New ‘geek culture’ festival announced

GeekFest to take place on campus

Image: Pikawil

Image: Pikawil

GeekFest, the University of York’s first ‘geek culture’ convention, is set to take place over two days on 17 and 18 October.

The event, organised primarily by  students James Lees and Lindsey Dalzell, will serve as a showcase for Special Interest societies such as DougSoc, HAZSoc, the Medieval Society and the newly-ratified Tolkien Society.

GeekFest will take place in the Exhibition Centre and entry will be free. It will take place from 10am to 9pm on 17 October and from 10am to 5pm on 18 October.

It “aims to promote all aspects of geek culture from art and game design to LARP [live-action role-play] and Manga”, as well as to “let people try new things and perhaps pick up old hobbies again”.

The scheduled events have been divided into four categories. Those taking place on the Main Stage include the Cosplay Masquerade, Geeky Comedy, Q&A panels (including Ask an Artist) and an ‘On the Spot Cosplay’ event, as well as a quiz testing participants’ knowledge of geek culture.

More than 20 societies are offering workshops, which will take place at certain times and can be booked at the start of the convention. HP Muggle Society has offered to teach newcomers how to play a round of Quidditch, while the Tolkien Society will offer classes in writing in Elven script.  Medieval Society, meanwhile, will offer a workshop in swordfighting for any potential convention-goers.

All of the groups involved in the convention will have stalls in the Convention Hall throughout the day to demonstrate their society’s activities and interests, and several stalls will also be selling nerdy merchandise. An ‘Artist’s Alley’ has also been organised, where artists such as ChaoticaChan, Mike Walters and IllustratedJai will be selling posters and prints.

Several rooms have been set aside for societies to screen films and episodes of television shows, and two rooms will be available for visitors to play board games and card games. Computer games can also be played in the event’s dedicated LAN room. These will be available throughout the convention, with various tournaments and “lots of timetabled events to help people get involved”.

Other events will also be available outside the four categories, such as the Medieval Society’s battle re-enactment and HAZSoc’s Humans V Zombies starting ceremony. Finally, a social night will be taking place featuring drinks, dancing and geek-themed music.

Tickets for entry into GeekFest are available through EventBrite.

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