Little bit of a background first. Hi, I’m Kirsten and I’m an convention goer! I have been going to conventions for years. I cannot remember how long in reality, but the first time I went to London was 2013. I am generally an ‘autograph’ collector type at a convention. I’ve cosplayed once and not sure if I would do it again for no other reason that I doubt myself too much! I rarely get photo opps (asides diamond passes usually). This time around I was a regular weekend pass. Previous years have seen me going for Gold, but the last couple, regular done me well (as did queuing for VQs). I can be seen around a con with my brother, with friends or just toddling about on my own. Soooo…
Friday 26th July – 4am. This is when my LFCC2019 journey starts. Tired and grumpy I reach London around about 11am! By the time I check in at the hotel, freshen up (I mean, London-you are toasty) and pack my con bag- I am ready!
What did I do from 1pm-7pm? Well, I didn’t think a lot at first but when I think about it: I got my tickets. Went with brother to collect his diamond passes. Got a couple of (very high) VQ’s. Spotted and chatted to friends. Went to a couple of talks. Got two autographs. Got a photo shoot (will explain further down how the gal who doesn’t ‘do’ photos got a photo). Chatted a little to some of the wonderful people at Earth-9! Browsed some of the merch stall. Aaaaand that was me.
The Auto’s: Meeting Gina Torres and Adam Baldwin was amazing. Despite having high Vqs I managed to get both of their auto’s- even got a selfie from Gina! Both were so nice and very chatty. Adam spoke about seeing a play and going to the Stanley Kubrick exhibition at the Design Museum. I am a big fan of Firefly/Serenity and the last couple LFCC’s have made me happy with their Firefly guests. I have everything crossed that Morena Baccarin can attend one year!
Photoshoot: So got a message from Rob (yes, the same wonderful Rob from Earth-9) asking if I would like his Kirk Acevedo photo opp as he had to dash early and didn’t want it to go to waste. So I accepted and well, got it done. I feel a little bit of a fraud as I’ve not gotten to his season of Arrow yet, but after hearing his talk, I’m glad I accepted Rob’s kind gift! And Arrow is definitely on the to watch and catch up on list!
Talks: I know they are not for everyone but I love going to the talks. They are just a little behind the scenes, DVD extra for comic con. One thing I do not like about LFCC are the chairs in the talk hall. They are too close together both side and back. From what I understand they are tied together for some H&S rule but the rows do not need to be so close, especially when people may have bags of merch that takes up room. But I don’t see this changing any time soon but I’m sure I’m not alone in this.
Today I went to two talks- both on the main stage. Talk 1- Kirk Acevedo and Rick Gonzalez. Talk 2- Manu Bennett.
Kirk and Rick talk: What a wonderful duo. Without sounding ridiculous, you can feel the respect and friendship they share. Both answered questions asked by the audience, one that stuck out was (I am paraphrasing as my memory ain’t that good) If you could portray any superhero who would it be? Both said the same answer: Wolverine! They both spoke about memories on set and hopes for the future (basically stuff is cooking so keep an ear out).
Manu Bennett talk: this changed time due to Manu’s travelling difficulties. But we were kept aware of this and communication within the talk hall was good. Not sure how good it was out with the talk hall so cannot comment. Manu, well, he is just a ball of energy. He spoke of the many projects and more personal matters as well such as why he has sunglasses on inside.
My Friday ended with going to Westfield for a bite to eat with my brother and then having a drink in the hotel bar with some of the Earth-9 gang. Was a good end to a good day.
Saturday 27th July This is easily the most stressful day of LFCC- but not for me this year! It is busy, warm and there are a lot of Saturday only guests however as I got my two auto’s yesterday, I only need to get one more the rest of the weekend wooo!
Entry: Getting inside of the convention was a farce this year. I am usually earlier on a Saturday so unsure if this is normal. As I approached to double check what queue I had to go to, the security said that everyone goes in the same queue. So people who are Gold and already have their tickets, people who are weekend passes who already have their tickets and people who haven’t got theirs at all had to queue all in the same line. Frankly I’d be livid if I was Gold and got told to queue here, but they were. The queue was snaked around outside, and it was only when we reached the entrance we saw the ‘holding’ area was completely empty and not being used for queuing. As I could hear from others around me, they weren’t too pleased either. Not sure if it is just used before 9am entry or what not but anyway, what’s done is done and I am not sure if that is what was suppose to happen- if so, I’d like to see that changed for future. But I get inside at 10.25am. Onward to Day 2.
Day 2’s loose objectives are: get autograph, go to talks, catch up with friends and maybe some more of the merch hall.
The Auto’s: Thanks to my kind brother I got a low VQ for Finn Jones so I knew I’d be ok to get his. I previously met Finn at LFCC exactly 6 years ago (according to my Timehop) and history was definitely repeating itself. I got an auto on a defenders comic I have had previously signed! So two down and two to go!
