Labyrinth Memories

Remember that crazy time that we built a labyrinth? For some it was a huge amount of fun to get lost in the life size maze that was built indoors. For some it has faded into the stuff of legends, and for some it is a memory that has been locked deep down with all the other emotional scars . . . the Pandoracon 2013 Labyrinth was a labor of love in an abusive creative relationship, yet we would probably do it all again!

A plan of how the labyrinth might look.

Led by designer Corey Gross, the Roxx Clan (the former employees of Roxx Electrocafe . . . RIP) and other volunteers worked exhausting hours to complete the labyrinth that was enjoyed by Pandoracon attendees back in October 2013.

Labyrinth Corey PC2013

Corey Gross standing in the center of this masterpiece.

The theme of Pandoracon 2013 was “Into the Labyrinth,” so obviously we had to have an actual labyrinth. It was a great backdrop for photo ops, and if anyone got lost then viewers from the Atrium Hotel balcony could yell directions at the adventurers below. At night, the crew that built the labyrinth actually camped there at night, and sometimes during the day as well.

For a moment (actually many moments), it looked like we might have taken a step too far with this project . . . I was reminded of how the Easter Island Statues managed to destroy the economy of the islands in the process of their construction . . . plus I had no real plan of what to do with it afterwards.

The convention came to an end Sunday afternoon, but the Sisyphean task of clearing it out came the next. Dave Francy, Emma Peelout, and myself worked all of Monday to get the 2,000+ square foot maze into a Uhaul truck and then to a storage unit. Despite being mid-October, that Monday just had to be a blisteringly hot day . . . could have been worse, could have been raining.

The walls of the maze saw a second use in Kentucky a couple of weeks later for a Halloween event where we set up the Haunted Labyrinth at some country club and tried to scare some brash middle schoolers. A lot of the walls were disposed of that night; we filled the club’s three dumpsters, but still parts of the maze lingered like a cardboard albatross around our necks.

It was about a month after Pandoracon 2013 that the final pieces of the labyrinth were destroyed . . . at a party in my back yard. Was it a party? Was it catharsis? Was this a support group for all who had been cursed in some way by this periled project? Whatever it was, it was fun, and well needed.

So what’s the next crazy project for Pandoracon? With the theme being “Cyberpunk,” we are going to transform one of the larger rooms into Cyberspace! While the rest of the hotel will feel like a dystopic future noir urban street scene, the main stage room (Blue Ash room) will be flooded with black light that will give everything that glowing Tron feeling . . . so start planning your best “virtual reality” outfits with this is mind 🙂



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