Sci Fi Weekender 17th – 20th March 2016
Hafan Y Mor Holiday Park, Pwllheli
Day 2 at SFW, and again it’s all a blur. I recall it was a lazy start to the day for me, breakfast and chilling in the caravan. Kurt was feeling better, but Greeny was starting to suffer with the illness. It would be mostly be another day of watching Star Trek, Big Bang Theory and Top Gear for those two.
Adam had got up early and made it to see a showing of a new independent film called Pandorica. Classed as an action-horror, reports about the film were very enthusiastic. The Q&A with Director and cast was my first event of the day – it was interesting although I’d not seen the film! Definitely one to keep and eye out for: word of mouth was very positive.
The highlight of the afternoon was, undoubtedly, an appearance by the incomparable Brian Blessed. Larger than life and twice as loud, Blessed’s sci-fi credentials are suitably top notch. A life long fan of science fiction, as well in starring in numerous genre pieces – you may have heard of Flash Gordon – his enthusiasm was both apparent and infectious.
Professor Elemental hosted the Q&A with Brian Blessed, who wisely let the great man get on and tell his tales! A solid job from the Professor – a daunting task well executed.
Blessed’s talk ranged from his acting work to his many explorations and mountaineering adventures. His recollections of the Flash Gordon movie, and it’s well deserved appreciation by audiences the world over, were affectionately told. An unmissable audience with a real living legend.
In the afternoon I took some photos and looked around the stalls again. Unfortunately, this years SFW again clashed with MCM Memorabilia in Birmingham, so genre based merchandise was thin on the ground. I picked up some cool Elvira cocktail glasses though!
A good feature this year was the retro gaming section, where numerous old consoles could be played for free. This was very popular, and although I don’t play video games it meant I always knew where to find my crew if we split up. They were always playing games…
Every year at SFW, the Cosplay final is something to behold. There’s always a sense of excitement in the air, as the costumed competitors take the stage. And every year, the audience and competitors are enthusiastic and good natured. Everyone cheers for each other, and there’s a real sense of community. It’s nice to witness all the attendees rooting for each other; even though there will always be favourites, there is no bitterness.
The costumes were exceptional, as you can see (hopefully) from the photos here. Not everyone entered the competition, but there were so many great costumes whether they were entering or just dressing up for fun. Massive respect to everyone.
I find it great fun spotting and naming the characters. The variety and imagination on show is consistently astounding, not to mention the talent that goes into making the costumes. So again, thanks to all the Cosplayers for letting me take your photos. Too many of my pics didn’t work out. I also missed far too may opportunities. But I hope that the photos here capture some of the creativity I witnessed.
And I sincerely apologise for not dressing up! I lost count of the number of people who chastised me (with good humour, of course) for not dressing as Tony Stark…
Anyway, there can only be one winner of the Cosplay final, and that was the Robot Overlord fellow. I can’t remember the character’s name, but I swear it was truly incredible!
Later on in the evening, I zoomed over to the Prog Rock area to catch some music. I was very happy to catch the Focus set; the song “Hocus Pocus” was an obvious highlight. I only saw a couple of songs by Ian Anderson (of Jethro Tull fame) – though they were impressive – before heading back to the spaceport.
For the rest of the evening, my compadre, Ste and myself had a few beers and hung around with various SFW attendees. We saw some old pals and met a few new ones. I took more photos – including the now traditional “no photos” social media-proof shades pics. And we managed to stay up partying till after 2 in the morning!
Not such a good thing going home Sunday…
Still, another great time at Sci Fi Weekender. And yes, Greeny and Kurt got better, thanks for asking.
If you were there, it was good to see you. Hopefully we’ll see you next year.
And big thanks to Adam, who organised the whole thing for us!
The Sci Fi Weekender site is here.
The HRH Prog site is here.
PS: There are photos left unpublished, so there will be Bonus Scenes in a few weeks. Be warned!