(8.25) Weird fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft was born in Providence on August 20, 1890, died in 1937, and was buried at Swan Point Cemetery. The epitaph on his headstone reads: “I Am Providence.” And yet, until very recently, the city had not made much of this, nor given any thought to his enormous international following.
Then along came Niels Hobbs who, with a group of his highly motivated pals, created NecronomiCon Providence, the biennial international conference and festival of weird fiction, art, academia, weird gaming, and all things Lovecraft which returns to town this weekend.
Events center on the Providence Biltmore and Omni Hotels, with other venues like the John Hay, the First Baptist Church, and AS220 Black Box hosting some of the extended programming, much of which is open to the general public . . . such as a Thursday night party with live music!
Thursday night from 7pm to 11pm — NecronomiCon PARTY UNDER THE STARS in the Facade Lot, 35 Weybosset Street, with Triangle Forest, Straplocked, and Frank Difficult.
There will be a beer garden with plenty of Narragansett Beers (including a reprise of their first Lovecraft beer) and other libations by New Harvest Coffee and Spirits, and a very fitting carnival fire pit roast by Julians and Dreadnaught Provisions to feed your cultist belly.
NecronomiCon Providence takes place at venues around town. A full schedule of events includes panel discussions, author readings, symposia, a live podcast, academic talks, and Friday evening ends with the Eldritch Ball.
One event on Saturday afternoon features local Lovecraftian geographer, Donovan Loucks, who will lead fans on a “Virtual Walking Tour” of regional Lovecraft sites.
This slideshow includes photographs of 45 New England locations beyond Providence which reveal the inspirations for Lovecraft’s fictional towns of Kingsport, Arkham, Innsmouth, and Dunwich.
But there will be several Actual Walking Tours as well. Departing from the foyer of the Providence Biltmore Hotel either Loucks, author Rory Raven, or Jason Eckhardt will lead you on a tour of the relevant sites. Each tour costs $10 per person. I have taken the tour with Mr. Loucks and I can recommend it, even for those not really up on Lovecraft literature (moi). It is a lovely and informative walk with interesting people.
And of course the Vendor Hall ($5 for general public). Over 70 vendors await you at the Omni Hotel, Friday and Saturday 10am-6pm, and Sunday 11am-5pm. Seen here is a detail of this year’s poster, artist unknown. (The artist is Brandon Kawashima — thank you commenter!) I assume these will be on sale. Check out the full list of vendors here!
NecronomiCon mastermind, Niels-Viggo Hobbs, should be feeling pretty confident right about now: The Silver Key and the Golden Key passes have sold out. At the time of this writing the General Pilgrimage Passes for $90 are still available. Niels, a marine biologist in real life, also operates the Lovecraft Arts & Science Council in the Arcade, and what he has accomplished with this convention is astounding. Mike Ryan has written a wonderful profile in this week’s Motif Magazine.
August 22 to 25, Necronomicon Providence