What can I say? For me, this event dwarfs Siggraph, E3, and GDC put together. No fluff, No one there only because they are one of the good old boys. Only one vendor (corel painter).
Its all the good stuff, the lineup in just insane, John Foster, El Coro, Android, Jason Manley, Justin Sweet, and on and on and on. The amount of learning you will do in these 4 days is insane.
Its 550 bux, Hotels are 129 a night split between 4 people per room. I cannot stress how good a deal this is. This blows your school classes out of the water no matter how good your teachers are. These are some of the finest artist alive right now, all in one place, giving hardcore instruction. Its worth 5x this amount.
If you are a student, you cannot afford NOT to go. Don't wine, don't complain, just get there. Last year one guy sold his car in order to attend. If you are getting loans to pay for school, get one to cover this. It's seriously worth it.
I went to the Austin one, with Bobo, Darx, Guass, The_Bird, Scooby, St3ady, Joolz8000, J bradford, and BlankSlateJoe. I seriously learned more in those 4 days then any other class or workshop I have attended. Jason Manleys color theory lecture was amazing, watching Sparth lay down color and paint was out of this world, and seeing Smellybug sculpt was unbelievable.
This is the only workshop being held in the US this year. If it doesnt break even, (the austin one was at a loss) There will be no more workshops, and it would be a shame to see such an amazing thing die. Support the good artists, come learn a ton, and meet some amazing friends and artists.
I hope I sound like a friggin televangelist, because this was about as close to a religious experience you can have when dealing with art. Find a way to get there, thats all I can say.