Talks: I spent a lot of time in the talk hall today, I wont go much into detail of each. I saw the Jason Isaacs, Matthew Lillard, Adam Baldwin and Star Trek talks. Both Jason and Matthew really shone- both extremely charismatic in their different ways and both very engaging! I understand why Showmasters done it but I didn’t massively like the 30min slot for the panel, but that is because I could listen to the guests for ages.
I spent very little time down in the merch hall today- think that will be a job for tomorrow. All in all a decent day of LFCC Saturday. I had a lot of positives- seeing friends, enjoying the talks etc, but there were negatives to the day as well. Although it did not affect me personally, I understand there were issues at the photoshoot area.
After the con ends I bump into a friend, Andrew who is rushing away to get set up for the LFCC pub quiz, which he has organised for the last few years. Unfortunately I will not be joining him as a few other friends and myself have arranged to meet at a local pub for some drinks and some scran! Shout out to Daniel, Alice, Holly, John and Sparky- some wonderful people who at first were twitter friends and now are just friends! My con experience wouldn’t be half it is without these people in my life!
Sunday 28th July Final day of LFCC. This is the point I am sad and happy. Sad because, just like Disneyland I don’t want to leave but happy as my body is just sore and needs a rest. Today starts off much much better. Entry is basically walk in (same time as yesterday) and there seems to be a better atmosphere- perhaps because it’s not raining? Or better organised? Who knows. Again have a few talks I’d like to see and basically go round the merch halls to see if there’s any goodies I would like!
Talks: Today’s agenda for me was- Carrie-Anne Moss, Ben Barnes and Tom Felton. Every single one did not disappoint. Tom Felton blew us away with his little surprise of a few songs on his guitar! But Ben Barnes..urgh… he was amazing! He was so charismatic and full of energy, that after his talk I had to go and get his autograph as I knew I would regret it otherwise. I even asked a question! Which, funnily enough, caused a friend to come up to me after the talk and say- I thought I recognised that voice! Which I was happy at as I hadn’t seen her or her hubby or adorable baby at all that day! Mini highlight of today was definitely meeting Baby Theo and holding him.
Auto’s: So as mentioned, today’s unplanned auto was Ben Barnes. Ben spent a lot of time with each fan and I was no different. I mentioned how I thought he’d make an excellent Disney prince as he was a Levi quality about him- and Ben treated me to the ‘smoulder’ for our selfie. Again, charismatic and just wonderful to his fans!
Spent the rest of my Sunday around the merch hall where I bought a couple of Funko Pops and a Futurama space ship. I usually like buying prints and posters but I have far too many and I had to show some restraint! While walking about one of the stall holders came out of her stall to see me! She recognised me and my brother from a local Glasgow convention a week ago! But I love her stuff anyway- definitely check out Bunny’s Beads as Rachael is awesome!! The merch hall, in my opinion, is great. There is a wide variety of stalls to cater for whatever your fandom! One of my favourite parts of down here was the Star Wars section- especially the Lego!!! Words cannot describe how awesome it is!
- I didn’t spend much time in Yalc this year asides to chill out with friends and grab a sandwich! Not sure why, maybe didn’t feel that pull this time. One thing I did love was the Camp Half-Blood display! This Riordan fan was happy at that. Side note: Riordan would be an AMAZING guest!
- The app was good- a few kinks needed here and there but worked really well- heard good things from others as well. Only change I would make is for notification to be saved in the app at the notification part and not just pinged to phone.
- Food and drink in venue was overpriced as always, but I did like the fact that water was free from any vendor (fill up only). It would be nice to see water stations about the area, especially when other convention centres have adopted the more plastic free approach.
- The Crew were mostly lovely and helpful but saw and heard about some very rude ones. It is hot, sticky and things don’t go to plan but frustrations should not mean shouting at someone’s face. I personally had no issues but I know some that did.
- Was disappointed that the holding areas wasn’t turned into a seating area, as that would have explained the ‘not queueing’ in there. Not sure why they decided against but this would be good to have in future.
- Silent Auction has some great pieces- didn’t win what I bid on but think my bank balance smiled at that!
- Photoshoots. I can personally comment on the one I was in- it was well organised, crew were nice, and even though it ran late a little, there was constant communication throughout. I have heard not so nice stories about other shoots though. Example- shoots being moved and little communication about where/when, about attendees being inappropriate to guests and also to clashes not being acknowledge.
- I do think it was good value for money. There will always be complaints at the price of some of the autos and some of the photos and I get it. Unfortunately/ fortunately it has never been more popular, and with popularity comes a price! I personally had a strict budget this weekend and didn’t get ½ the autographs I wanted. But I must admit the guest experiences I had were lovely! Some of the best ones I’ve had! The talks were plentiful and mostly free and were excellent this year.
- I didn’t spend much time in the comic or gaming zone this year (asides a sneaky game of Bomber Man 2) but the spacing seemed alright and there was a good variety of things to do.
- Did I mention how awesome the Lego was?