Convention season has already kicked off 2019 with a bang and today saw quite a few first cons of the year up and down the UK. I live in Edinburgh so its only natural to go closer to home, and the first con in the city this year was Capital Sci-Fi held over three days at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange!
This is the second year that Capital Sci-Fi has been at the Corn Exchange, with its previous venue of Meadowbank Stadium now no longer being an option. Last year had a lot of teething troubles, mainly due to crowd management and bad weather, but thankfully that seems to have been resolved this year and although we were warned in advance that tickets on the door would only be available for 12pm, the staff allowed us in early and we were in the building by 1045am.
It was a pretty good idea as there were a lot of young families and children around and the temperature today was not as cold as recent weeks but still not too good for the wee ones, this did allow for kids to get inside out of the cold and one young gentleman who was there with his mother was extremely excited as we queued up for his first convention.
“Its just like school so relax and enjoy it!” I said
“But I don’t like school!” came the quick reply.
“Well school with Star Wars, and Star Trek and Harry Potter but no homework!” I added
“And Power Rangers?” His eyes gleaming now and his mother laughing.
“Oh yes and Power Rangers!”
Seeing that look of anticipation on the face of a child makes me really glad that I get to go to conventions as its totally priceless and while walking around during the day I saw him and his mum again and asked was he having fun. Lets just say that the smile and the huge high five told it all!
Capital is pretty well known for having guests drawn from the worlds of Star Wars and Doctor Who, especially seeing as organiser Keith Armour is very heavily involved with the Star Wars cosplay scene in Scotland and can often be seen dressed as a wookiee collecting for charity or raising awareness of Capital Sci-Fi throughout the year!
With a few guests from Star Wars this year in attendance it was bound to be busy, and true to form there were many queues throughout the day for the stars of most of the Star Wars movies mainly Warwick Davis who played Wicket in Return of the Jedi and countless other roles in movies down the years.
But most people had turned out to see the Doctors, with two of them being in attendance.
Peter Davidson the Fifth Doctor has been a regular visitor to conventions for many years now and has been to cons in Scotland a few times over the past ten years, most notably his appearances at Collectormainia which always go down well. Peter signed autographs for scores of fans and posed with them for photos at his booth, but was sadly out shadowed by the presence of another Doctor!
To say that actors have things easy is all to simple an analogy to make, but some go why beyond just staring in shows, they breath life into the characters and make sure that everyone gets just what they expect! None more so than Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi. This native Scotsman really did go above and beyond when it came to the fans and spent well over six hours signing items, posing for photos and selfies and chatting with folks who waited in line for hours to see him.
We knew off the bat when he was announced that Saturday would be really busy, given how popular he was in the role of the Doctor, but to be honest I have only ever seen queues like today for A list celebrities with the last real occasion being the last UK appearance of the late and great Stan Lee (Excelsior!).
Some folks waited in line for over three hours to meet Peter Capaldi and though the queues were huge, they never really got into the rest of the convention traffic and didn’t have any real impact on the rest of the show. Peter was running way behind as he was chatting with everyone who was meeting him and I don’t just mean oh hi, next person! He was honestly and genuinely happy to see so many people who had turned out to see him!
It did remind me very much of For the Love of 80s last November with David Hasselloff and the seemingly endless queues he had, but to be honest in a more relaxed way!
Of course no convention would be really worth its salt without things to do, and there was once again plenty on offer, from props from the movies that people could pose with such as the Inca Temple from Raiders of the Lost Ark and full sized TARDIS from Doctor Who, to an area set aside for games and relaxing, even Lego!
Dozens of clubs and societies such as Ghostbusters of Glasgow, UK Colonial Marines (Aliens), Rebel Legion (Star Wars) and many more where on hand for photo ops and to chat about their love of all things geek. The trade hall was packed with lots of traders who sold everything from hand made bags and jewellery, too toys and much, much more! As well as props there was also a thirty five piece orchestra who played a melody of hits from movies such as Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark and more!
Lots of great artists and creators where also present to sell or show off their creations and its always good to see local talent doing well
All this lead for something to do for most of the day, and there was a large area opened at the back of the building that led outside where people could get some fresh air and relax or pose for photos.
And speaking of posing!
Once again Edinburgh does it right with some absolutely amazing costumes from cosplayers all over Scotland! Below is a link to my gallery of images taken today, please feel free to share them but please credit Gamers Web if you do!
Overall a great improvement on the previous venue, mainly due to the lighting in the old venue, and it was very good to see that lessons have been learned from last year and the queue system was not only under control, it was extremely well executed and ran. I do feel though that the venue is perhaps to small for the amount of traffic and maybe a larger venue will need to be sort out in coming years!
My many thanks to all the wonderful people who stopped and chatted with me today and posed for photos, and the great traders who all seemed happy and cheerful and hopefully richer from a successful days trading. And my many thanks to my dear friends Terry Brady and Tom Rattray without whom my day would have been far less fun, love ya guys.