This past weekend was the second annual Five Points Festival, curated by Clutter Magazine and fueled by Lagunitas Brewing Company. It’s a niche convention that caters to the “tastemakers, misfits, and rebels” so what better place to hold this gathering, than Brooklyn, New York? After attending the convention, here are some thoughts:
1. Where are the comics?
Last year’s Five Points Festival had a sizable Artists Alley with some big name creators like Mike Henderson and Sean Gordon Murphy and Midtown Comics hosted signings by Scott Snyder and Brian Lee O’Malley. This year there were maybe six tables scattered throughout the convention floor.
There could be a number of contributing factors to this coming from both sides. Maybe there wasn’t as much interest from the comics community this time around. Based on the promotional material for Five Points Festival, it looks like it’s moving away from comics as a whole, which is a bummer as there’s certainly a lot in the medium that would embrace the kind of vibe that the convention seems to be going for. That being said, I did get a chance to pick up some cool new artwork and a comic from a Kickstarter campaign I missed.
2. Brooklyn is the perfect place for Five Points Festival.
Aside from trips to the Aquarium, I hadn’t really explored Brooklyn. After walking around for just a few minutes, I could see why this was the location chosen for the event. While it’s a bit of a hike, it lines up well with the look and feel of Five Points Festival. There were a lot of great and talented creators there showing off their work and you need only walk a block or two in any direction to see even more on display in and on buildings nearby.
3. Food from a truck is glorious.
I think the first and only other time I’ve gotten something from a food truck was at last year’s Five Points Festival. There were four trucks on hand exclusively serving convention attendees, including waffles, sandwiches, grilled cheese, and more. I went for the grilled cheese from Gorilla Cheese and was not disappointed. There could have been more of a selection, but odds are, there was something you’d like. At the bare minimum, there was beer on tap.
4. Were there panels?
This one was a little odd. There was a sign on one side of the Brooklyn Expo Center pointing down a hallway that indicated there were panels and signings down there. I looked through the program and didn’t find a schedule of any kind, but I went to investigate. I found a room with a bunch of chairs set up facing a table at the front. There were a handful of people eating lunch in there, but no panels. A nearby security guard just shrugged when I asked. Panels would be a nice touch to Five Points Festival as there’s clearly a lot to see and learn about the toys on display and how they’re made, not to mention the rabid fanbase that surrounds them.
5. I don’t know nearly enough about toys.
There are so many awesome toys out there and Five Points Festival highlighted some of the best of the best. These are customized, limited run figures that you will be hard pressed to find elsewhere. They definitely won’t show up at Target or Wal-Mart. In walking through the aisles, I was continually impressed by the sheer variety, ranging from the family friendly to the only-for-adults.
All in all, Five Points Festival is a fun little niche convention. It still feels like it’s finding its legs though. If it’s embracing counterculture within pop culture, that can open the door to a lot of different possibilities, not just in toys.