowd moral was pretty low. The group I was with and myself found a certain lack of programming and interest until around 5pm when the more interesting bands or panels started playing. The cosplay contest felt extremely flaccid with no pep music to give the event some life, and add to that, someone in the sound booth kept playing some very weird sound clips that made absolutely so sense. For example a character that has a pistol walks out and suddenly the soundboard guy played a machine gun sound effect, not only confusing the audience but the cosplayer on stage.
Later that night, the rave itself opened up to the thousands lined up, ushering in great vibes and some life into the con. Sunday felt very slow and not a lot was happening so my memory of this day is limited.
Will I be attending MTAC next year? Of course, but with some caution as to the events and amount of excitement I should hype up. It should be noted that I didn’t have an awful time at the con by any means, but there were a lot of small problems that just made the entire experience, sub par by MTAC standards of the past.