Sci Fi Weekender 23th – 24th March 2018
Hafan Y Mor Holiday Park, Pwllheli
2017 saw my intrepid crew and I sucked into a black hole, from which we were very lucky to escape. Following numerous trials and tribulations within the void, we emerged eventually into a bizarre parallel dimension. This strange new plane was warped beyond any fathomable reason; the UK was no longer in Europe and Donald Trump was President.
I know – unbelievable, right? I was expecting apes to be in charge maybe, but not Trump.
Utilising all the skill and resource we could muster, we managed to reverse thrusters and reset our course for Pwllheli, North Wales, for Sci Fi Weekender. The crew had missed one event, but in 2018 we would return.
The engines groaned and strained, but we were back on track. We arrived at our destination and set up camp in our static exploration cabin.
Scouts across the galaxy had informed us that this was the ninth cycle of Sci Fi Weekender. SFW9 would be full of the usual entertainments: VIP signings; Q&A panels; cosplay; films; games; live music and other acts.
Throw in a few decidedly lethal Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters and there would, indeed, be exceptional joviality.
Alas, many VIP guests had apparently missed their trasport shuttles to reach us. Caught in the same black hole as we had been, perhaps? This was a bit of a blow, as I was particularly looking forward to hearing from Hugh Quarshie of Highlander (and others) fame.
Never mind, “There can be only one” – and that guest was the deviilishly delectable Emily Booth, actress and Horror Channel star. Ms Booth’s Q&A was the first event I witnessed of the weekend and she was great. Although the interview amounted to just a run through of her IMDB credits, Emily came across very well as both a cult star and confirmed fan. I even asked a question myself, which is a SFW first for me!
The interview did get a bit saucy at times, but the audience was well warned in advance what to expect. To be honest, I’d love to see much more of Emily Booth’s talents. By which I mean, of course, more of the various movies she has starred in. Of course.
It was then time to lurk about and peruse the merchandise stalls. There were many more this year than I’ve seen previously. Excellent news for me, bad news for my galactic credit balance. I did get some rad stuff though.
This was also a great time to start taking some photos. Armed with three cameras this year (!), I took quite a few pictures but as always missed so many great cosplayers. There were dozens that I glimpsed briefly but lost in the crowd, never to be seen again.
It was like when I watched the Cantina scene in Star Wars when I was a kid, before we had a VHS player (yes, I’m THAT old). An amazing creation was spotted only briefly, to be replaced by yet another, and I had no rewind function.
As you can probably imagine, Friday evening was somewhat of a blur. I do remember a couple of things that must be mentioned though.
Professor Elemental was an absolute joy to behold, as always. The Prof dropped tongue twisting chap-hop rhymes over DJ Nick Maxwell’s funky beats. He expertly rallied the troops and took us on a tea stained tour of the British Empire. It was brilliantly engaging stuff, with the Professor uniting all the tribes of geekdom in a pulsating party of steampunk excitement.
Darth Elvis & the Imperials performed what I consider the best set I’ve seen them deliver, despite it being cut short. There were favourites old and new, including “Burning Sith” and a raging cover of the Beastie Boys classic, “Sabotage” – reworked in honour of Kylo Ren. I was down the front for a fair part of the set and I loved every second.
This band never get old. May they live as long as Master Yoda and forever be as musically talented at Max Rebo. Sheer fun from beginning to end!
The evening ended with some spectacular Cosplay Karaoke, which I would’ve loved to have a go of! No idea who the winner was, all the entrants were winners in my eyes!
Day one at SFW9 was truly stellar. My only complaint was too much Welsh bashing from several presenters over the course of events. In this day and age that’s a bit poor.
However Sci Fi Weekender is a success because of the people. The camaraderie amongst attendees is the true strength, regardless of what VIP interview guests are there or not. It’s a real pleasure to catch up with old faces – and meet some new ones – in a friendly, welcoming environment like this.
That’ll do for Part One. Beam me up!
In Part 2: we lose a red shirt, and more pics. Stay tuned!