SFW9 has been yet another Geekcamp of delight in Pwllheli – Part 1

It’s now time to return to reality as this year’s SFW9 has sadly come to an end, many of you that follow Blazing Minds will have seen us post about the first day at Geekcamp in Pwllheli and may have even seen the live streams that we were putting out during the weekend, so now it’s a chance to look back at this one that has so many amazing guests, before the BIG ONE!

So much like last year’s SFW8, this year saw the schedule packed with the delights for geeks and nerds of any age, from Puppets to Flamboyant Potatoes, SFW9 has been an event that has been a sheer delight to attend and to be part of.

Many of you who read the articles here on Blazing Minds, will have seen that I’ve been heading to Geekcamp since it first started in Pwllheli for SFW4, what started as something to cover, has now become a part of my life, with me not only making notes for articles, but now one I’m one of the team of photographers have the honour to put the SFW logo on their photographs, it’s a pleasure to run alongside Simon Dunkerley (Chic/HRH Festivals & Magazine) and Mark Coxen (Jaded Images).

It was also an honour to have been asked to set up and run the official Facebook group for the SFW events, the group has now been running for three years and we have a lovely bunch of fellow geeks and nerds in the group. Thank you so much to those that came up to me over the weekend and thanked me for the group and the love for what everyone involved in SFW does.

SFW9 – A Geeks Delight

OK, enough of all that, let’s get on to this year’s, so there may have been some cancellations, but this happens with all events, they didn’t put a dampener on the weekend, there was so much to do, plus there was a mystery guest that would be surprising us all and boy was it a surprise, for many a big one from their childhoods, that included mine, but more on that later.

After landing on Thursday and getting sorted ready for the weekend, Friday was the first full day of entertainment and we had so much happening that it was hard for me to be everywhere at once, but thanks to a great team, it was easier to get things covered and with my dedicated Cosplay photo guy, John, I could leave him to go out and about to meet the amazing Cosplayers that have been at SFW9.

Professor Elemental at Sci-Fi Weekender SFW9

Professor Elemental at Sci-Fi Weekender SFW9

After the opening ceremony and a great music from Professor Elemental, that day had started, the Main Void started the interviews and Q&As with Simon “Spindles” Potthast chatting with the brilliant Ian Whyte (AvP, Harry Potter, GoT). Simon always does brilliant interviews and it’s a joy to sit in on them and listen to them, this year he brought something a little extra to the Q&As after the interviews, Simon brought his “Bag of Tat”, a random gift plucked from the bag of goodness for each person that stepped to the microphone to ask a question.

Simon 'Spindles' Potthast interviews Ian Whyte at Sci-fi Weekender SFW9

Simon ‘Spindles’ Potthast interviews Ian Whyte

Bringing in some Horror this year, the next guest was the wonderful, Emily Booth, who was interviewed by Robin Pierce, again this was another brilliant interview and Emily told us about her time in the movies, the Horror Channel and so much more. But to top it all, we got a Sci-Fi Weekender exclusive, as Emily told us all that we would get to see a scene from her new upcoming movie, “Shed of the Dead“, which is currently in post-production, suffice to say it went down a storm with the audience. I can’t wait to see it. Massive thanks to Emily for bringing that one for us.

Queen of Scream, Emily Booth at Sci-Fi Weekender SFW9

Queen of Scream, Emily Booth at Sci-Fi Weekender SFW9

Another guest that many were looking forward to was Spyros Melaris, the man behind the Roswell hoax, the talk that Spyros put on was so popular, the Main Void really filled up for this one, as he revealed all about the film that had people fooled for many years, a fascinating guy and very interesting to listen to.

Totally gutted I missed Ken Stott this year, but sadly with such an awesome event, there have to be things that you do miss.

Andrew Lee Potts stepped in when Christopher Judge sadly had to pull out of this year’s Sci-Fi Weekender, but Andrew was a good choice and he went down well with not only the interview and Q&A, but also seemed to do well over in the signing zone at the Spaceport. I would like to do a quick mention and thanks to Christopher Judge for the video he sent over to the SFW team apologizing for not being able to make it.

While everything was going on in the Main Void, there was just as much happening a stone’s through at the Spaceport, with an audience with the Daleks, Pop Up Puppet Cinema who are fantastic and this year they thrilled audiences with Back to the Future and Jaws! There was so much going on over there during the day and evening, a good buddy of Blazing Minds, Level Up Leroy did his first set of the weekend in the evening at the Spaceport and as per usual he rocked the place.

