What is BiCon?

BiCon is an annual festival for bisexual people and their friends. Held in a different UK location each year, BiCon attracts between two hundred and three hundred people and is the single biggest event in the UK bisexual calendar. It is usually held over a Bank Holiday weekend.

How did BiCon start?

BiCon originated in London in the early 1980s and was originally a political conference. It was successful enough that it became an annual event, alternating between London and Edinburgh, and began to grow and evolve into the event it is today. The 2006 event will be the 24th BiCon, and it will be the first time it has been held in Glasgow!

What does the name mean?

Since its beginnings, the organisers of BiCon have never quite decided whether ‘-con' is short for ‘convention' or ‘conference'. There is a good reason for this: BiCon has elements of both. Some parts of the programme are aimed at celebrating bisexuality; other parts of the programme are aimed at more serious discussions. Each year, the organisers try to ensure that the programme is as varied as possible, so that you can make the event what you want it to be.

What kinds of things are included in the programme?

The programme typically includes a wide variety of workshops and entertainments, ranging from support sessions and sessions dealing with political issues to opportunities to have fun and relax. Previous events have had threads such as ‘Cultural Differences' and ‘Spirituality', and there is usually a BiCon Ball, with a different theme each year.

Popular workshop topics at BiCon 2005 included speed dating, pain-free sensation, body painting, self-harm, commitment, cult TV, stitch ‘n' bitch, shamanism and Japanese bondage, with some sessions proving to be in such demand that repeat sessions were arranged.

Entertainments included discos, quizzes, a bouncy castle, karaoke, and an alcohol-free chill-out space. The Time Travellers' Ball was well-attended, with music spanning the 1950's to the present and most attendees arriving in fancy-dress. There are always chances to organise lunches and meal times perhaps with an aim of meeting new people with a shared interest in, for example, polyamory or naturism.

What kinds of people attend BiCon?

The event enjoys a diverse attendance, representing a wide cross-section of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, spirituality, age, ability, lifestyle, and tastes – a comment often heard by attendees is that they are struck by how positive and accepting everybody is, and that they wish the rest of the world could be more like BiCon!

Why do people attend BiCon?

People attend for all kinds of reasons. Many, obviously, are bisexual; some come to support their bi partners, family members or friends; some come out of curiosity or support. Some are veterans who have been coming to BiCon for years; others are frightened first-timers. Some come along to engage in discussions about bisexuality and the issues surrounding it; others come mainly to socialise. But most people who attend enjoy the opportunity to spend some time where bisexuality is the norm and all kinds of identities are accepted.

I'm questioning my sexuality. Will I be welcomed at BiCon?

Absolutely. Many bisexual people have experienced forms of prejudice and intolerance because of their sexuality, and know first hand how difficult it can be to accept yourself when others do not. As a result, people at BiCon tend to be accepting and non-judgemental.

Remember that not everyone who comes to BiCon identifies as bisexual. Some people don't like the word ‘bisexual', and some don't like labels at all; others have found creative ways of identifying their preferences. You will probably hear a number of terms you have never heard before, and you may find that coming to BiCon helps you make sense of your own sexuality.

Will everybody already know everyone else?

No! Approximately a third of the attendees each year are there for the first time, so even though you might feel alone when you arrive, it won't be long before you meet people. We've all been there, and we'll try to make sure that there are plenty of icebreaker-type opportunities to help ease things along. And hopefully, by the time you leave, you'll have made some good friends.

Is everyone at BiCon kinky?

Because BiCon is such an accepting and non-judgemental environment, many people who attend take the opportunity to be open about other aspects of their sexuality, some of which might not be so openly discussed in the outside world.

If you want to take the opportunity to learn about these aspects, you will probably find many people who will be happy to talk to you about them. Some things may also be covered in workshops. If you are not interested in kinks or fetishes, that's fine too!

Does everyone just have sex all weekend? With lots of different people?

Who knows! Just like in life outside BiCon, there are those who like to talk about their sexual activities, and those who don't. BiCon is certainly a sex-positive environment, but you'll also find plenty of people who, just like Boy George, "would rather have a cup of tea."

Will BiCon 2006 be accessible / child friendly?

We will do everything we can to make the event accessible to anyone who wishes to attend. This is likely to include availability of one-day registrations, a sliding scale of registration fees, a Helping Hand Fund, provision of childcare and fully accessible literature, and close liaison with the venue to ensure accessibility.

