Life of the Party
12, Jan, 23

MTG’s Latest MagicCon Is Already Controversial

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In case you somehow missed the slow-motion car crash that was the 30th Anniversary Edition, this year is MTG’s 30th anniversary. Technically, MTG’s 30th Anniversary is on August 5th, 2023, but Wizards is nevertheless celebrating in style for the entire year. After all, as Wizards states themselves, “it’s our birthday, and we’ll party if we want to.” For better or worse, this means that MTG players can expect to see a lot of Anniversary promotions throughout 2023. Running alongside these in-pack promotions, Wizards of the Coast is also organizing several birthday bashes for itself. Known as MagicCons, these events are being held across the globe, although MTG players aren’t entirely happy with them. In fact, the latest MagicCon to be announced is already providing controversial.

MagicCon: Barcelona

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Following what will be three MagicCon events in the United States, Europe is finally being given a chance to celebrate. Announced by Wizards of the Coast on Twitter last night, MagicCon is coming to the city of Barcelona in 2023. While the event’s location hasn’t been confirmed yet, we know that MagicCon: Barcelona will take place from the 28th to the 30th of July. Unfortunately, little is known about MagicCon: Barcelona beyond the event date. However, if the previous Magic 30 convention is anything to go by, it will certainly be an event to remember. 

Given how controversial it was, we suspect we don’t have to remind you about Magic 30. For the uninitiated, however, Magic 30 was plagued by a cacophony of errors that seriously spoiled the show. Before the celebration even began, Wizards found itself in hot water for giving out 30th Anniversary Edition packs to Black Lotus VIP ticket holders. While this was a very generous gesture, those missing out were seriously peeved, to say the least. Unfortunately, once the event began, MTG fans weren’t much happier. Taking to social media, players complained about wasted space and mismanagement that tainted what should have been a joyous celebration. Thankfully, Magic 30 wasn’t all bad news, as MTG players still managed to have fun. Suffice it to say, however, there was plenty of room for improvement. 

Thankfully, while Wizards of the Coast can surely learn from the mistakes of Magic 30, MagicCon: Barcelona is not off to the best start. Almost immediately following the announcement on social media, MTG fans started to raise objections to the event’s organization. Specifically, many players were concerned that Wizards has decided to schedule the event for the height of summer. 

“Ah yes, close to the hottest place in Europe at close to the hottest time of year.”


“It’s gonna be expensive (and very hot – temperature-wise), but it’s gonna be interesting.”


“Yay, MagicCon in the heart of school summer holidays in Europe when prices of travel and accommodation are at their highest. Lovely city, terrible timing.”


MagicCon: Philadelphia

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Storm the Festival | Innistrad: Midnight Hunt

While details about MagicCon: Barcelona remain a mystery, for now, thankfully, we do know what’s in store for MagicCon: Philadelphia. Scheduled between the 17th and 19th of February, MagicCon: Philadelphia should hopefully correct some of the wrongs of Magic 30. Thankfully, this hope is more than just wishful thinking, as in a blog post announcing the event, Blake Rasmussen acknowledged Magic 30’s less-than-stellar reception while laying out plans for the future. 

“We’ve also taken lessons and your feedback from Magic 30 to improve the attendee experience. While Magic 30 was an unforgettable experience, it was also our first event of this kind and our first live event since the pandemic shut down ‘the gathering’ nearly three years ago. We learned quite a bit from the event and are making some improvements that we think will make Philadelphia even better.”

Blake Rasmussen

Thanks to Wizards learning from their mistakes, MagicCon: Philadelphia promises to have “double the space from Las Vegas.” This was one of the major concerns of Magic 30 since event space was limited and, unfortunately, underutilized. Additionally, access to the Command Zone area is being significantly expanded to allow MTG fans to utilize that space better. Although, you still have to pay $30/day or $75 for the three-day weekend if you want to get in. Alongside the additional play and event space, Wizards also vowed to improve the registration process to mitigate frustration. 

For those interested in actually attending MagicCon: Philadelphia, remarkably, you’re not out of luck just yet. Tickets to Magic 30 may have sold out in minutes, but miraculously, MagicCon: Philadelphia tickets are still available for sale. This includes the hugely expensive $700 Black Lotus VIP tickets that offer players a whole host of goodies. Before you splurge on those ultra-expensive tickets, however, remember that 30th Anniversary Edition “Sold Out,” so don’t expect the $1000 freebies that Magic 30 attendees received. Currently, there’s no telling how long MagicCon: Philadelphia will remain available for sale. Hopefully, due to the expanded space of the event, every player who wants to attend will be able to. 

Bring on the Festivities

Happily Ever After
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Thankfully, while Magic 30 might have been fraught with controversy, future MagicCons appear to be learning from those mistakes. Subsequently, both MagicCon: Philadelphia and MagicCon: Barcelona should both be well worth looking forward to. That’s not to forget about MagicCon: Minneapolis, which is scheduled to take place in early May. Last but not least, Wizards is also expected to end their anniversary celebrations in style. Returning to Las Vegas for the previous MagicCon of the year, this blowout event will run alongside Magic World Championship XXIX. While we have high hopes at the moment, ultimately, after Magic 30, we’ll need to see real improvement before letting ourselves fully buy into the hype. Hopefully, given Wizards’ commitment to learning from their mistakes, that’s exactly what we’ll see!

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