PyrateCon/PyrateWeek Coverage #4

pyratecon09_04I’d fully intended to post on Saturday, but found the day get away from me all to quickly – and despite what you might guess, it wasn’t a Friday-night induced hangover to blame. Rather I found myself doing a bit more running to and from my condo to help some of the PyrateCon performers resolve some sound issues. Between that and making time for meals, the parade – and yes, perhaps just a little hangover nursing – Saturday came and went in a piratical blur.

Friday night saw the Dead Pyrate Ball at PyrateCon, as well as a seperate PyrateWeek Ball and a PyrateWeek Parade. Through sheer luck I happened to catch the parade, which was relatively short and notably passed directly through the PyrateCon grounds. The PyrateWeek Ball was very local based, with marching bands, several “real” and tourist pirates, and a few non-descript VIPs in cars (I believe the adjacent photo is of Lord David, a New Orleans pirate of some note.)

pyratecon09_05Following the parade I headed for the Dead Pyrates Ball which, as was the case with pretty much all the PyrateCon events, was trailing a bit behind schedule (food not yet arrived, sound system not set up, performers unsure what they were supposed to do when.) But also par for the course it all soon came together, first with some shanties by Skip Henderson and the Starboard Watch, followed by some DJing by yours truly, then a performance by the Bawdy Boys and capped off with The Pirates Charles (who, throughout PyrateCon and PyrateWeek proved with each and every performance that they’re not just a pirate band, but rather pirate musical super heroes.)

Perhaps the best feature about the Dead Pyrate Ball was its exclusivity. While the $50 ticket price (which included food and 5 drink tickets) may have been a bit too steep for all pirates to attend, it did nicely keep most of the general public out as well. Nothing against the public, but one of PyrateCon’s greatest strengths in the past has been the opportunity for pirates to hang out and party amongst their own. With PyrateCon 2009, the organizers have taken a much more visible, open-door policy to better encourage public participation. It makes some economical sense to do so, but the trade-off is a reduction of the “pirate convention” aspect in favor of a pirate street festival. But the Dead Pyrate Ball certainly did its part to let us debauch in peace for a time ;)

pyratecon09_02Saturday continued in the pirate street festival fashion, with musical acts scheduled throughout the day (although again, the schedule was a very loose approximation.) Downtime and announcements were handled throughout by the illustrious Captain Armando, who has a fantastic stage presence that pirates and public alike seemed to enjoy greatly.

Despite so many of the right elements being present – great music, plenty of pirate vendors, and plenty of pirates, PyrateCon during the day time did feel like a somewhat reduced experience. I think this may have had to do with the more spread out, public nature of the venue removing any sort of a natural central hangout, but rather created hordes of aimlessly drifting pirates. This is odd, because The Bourbon Oh Bar was pretty much meant to serve as an all day lounge, and was well located to do so. But some stars must have been out of alignment as it never quite lived up to this potential.

pyratecon09_01Night time was a different matter, however. Some of the bands noticed a gap in the Saturday evening events – namely that there wasn’t anything really scheduled. And so The Bawdy Boys, Captain Black’s Sea Dogs, and The Pirates Charles took it upon themselves to set up an improv stage and fill the Bourbon Oh with proper pirate music for the evening. As a result the place was more than packed with pirates and tourists alike – all dancing, drinking, and jamming to some of the best Pirate-Core music around.

It’s now Sunday afternoon as I type this, and the atmosphere is one of definite exhaustion. Technically PyrateCon is still on, but it’s definitely in a wind-down phase as folks recover from several nights of hard partying, and others pack up and catch early flights. PyrateWeek and PyrateCon have definitely been some great times – I didn’t get to experience as much of PyrateWeek as I’d have liked, partly because of the flu, and partly because of its slightly remote location and conflicting schedules. But, like most attendees once the weekend hit I barely noted the difference between the two – just show me where the pirate party is.

~Bilge

Comments (7)

  1. The Quartermaster

    Holy shit, we all lived! That…. was a very interesting weekend and glad we all made it out with our brain cells. Well, enough to not make much of a difference. =)

    Hurray for vomit street and all the drunken ladies that go with it!

