Sci-fi Weekender 19th – 22nd March 2015
Hafan Y Mor Holiday Park, Pwllheli
Welcome back to part 2 of my Sci-fi Weekender 2015 update!
Saturday began in the usual manner for for my intergalactic crew mates and I – fairly lazy hanging around the caravan. The home comforts were pretty good t be fair; with a fridge stocked with beer, decent TV and plenty of space we had a good base for our weekend.
To be honest there was less of interest to me personally on this day. The highlight though was a Q&A with Judge Dredd creators John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra. The two were escorted on to the stage by a squad of mean looking Judges, and proceeded to tell the audience about their many years working in comics. All good stuff, though a bit less about the Dredd movies and more about the actual comics would’ve been preferable. But I guess that serves me right for not asking my own questions.
One Man Lord of the Rings was next, and not being a Hobbit geek (unlike Star Wars) I was off. I heard it was good though. Time to mill about round the various merchandise stalls, though there less of a science fiction theme to this year’s traders. With MCM Comic Con on the same weekend at Birmingham NEC, I guess most traders opted for that instead.
Another strange tweak to the event this year was that Hafan Y Mor was also hosting a Prog Rock event on the same weekend. Hence the large number of music related items on sale, perhaps. Though having these two events at the same time appeared to be a strange mutation at first, I decided to check a few bands out over the weekend and found some that were certainly worth hearing.
Back on Friday I witnessed the strange jazz prog of Knifeworld, which I enjoyed after my ears got used to it. “I want this music out of my head!” was the view of one of my gang.
On Saturday afternoon, I witnessed Landskap. They had an almost doom/stoner rock sound, with slow heavy guitar riffs – augmented by an almost Doors-like keyboard. Very, very good – saw the whole set and loved it.
Next it was back to the Sci-Fi Arena to see the Cosplay preliminaries. As ever there were some amazing entries – well made, authentic, but also incredibly original. The best part was spotting characters from film and television that you just weren’t expecting to see. The Guardians of the Galaxy and Mad Max ensembles were both awesome. Lego movie Batman, Futurama robots and more were just amazing.
You can see some of the photos here, but there were also dozens of fans who were dressed up, and hadn’t even entered the competition. Plenty of people had obviously put a lot of thought and effort into their costumes, but were happy just to be part of the fun.
I did feel bad for one group, though – they were all in monochrome outfits (complete with make-up) to look like the old black & white Flash Gordon serial. However, they’d missed registration through no fault of their own.
The Cosplay was again a real highlight od Sci-Fi Weekender this year. So many fabulous and imaginative outfits, I couldn’t pick a favourite. My thanks to all who agreed to me to take a photo – you’re all superstars!
In the late evening, I popped over to the Prog Rock arena to see Rick Wakeman. Rick was performing on his own, with just a grand piano. Instrumental versions didn’t really appeal at first, though it turned out to be a fantastic set of lush, almost Classical songs. There was a Sci-Fi tie in with an absolutely wonderful recital of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars”, which Rick had preformed on originally. Plus the between song banter was hilarious!
Back to the Sci-Fi arena for the Cosplay finals – which saw a hard fought contest eventually won by the young Tim Burton character family! We ll done! Then it was party time, with characters from all conceivable franchises across the genre seeing the weekend out in style.
It was a long trip back to the real world. We met some awesome people, saw a few familiar faces from last year, and had a great time. Here’s to next year. If only I had a Tardis, I could do it all again…
I have dozens of photos left. I’ll do a bonus section as per last year in the coming weeks.
The Sci-Fi Weekender website is here.
The Prog Rock website is here.