It’s beginning to look a lot like Con season!
March is generally when I start thinking about what conventions I want to attend during the year ahead. There are a few I tend to gravitate towards each year – either because they’re closest or I know them well – but since one of my goals for 2019 was MORE CONVENTIONS, I felt the need to see what else the UK had to offer, and lets just say I am going to be busy.
From a festival dedicated to TV series Friends, to an immersive James Bond Experience, there’s honestly something for everyone – no matter what fandom you geek out about. And if you’re like me and geek out about multiple things, well, you’re in for a treat.
18 UK CONVENTIONS TO GEEK OUT ABOUT
Walker Stalker Con
If you’re a fan of the Walking Dead TV series, Walker Stalker con needs to be the first festival on your list this year. Created by fans, for fans, you can go to panels and listen to the stars of the show, pick up autographs, and even have your photo taken with your favourite characters. This year’s event welcomes not only actors from Walking Dead, but also American Horror Story and Game of Thrones as well.
When | 30-31 March 2019
Where | Excel Centre, London
Guests | Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauran Cohan, Steven Yeun, Jon Bernthal, and more..
Tickets | Day tickets £37.50 / Weekend tickets £80
Based on Terry Pratchett’s popular book series, 2019 marks the sixth year that fans from around the world will join together in one space to talk, play games, compete in quizzes and share their love for everything Discworld. This year’s theme is Uberwald, and will be set around Sektoberfest, so you can expect weapon workshops, crafts, and lectures on the various ghoulies that plague the Discworld Novels.
When | 29-1 April 2019
Where | Cork International Hotel, Ireland
Guests | Bernard Pearson, Colin Smythe, Daniel Knight, Isobel Pearson, Pat Harkin
Tickets | From 55 Euros
If you’re looking for somewhere to geek out about Star Wars, this dedicated convention is for you. With guest appearances from actors who have appeared in the Star Wars universe, photo opportunities with props from the films, and a Light Saber Training Academy that you can actually join, Elstree-Con allows you to live out your favourite movie franchise. Plus, all the profits go to Make a Wish Foundation which is amazing.
When | 6 April 2019
Where | Allum Manor House, Elstree
Guests | Richard Cunnigham, Brian Wheeler, Chris Parsons, Scott Richardson
Tickets | From £8
Whitby Goth Weekend
Established in 1994, Whitby Goth Weekend has grown from a 40 person meet up with friends, to a world renowned event with over 8,000 visitors. The alternative festival encompasses the seaside town for an entire weekend, filling it with music, parades and over 100 quirky stalls at the Bizarre Bazaar Alternative Market. It’s worth visiting for the impressive costumes alone – everyone is encouraged to take part.
When | 12-14 April 2019
Where | Whitby
Tickets | Free
Insomnia Gaming Festival
Insomnia is one of the biggest gaming festivals in the UK, bringing multiplayer battles, Esport tournaments and some of your favourite gaming youtubers together under one roof. You can play the latest games, check out what’s coming soon, and take a trip down memory lane in the Retro and Indie Zones. If you’re not the best on a console, there’s also a huge Cosplay competition and table top zone as well.
When | 19-22 April 2019
Where | NEC, Birmingham
Guests | Syndicate, Pyrocynical, Dan Bull, Imallexx, Nerdout Music and more..
Portsmouth Comic Con
Only in its second year of existence, Portsmouth Comic Con is quite small compared to some of the more established cons in London – like MCM – and yet it has so much more to offer. There’s an entire room dedicated to retro gaming, there’s a massive board games section run by a local gaming cafe called Dice, and there’s a comic city and tonnes of traders. Last year saw an entire gallery of art created by Stan Lee. You might even get the chance to talk to your favourite comic book artist.
When | 4-5 May 2019
Where | Guildhall, Portsmouth
Guests | Roy Thomas, Steve Englehart, Tomm Coker, Mack Chater, and more..
Tickets | Day tickets £16 / Weekend tickets £32
Self-proclaimed as the UK’s biggest Horror festival, if you’re a fan of everything spooky, this convention is a must. With special guests from movies Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Nightmare on Elm Street, along with live panels, and short film screenings, there’s a little something for everyone, no matter how you get your thrills. Make sure to check out the horror market, exhibits and props.
When | 11-12 May 2019
Where | Magna, Sheffield
Guests | Denis O’Hare, Dario Argento, Ed Neal, Duncan Regehr, Scout Taylor-Compton
Tickets | Day tickets £23 / Weekend tickets £40
Just in time of the series’ final season, Thronesfest in Kent celebrates everything Game of Thrones. Watch a Tourney of the Hand style jousting show, see how you fare at archery, or sit atop the Iron Throne. You will also come face to face with wolves, dragons, bird of prey, and the Night King himself. And don’t forget to meet Barriston Selmy, Grand Maester Pycelle, Jeor Mormont and Syrio Forel in real life.