  2. mardi claw

    the gentleman driving the vehicle is the city commissioner lambert bossier, and the folks in the vehicle were lord david, mardi claw, seika hellbound, capt john swallow, and Naomi child princess. the police were making the noisition coalition move very fast, and parade got somewhat separated on that note, but three bands, one being brass, and amzie adams, waifnola, lowernine.arrrgh, the family of officer tommy felix, and many children, hash house harriers, krewe de vieux, krewe of pyrates, and pyrates from around the country all joined in. A new orleans parade isn’t really a parade without brass bands. they even did several sea shanties on the route… the goodchildren carnival club provided a wonderful brasstitude to the parade… and kelly israels hearse to boot and three classic cars, including the pyrateship with blow up pyrate doll… and keg in the back….

    next year, many sub krewes from mardi gras will pull into the fold, particularly krewe de vieux, which is the only mardi gras parade that goes through the quarter with floats… pulled by mule, traditional style.

    the success of pyrateweek has already grown to even more of a city wide venture, with the childrens regatta, and the festival of jean lafitte. many came forward, and with the events with Papillion, with the childrens hospital, next years parade will have special guests in the front of the parade, followed by the nola krewe of pyrates.

    all in all, money raised for felix family, waifnola, and st thomas, all go to good causes… next years event will be one closer to the quarter, and the ball, in a very large area, similar to what krewe de vieux does each year…

    skeleton krewes, bone gangs, and mardi gras krewes will be on board, to show an even larger local following.

    the best part of the end of the parade? the street party that ensued for hours with brass, and noise. blocking the street at the r bar, for all to attend. truly similar to mardi gras day, when the krewe of pyrates, and krewe of st ann, march through the marigny, and the quarter.

    see ya next year…

    mardi claw

  3. Sabyn

    Had a fantastic time and it was great to meet you. See you next year!!

    Sabyn
    “Siren of the 7 Seas”

  4. Iron Tom

    Pyrates in New Orleans was a blast. Seriously, how much fun was it to party in the streets with such great weather and wonderful people. I went to both functions and both were fun. Thanks to all who came to New Orleans to help out and spent your hard-earned money. We really appreciate it! Thanks!

  5. Gunpowder Gertie

    Even better than I expected! Had a great time, met a ship load of awesome pyratical folk…and listened to some AWESOME pyrate music! T’was nice to finally meet ya, ya were having a blast m’ friend!!
    (I’ll be keepin’ the incriminatin’ photos in m’ sea chest…for a couple o’ days at least!!!)

  6. Seika Hellbound

    Thanx fer the non biased reporting on both events Bilgemunky. We were sorry ye didn’t make it out fer more of the NOLA Pyrate Week events and the volunteering ye had signed up fer but we were glad te see ye there fer No Quarter Given’s 15th Anniversary Bash. Hope ye can participate next year…

    NOLA Pyrate Week and it’s supporters raised nearly $10g fer the charities and causes we took into the fold. Nearly $8 alone fer the Family of Det. Tommie Felix. This was what these 9 days were all about. The camaraderie and hard work of all the pyrate volunteers that worked diligently to help Lowernine.org and I’m sure this was an experience they will never forget. Most got to meet the homeowners that house was destroyed during Katrina and I have heard that most felt this was a humbling experience. We have been invited back fer next year and look forward to working with everyone once again.

    There were some glitches in timing and such but overall we pulled together a very successful event that we can all be proud off and raised a good amount of monies.

    My tricorn off to all who attended, participated, volunteered and organized…. can’t wait fer next year!!!!

    As fer the parade it was a blast… we had over 200 people marching and more in vehicles as well we had bands and tons and tons of beads to throw… thank ye to all who donated the beads!!! Gotta love a true New Orleans parade.. can’t be beat… as fer the car of nondescript pyrates, I suspect it would have appeared that way to anyone from out of town.. but again all just part of a real good time

  7. Seika Hellbound

    lol… that $8 above should be $8,000 dollars….

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