The Doc and Marty from Pop Up Puppet Cinema meets the fans at Sci-Fi Weekender SFW9

The Doc and Marty meet the fans at Sci-Fi Weekender SFW9

The Timeport, which was situated at the rear of the Mash & Barrel, also had a selection of traders, much like the Spaceport, the stage area was used for some very interesting talks, such as “Cosplaying The Doctor“, an interesting and personal look into the lives of those that Csoplay as one of the Doctors, I really enjoyed listing to the stories of the times that they had met Doctor Who cast etc, a pure joy to sit in on and chance to chill for a moment, before racing off to catch as much as I could.

One of my many loves, maybe for my sins, is a good coffee and thankfully Geekcamp has a Starbucks (aptly named really), one of the many things that I do love about popping into Starbucks at SFW, is that the many wonderful authors that attend the weekend have an area where that chat about their books. It was so nice to see my lovely friend Raven Dane attending again this year as one of the authors along with my author dear friends David J Howe and Sam Stone, also nice to see Dawn G Harris attending as well, sadly I didn’t get chance to get to chat with Dawn, but I did sit in on the panels that she was on and they were very good

The Imaginarium and the return of The Mighty Moustache!

I love the Friday evenings at SFW and this year saw the return of another friend of Blazing Minds, The Mighty Moustache, and boy was it fun to see Sir Leopold himself back on the SFW stage performing his very gentlemanly strongman routines, it’s always a joy to see his performance and to see the crowd enjoying what he does. Sir Leopold, we salute you for you rather wonderful performance of the night and for the delightful nods to my camera throughout the show.

Sir Leopold, The Mighty Moustache returned to Sci-Fi Weekender SFW9

Sir Leopold, The Mighty Moustache returned to Sci-Fi Weekender SFW9

Let’s also not forget Merlin Cadogan, who is an escapologist who reached the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2009. He also set a Guinness World Record for the longest time to juggle three objects underwater on a single breath, with a time of one minute and 20 seconds, Merlin was so much fun to watch and something no one was expecting happened!

Merlin asked for items from the audience for him to balance on his chin, a fair request one would think, he was offered a chair, a bag of Skittles, Captain America’s Shield and few other items, but then it happened, the mighty Trumpetpool headed to the stage with Sousaphone, could this really be happening and the look on Merlin’s face was priceless!

Trumpetpool aka Chris Beard at SFW9

Trumpetpool aka Chris Beard at SFW9

Merlin, asked the audience to shout out loud for the item they wanted him to balance, suffice to say every item he showed had a deathly silence in the Main Void, something only heard in there when the even is empty, then we cam to the Sousaphone, a roar of gigantic proportions screamed out from the audience, but could he, or even would he be able to balance it!

Merlin attempts to balance Trumptpool's Sousaphone

Merlin attempts to balance Trumptpool’s Sousaphone

There had been a lot of talk about who the mystery guest was going to be and it wouldn’t be long until we would find out, but before that we were brought the delights of Nightmare Live a stage version of the TV show that a lot of us at Sci-Fi Weekender used to watch as kids, led by my lovely friend Heather Saunders, three contenders attempted to take on the challenges thrown at them to beat the dungeon master, this is where we had out myster guest, non-other than the original dungeon master Treguard, what an amazing surprise and certainly someone that non of us were expecting.

Saturday would see Spindles chatting with Hugo Myatt about Nightmare and so much more.

Simon "Spindles" Potthast and Hugo Myatt at SFW9

Simon “Spindles” Potthast and Hugo Myatt at SFW9

And so Friday night was drawing to a close, the evening ended with some new “chap hop” tracks from Professor Element, followed by a galactic performance from the good friends of Blazing Minds, the one and only Darth Elvis and the Imperials as they rocked the night away with the Darth Elvis tracks that we all love to hear. Cosplay Karaoke was just brilliant and the evening came to a close with a performance from DJ Nick Maxwell.

What an awesome Friday, SFW is always fun to be at but so far this year had been the best I had been to since SFW4. Find out about Saturday’s fun and frolics in Part 2 of my SFW recap.

Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham is the founder and owner of the Blazing Minds. She is also a Cinema reviewer, based at the Scala in Prestatyn and also works with RealD 3D reviewing the latest 3D releases, she has also had several articles published in various publications. In 2015 she became an Award Winning Blogger and also has her website listed as one of the UK's Top 10 Film Blogs.
Karen Woodham