When | 19 May 2019
Where | Quex Park, Birchington, Kent
Guests | Ian McElhinney, Julian Glover, James Cosmo, Miltos Yerolemou
Tickets | From £18
Heroes and Villains FanFest
Heroes and Villains fanfest is the ultimate fandom convention for lovers of the DC universe. You can meet your favourite superheroes, with actors from TV series’ The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow – you’ll be spoilt for choice on who you want to have a photo with. There will also be panels, exhibits, and opportunities to practise your very own superpowers with bungee jumping and archery.
When | 25-26 May 2019
Where | Olympia, London
Guests | Stephen Amell, Caity Lotz, Tom Cavanagh, Matt Ryan, Juliana Harkavy, and more..
Tickets | Day tickets £37.50 / Weekend tickets £70
Secret Cinema | Casino Royale
Not your convention, Secret Cinema is an immersive experience where you have the opportunity to LIVE in one of your favourite films for a few hours. From Star Wars to Back to the Future, they’ve featured some big names in the movie industry, and this year they’re back with the largest franchise of all – James Bond. Spend your evening sipping martinis, gambling in the casino, or investigate the criminal underworld – just make sure to dress the part.
When | 5 June – 22 September 2019
Where | Secret Location
Tickets | From £49
If you’re a massive fan of the series Once Upon A Time, and still haven’t quite gotten over the fact that it’s ended, make sure you head to the Enchanted convention in Birmingham, where you can meet some of the stars of the show, listen to their panels and guest talks, have photos with them, and even party with them – themes include Pirates of the Seven Seas, Disney Princes and Princess, and Snow White and the Steampunk Dwarves.
When | 14-16 June 2019
Where | Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham
Guests | Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Colin O’Donoghue, Andrew J West, David Anders, and more..
Tickets | From £120
Any Supernatural fans out there? Cross Roads is the ultimate fan event for every Wayward Son. Featuring guest talks, photo and autograph opportunities with actors from the show, panels, competitions, and of course the opportunity to meet other people in love with the fandom. Plus, each night the convention hosts a themed party, so make sure you’ve got your best Sam and Dean cosplay ready.
When | 21-23 June 2019
Where | Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham
Guests | Mark Sheppard, Tahmoh Penikett, Elizabeth Blackmore, Teryl Rothery, and more..
Tickets | From £120
One for the Harry Potter geeks, Draigcon is the ultimate independent Harry Potter convention, where you can meets actors from the movies – including Percy Weasley, Oliver Wood and Viktor Krum – check out street magic, dress up as your favourite characters, and try themed food and drink from the fandom. With loads of props and sets, there are tonnes of photo opportunities as well, so dress in your house colours or as your favourite witch or wizard.
When | 6-7 July 2019
Where | The Printworks, Manchester
Guests | Chris Rankin, Sean Biggerstaff, Stanislav Yanevski, Adrian Rawlins and more..
Tickets | Day tickets £18 / Weekend tickets £40
Friends celebrates it’s 25th anniversary this year, which means there’s no better time to head to Friendsfest for the ultimate throwback. Play foosball in Joey and Chandler’s apartment, grab a coffee in Central Perk, recreate the intro with your very own umbrella – or just about any of your favourite scenes in the huge array of sets. There will also be Friend’s themed food and drink, along with exclusive merchandise.
When | 2 August-29 September 2019
Where | Multiple Locations, including Manchester, Bristol and London
Tickets | From £26.50
Robin Hood Festival
The Robin Hood Festival is a week long celebration held in none other than the mythical home of Robin and his merry men. Now in its 35th year, expect a fun filled festival with everything from trails, games, dressing up, storytelling, dancing, singing and lots of re-enactment. If you’re a lover of the legend, you wont want to miss a chance to drink, eat and shoot arrows like the Sherwood Forest bandit.
When | 5-11 August 2019
Where | Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire
Tickets | Free
Jane Austen Festival
The Jane Austen Festival is a celebration of the author, her life, and her works, spanning ten days in the beautiful city of Bath where Austen once lived. If you want to learn more about her novels or know everything there is to know and just want to meet other people who also love her work, this festival is for you. It also includes a ball, with dancing, so don’t forget to dress up.
When | 13-22 September 2019
Where | Bath
Tickets | TBC
Destination Star Trek
Of course there is a convention for all the Trekkies out there – were you getting worried? Destination Star Trek is a three day event where you can boldly go where no one has gone before, by meeting cast and crew from both the series and movies. Explore interactive exhibits, learn about the impact Star Trek has had on science and technology, and of course take loads of photos whilst doing so.
When | 25-27 October 2019
Where | NEC, Birmingham
Guests | George Takei, Alice Eve, Anson Mount, Michelle Forbes, and more..
Tickets | Day tickets £29 / Weekend tickets £49
With classic Dickensian characters singing Christmas carols, while you while away time drinking Gin in a parlour, eating Christmas treats, and exploring the Victorian themed markets, there’s no better place for a geek to end the year than at the Dickens Festival held in the birthplace of Charles Dickens himself – Portsmouth. Meet Victorian street performers whilst exploring the dockyard, and take photos with some of your favourite characters.
When | 29 November – 1 December 2019
Where | Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth
Tickets | TBC
Are you attending any conventions or festivals this year? Are any of these on your list, or have you been to one before? What’s your favourite Con?
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