We are aiming to run a crèche if numbers allow. This will be manned by qualified people, and we would appreciate parents taking a turn to help with the running, though this is not mandatory.

If you would like to discuss the crèche further please contact essbee@deleted

When and where is BiCon 2006 being held?

BiCon 2006 will be held at Glasgow Caledonian University, from Thursday 13th until Monday 17th July 2006 (Glasgow Fair Weekend).

What are the aims of BiCon 2006?

As well as aiming to make the event as accessible as we can, our goals for BiCon 2006 are to run a really fun event for the UK Bisexual community and to create a space where attendees can feel accepted, and be safe from persecution. In addition, we would like to have a particularly Scottish theme to the event, and hope to improve bi-visibility in Scotland and to network with, and involve, other LGBT groups in Scotland.

How much does BiCon cost?

Price of attending bicon is on a sliding scale. There is always a helping hand fund available for people who may not othewise afford to come to bicon. This year bicon costs between £15-£44 for a one day pass, £37-£85 for a weekend pass without accommodation and £122-£180 for a weekend pass with accommodation. Please note these prices are early bird prices valid till the end of April and will be subject to change from 1st May.

Where do we stay during the weekend?

If you wish to stay close to BiCon you have the option of staying at the University accommodation (where most people who attend BiCon decide to stay). Alternatively, you could book a room at a hotel in the city.

Can I stay offsite?

Yes, you can stay offsite. Most people do stay onsite – however, Glasgow is a very busy city with many hotels and hostels to suit all budgets.

How do I book my place? Can I just turn up?

We prefer people to book before arriving where possible, but you are welcome to turn up on the day if you want to visit. People who wish to stay onsite must pre-book. To book you can visit 2006.bicon.org.uk/registration/ and fill in the form there.

If you have any questions about booking please contact bookings@delete.

Why is BiCon2006 not on the August Bank Holiday?

We've heard quite a few people saying "BiCon shouldn't always be on the August Bank Holiday" – so, we decided we wanted a change.

The August Bank Holiday is convenient for lots of people, but there are some people who can never attend if BiCon is always on that weekend, so it's nice to have it on a different date sometimes. Also, the August Bank Holiday is an English Bank Holiday – it's not a Bank Holiday in all of the UK. Specifically, it's not a holiday in Scotland. So, we picked a traditional Glasgow holiday, the Glasgow Fair Weekend (15th-17th July in 2006) – and extended into the traditional BiCon Thursday evening till Monday afternoon long weekend.

I pre-booked at BiCon 2005…

Some people paid a £5 deposit at bicon 2005. This £5 entitles the person to early bird discount regardless of when paying the outstanding balance and the original £5 off booking.

For more information about bookings please see bookings@deleted or essbee@deleted

When can I arrive and depart?

When does everything begin…

BiCon reception will open at 4.00pm on Thursday 13 July – you will be able to register and check in to your rooms from then, and you will be able to join other BiConners in the bar, which will be open until late on Thursday. Don't worry about how late you arrive – we will available to let you check in to your room (we will be contactable 24 hours by phone if necessary).

The main timetable of workshops and other events will start on the morning of Friday 14 July, and will end around lunchtime on Monday 17th July.

Is there any reason why the Helping Hand Fund has to close so early?

Yes, but the longer version is not at archive.org

If I book to attend BiCon and then I have to cancel, will I get a refund?

As far as possible, we will give people their money back. We do not want to make a profit from anyone who has had to cancel their booking.

We will, however, have to deduct any costs which we have had to pay. For example, if you had booked a bedroom, we might not be able to find someone else to take your place, and still have to pay the venue for the reserved room. If you had paid by PayPal and/or want a refund paid by Paypal, we will have to deduct the Paypal commission. We may also make an administrative charge to cover our own costs in dealing with your booking and the refund.

We will try to make any refunds as soon as possible, but you may have to wait until after the event before we are able to do so. Please note that we will only be able to give you a refund if you tell us before the event that you are cancelling, preferably by emailing us at bookings@deleted.

What is a plenary?

Answer not at archive.org

What entertainments are planned? Does the Ball have a theme?

Answer not at archive.org

What should I bring with me?

Answer not at archive.org

Can I smoke in Scotland?

Answer not at archive.org

Is there parking available at BiCon?

Answer not at archive.org