OK, you know how I love Sci-Fi Weekender and for have been going to the events since 2013! With SF8 not far behind us, those amazing people over at Chic have let us know that Sci-Fi & Fantasy Weekender 9. SFW9 is GO!

SFW8 was a massive event to cover and with so much happening I felt like I could have done with cloning myself to cover everything no matter how big or small that was happening at SFW9 in Pwllheli, it has now been officially announced that this is the biggest Sci-Fi and Fantasy Festival in Europe! Over 6000 people partied long and hard, and for the 2016 event, fans of SFW asked for it to be bigger, better, more music, more guests and more fun! And the team behind the event pulled out all the stops out to make sure that everyone, from young kids to older kids, from aliens to monsters, from VIPs to Warriors had a blast!

But as per usual the Chic team don’t rest for too long and they’ve told us that no sooner had the dust settled on Camp SFW they started organising again for SFW9.

Awesome Cosplay at SFW8

But the question is can they beat this year’s event?

Well from what we have been told, yes! Chic have let us know that they intend the 2018 gathering of SFW fans to be bigger and better than ever before. They are currently in discussions with several great guests, but the good news is that they have already let us know several guests for SFW9 and I for one am as excited as a rebel racing at break-neck speed on around the forests of Endor!

First, on the list of guests, there will be a bona fide princess in attendance … Chic are delighted that Ingvild Deila, Rogue One’s Princess Leia will be joining the fun. Ingvild studied acting for the stage for three years in Norway and then pursued other interests like fine art, philosophy and history while living in Bergen, Norway, Switzerland and France. She has taken the lead in several feature films, short films, plays, music videos and commercials.

Another name who needs no introduction is Colin Baker! Colin played the sixth incarnation of the BBC’s favourite Time Lord from 1984 to 1986. Colin played Paul Merroney in the BBC1 series The Brothers (1972), and had a guest role in an episode of Blake’s 7 (1980) before appearing in Doctor Who as Maxil, a Time Lord Guard, who shot the then current Doctor Peter Davison! Colin has also appeared in many shows on stage, including Doctor Who’s ‘The Ultimate Adventure’, and continues to work on stage and television, even making an I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here appearance as one of the contestants in the Australian jungle in 2012. Plus many will have heard Colin as the narrator on the superb Indie film, A Dozen Summers.

Keeping in with some amazing Sci-Fi folks, Hugh Quarshie, an actor and director, known for Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999), Highlander (1986), Doctor Who (2007), Jason and the Argonauts (2000), Red Dwarf (1983) and The Tomorrow People (1992) amongst many other genre credits.

Actor Alistair Petrie will also be beaming over to Pwllheli. As well as Rogue One, Alistair has appeared in Jonathan Creek (1998), Cloud Atlas (2012), Sherlock (2014) and Utopia (2014).

As with the past events that are held in Pwllheli, North Wales, SFW9 will also see a host of author guests, and leading the charge is best-selling author Kevin J Anderson. With over 50 bestsellers to his name, Kevin has written spin-off novels for Star Wars, StarCraft, Titan A.E. and The X-Files, and with Brian Herbert is the co-author of the Dune prequel series. His original works include the Saga of Seven Suns series and the Nebula Award-nominated Assemblers of Infinity. He has also written several comic books, including the Dark Horse Star Wars collection Tales of the Jedi written in collaboration with Tom Veitch, Dark Horse Predator titles, and The X-Files titles for Topps. Some of Anderson’s superhero novels include Enemies & Allies, about the first meeting of Batman and Superman, and The Last Days of Krypton, telling the story of how Superman’s planet Krypton came to be destroyed. Kevin has published over 120 titles, and he has more than 23 million books in print worldwide.

So what else could you ask for! Oh, you want more! Oh well, in that case, read on.

Music and More at SFW9

Over the years SFW has not only had guests from the world of Sci-Fi but has also brought us a great collection of Bands and DJs to entertain the masses during the Weekender, 2018 is going to be no exception and SFW9 will see Professor Elemental returning to the stage, let’s face it, it wouldn’t be SFW without a bit of Prof! Returning with a full set, and hosting throughout the weekend. He embodies the event, enjoying it just as much as everyone loves to have him there.

Kenny Baker and Professor Elemental at SFW8

Kenny Baker and Professor Elemental at SFW8

Founded in 1958, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop was home to a maverick group of experimental composers, sound engineers and musical innovators. In a series of small studios within the labyrinthine corridors of the BBC Maida Vale complex, the Workshop explored new ways of using – and abusing – sound. Following their epic and show-stopping appearance in 2016, the world-famous sonic pioneers return to SFW9 to perform their renowned soundtracks, including the iconic Doctor Who theme. Witness original Workshop members joining together for an incredible live performance of their truly groundbreaking work.

Back in 2015 I had the chance to photograph the amazing Darth Elvis & The Imperials and 2018 will see them returning to Pwllheli, Darth Elvis & The Imperials are a Star Wars themed Elvis and rock ‘n’ roll parody band from Viva Mos Eisley. In 1977 Elvis didn’t die: he turned to the dark side of the Force and ever since he has been playing music venues around the Outer Rim Territory. Having already (jail house) rocked the house at SFW they already have a big following and have been requested for a big return this year.

Blues Harvest has built up a cult following through their diverse song choices from the world of movies, TV and a few guilty pleasures along the way. With set highlights including music from Star Wars, Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, Guardians of the Galaxy and many more, Blues Harvest is the perfect band to celebrate the sci-fi, comics and fantasy genres.

