We’re celebrating all things geeky here at HostelBookers this month. Don’t forget to tell us about your favourite geeky place to visit to be in with a chance of winning a personalised action figure – Stephen Fry and Ryan Penagos have already given us theirs!
From Star Wars to True Blood to the Vampire Diaries and manga comics there’s a geek convention for everyone. Here are just a few of the biggest and best geek festivals around the world…
#1 Course of the Force
What is it? Course of the Force is “an Olympic-style lightsaber relay, where participants will make a journey from Santa Monica to San Diego while benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation.” It’s like a relay race, but you pass the lightsaber as the stick. Along the way there’ll be Star Wars themed parties, contests and live nerdist shows along the way.
Participants should come decked out in their best Star Wars, or pop culture-themed running gear. The best will win prizes.
Where? Santa Monica Pier – Redondo Beach Pier – Huntington Beach Pier – Oceanside Pier – Crystal Pier, Pacific Beach – San Diego
When? July 7-11 2012
€€? $500, with all proceeds benefitting the Make-A-Wish foundation. Runners will receive a Star Wars Ultimate FX lightsaber along with other gifts celebrating the Force.
#2 Comic Con
What is it? Comic Con showcases comic books, science fiction, fantasy and film, television, horror, animation, manga, video games and fantasy novels, among much other comic-related fun. More than 130,000 people attended in 2010 and it was a sell out. There are panels, seminars, workshops and previews. There are also awards ceremonies, a masquerade ball, a costume contest and the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival, which showcases shorts and feature length movies without distribution deals.
You can also visit the autograph area and the Artists’ Alley where you’ll find your favourite writers and models will be.
Where? San Diego Convention Center, San Diego
Nearest hostel? HI San Diego (Downtown) The Metropolitan | 60 metres away | shared rooms from €19.50pppn | privates from €24.20pppn
When? July 12-15 2012
€€? 4 days from $150, 1 day from $23
#3 The Official Star Trek Convention
What is it? The world famous Official Star Trek Convention is a chance for hardcore fans to come and meet the cast and other passionate Star Trek fans. There’s always a huge turn out from guests, as well as over 70 celebrities connected to the show – you can book a spot to get a photo and autograph with them.
Of course there’s plenty of food and drink available, but there’s also a casino, a sky Masquerade show, state of the art theatres and hundreds of collectibles stalls. There’s also a bingo bash, auctions and even Guinness World Records attempts – last year they blew the previous record for having the most Trek costumes in one place.
Where? The Rio Suites Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada
Nearest hostel? AAE Casino Hotel Wild West Las Vegas | 2.7km away | shared rooms from €13.88pppn | privates from €6.94pppn
When? August 9-12, 2012
€€? Special weekend packages from $319 | Weekend tickets from $149 | Day tickets from $35
#4 London Film and Comic Con
What is it? London Film and Comic Con is your chance to meet all your favourite comic and film heroes, including Gillian Anderson, Hayden Panettiere and Jonathan Frakes.
There’s a video game zone, an artists ally and an Anime zone too selling DVDs, manga, merchandise and other goodies.
Where? Olympia Grand Hall, London
Nearest hostel? Access Kensington Olympia | 2 steps away | private rooms from €34.59pppn
When? 6-8 July 2012
€€? From £6pp
#5 Board Game Geek
What is it? Board Game Geek is a convention for… board game geeks. But not your average weekend Monopoly lover, this is for serious, hardcore gaming chiefs. There’s a game library with more than 3500 games, including Texas Hold’Em Tournament, Game Show, Puzzle Hunt and Battlin’ Tops for you to work your way through. There are top prizes for winners and a flea market and vendors selling the latest releases too.
Where? Hyatt Regency DFW Airport, Texas, USA
Nearest hostel? Comfort Inn DFW Airport North | 4 miles | privates from €26.93pppn
When? November 14-18, 2012
€€? $110 for 4-day pass
Few more geek festivals for you…
#6 Star Wars Celebration | 23-26 August 2012 | Orange County Convention Centre, Orlando, Florida | Nearest hostel: Days Inn Orlando Convention Center/International D | 3 miles | Private rooms from €35.12pppn
Remember to tell us about your favourite geeky place to visit too!