Event – SFX Weekender 3
Held in sunny Prestatyn last weekend, SFX ran its third weekender event with four thousand attendees. Yours truly went along with a couple of friends. After an hour and half queuing to register and gain access to our chalet, we decided to start the weekend with a meal in the restaurant. It’s a good job we had such a fabulous weekend thanks to the SFX Crew, because the onsite facilities, particularly the food, left a lot to be desired.
So, enough about that, and the slightly disorganised start to the autograph queuing and ticketing system, which was swiftly abandoned in favour of a ‘first come first served’ approach. What was the event like overall? Pretty bloody good actually!
With a myriad of interesting speakers, both literary & media based, the programme was varied enough to occupy the most grumpy of fans, including two Doctors, Eve Myles from Torchwood, creators from Being Human and the national treasure that is Brian Blessed. When Mr Blessed stepped forward with the words “Gordon’s Alive!”, the screams of delight from the audience could be heard throughout the auditorium all the way through to Bartertown. Between the pleasure of meeting Mr Blessed and the sheer insanity of Robert Rankin’s MC duties at the SFX Awards ceremonies, the event was a hoot a minute. On top of that, each evening the choices were a night in the pub, dancing to Craig Charles or Pat Sharp or a night in the Screening Zone watching such gems as Aliens, The Thing or Dawn of the Dead. Add to that the chance to catch over twenty genre writers for signings or the opportunity to catch up with fellow fans and friends, and the SFX Weekender was a truly enjoyable event.
Yes, the food was bad. Yes, the rooms weren’t exactly the Hilton, but said rooms were clean, the programme of events was full and the bars were open in to the wee hours. Providing the SFX Team learn from the hiccups that occurred, next year should be a pretty tremendous event.