DJ Leroy put on a phenomenal set at this year’s Sci-Fi Weekender and many people on the SFW group page on Facebook asked for him to make a return after his storming first set. His use of video and perfect reading of what the crowd wants in his set have made him a popular favourite for return.

 

Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist, Greig Stewart plays the laser harp and other nerdy instruments. His performance is visual with lasers filling the room as he plays his music.

Enjoying SFW8 in the Main Void

Live Interactive Theatre and The Dark Room!

One thing that everyone screamed and shouted about after SFW8 was The Dark Room, John Robertson’s extremely popular interactive video game show that had the SFW FB group going bonkers, which lead to almost everyone calling each other Darren and shouting “You Die, You Die, You Die” every time they entered a room and lights went out, John’s use of the term “Flamboyant Potato” has become such a popular term that the SFW FB Group even branched off with a page just for fans of the “Flamboyant Potato” all thanks to one of the groups members!

Calling all Darren’s!! It’s hard to miss how The Dark Room stole the show at the Weekender this year. Expect to see a lot more of John at SFW9 – be sure to bring a potato and prepare to DIE, DIE, DIE all over again… and let’s see if we can progress a little further than screen 9 of the game this time shall we? (There are over a hundred!)

Riotously successful last time around. Punch & Judy meets Hollywood as Pop-up Puppet Cinema perform adaptations of your favourite movies, lovingly mocked and condensed into a short live show. Returning with 2 new movie adaptations for your delectation.

The MMORPG show combines improvised comedy with table top gaming, in an epic sprawling open world. Entirely made up fantasy quest of the audiences own devising. From the makers of Knightmare Live, made to be the antithesis of Knightmare, in that it’s manned by only a single person and only need a very simple stage and a larger than life 20 sided dice. Lots of audience interaction, Very witty, very Geeky.

The critically acclaimed stage adaptation of the cult TV show, Knightmare. Every show of Knightmare Live will be different, every quest unique. Multiple dungeoneers take part in the interactive show and the quest is formed from the object ‘obtained’ from the audience.

Life’s a Cabaret, My Friend!

Many moons ago at one of the earlier SFW events I covered, may have been the first or second, I got the chance to meet a proper gentlemen by the name of Sir Leopold Aleksander and I’m proud to say that this rather nice chap is returning to Sci-Fi Weekender in 2018, he’s a sportsman, strongman, circus artist, adventurer and all-around paragon of gentlemanly conduct. ‘The Path To Victory!’, his lecture on gaining the necessary attributes of the true gentleman, will amaze, astound and amuse any audience.

Merlin Cadogan has over 15 years of experience in escapology. He also incorporates comedy and a whole host of skills into his shows. He performs the world’s only underwater juggling escape routine – which got him through to the finals of BGT and garnered a 10 out of 10 from Angel of Darkness Simon Cowell!

Love Gaming and Having Fun!

Providing retro games for all to play for free are the Retro Computer Musem. Always a popular and busy area of SFW.

Have you always wanted to be a Jedi? Well with the Jedi Training Academy you can be set on the right path. This time those poor battered drones will be replaced with an actual robot – so prepare to level up all you Jedi’s! Tech wizard Luis Villazon is hard at work on a real live battle droid that will become your undoing. Keep your lightsabres primed!

Cosplayers at Sci-FiWeekender 5 (Photo by Karen Woodham)

Cosplayers at Sci-FiWeekender 5 (Photo by Karen Woodham)

The Cosplay section for SFW9 is yet to be finalised – but expect some huge announcements and a plethora of special guests once again. Plus Chic have told us that they will be overhauling the competition for everybody’s benefit! So interesting to see what they will be doing there.

Hang on! Haven’t We Forgotten Something!

How can you have an SFW event without Area51! Well don’t worry there will be more from Area51’s walkabout and amazing stage presentations; there’s the Cinema showing a variety of films all day and all night; further film presentations in the cabins on a special SFW channel.

The Imaginarium at SFW8

The Imaginarium presentation on Friday night – a Cabaret of music, dance, special effects and acts to blow your socks clean off; more Authors and Artists to be announced; more Media Guests to be announced; the ‘earlybird’ panels and entertainment on Thursday afternoon and evening; SFX and costume making demos; A brand new LAN gaming Arena; Cosplay competition; guest DJs; more Karaoke …

So there you have it, folks, now you know where we will be going to be in March 2018, geeking out, chatting, photographing, interviewing and working our jetpacks off at the SSci-FiWeekender 2018!!!

SFW9 takes place at Camp SFW, Pwllheli, North Wales, UK on 22nd – 25th March 2018. To book one of the last few remaining rooms or boarding passes either do so online at www.scifiweekender.com or ring Lisa on 0207 097 1521.

Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham is the founder and owner of the Blazing Minds, an avid blogger and bona fide journalist. She is also a Cinema Film Reviewer, based at the Scala in Prestatyn and at many Cineworld screens, where she reviews the latest movies, she has also had several articles published in various publications. She became an Award Winning Blogger in 2015 and also has her website listed as one of the UKs Top 10 Film Blogs.
Karen Woodham

@KarenNWoodham

2015 @UKBlogAwards winner. Journalist, photographer and founder of @blazingminds. Mentioned on @BBCFilm2017. Reviewer at @VenueCymru @cineworld
Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham