When Geekfest first launched in 2013 it became a place for all geeks to come together- be they, young or old, Trekkie or Star Wars fan. It was great to have a festival that celebrated Geekdom in all its different shapes and forms.
Well, Geekfest 2016 has once again proved that the love for all things Geek is growing and that more and more people are embracing it. To accommodate this rapid growth, Geekfest 2016 was held over the span of two days. This was a welcome first and it ensured that there was no excuse for missing anything at the event.
This year Geekfest was held at Inanda Country Base in Kyalami, a new venue, which was not only a beautiful place to hold the event but offered enough space to accommodate all the various stands and attractions at Geekfest. It was a welcome change as the previous venue felt a bit crowded as the day went on and more people arrived. This was not the case with the new venue. There were enough trees to find shelter from the sun while enjoying the great food, as well as enough space for the kids to run around without bumping into scary zombies.
Last year I was so impressed with how family friendly Geekfest was that I decided to take my 5-year-old daughter with me to this year’s event. It was wonderful to experience the event through her eyes. Seeing her expression as she saw her first cosplayer was something I probably won’t forget. It is easy for those of us who are used to amazing cosplay costumes to just take them for granted, but seeing my daughter become excited at the sight of a Rapunzel cosplayer was something special and reminded me of how great South African cosplayers are and how remarkably detailed some of their costumes can be.
After having to drag my daughter away from the unbelievably cute BB-8 that was on display, we ventured into the rows of stalls that covered the open field. As with last year, there were a wide variety of things to buy at these stalls. The quality of items that these stalls had for sale seemed to get better with each year, and I found myself being dragged into each of them as my daughter’s attention was grabbed by all manner of interesting objects, toys, and even food. Oh, the food. This was one thing that stood out to me at last year’s event and this year was no different. We stuffed ourselves with tasty donuts and some of the most delicious burgers I have tasted.
Last year I had lost my dignity at the Fight A Knight attraction. I was thoroughly beaten by the Knight I had challenged. Although the Fight a Knight attraction was back, I decided to rather be a spectator this year. I couldn’t face the prospect of having my daughter see her dad losing (again). Ther previous year’s attractions didn’t disappoint and this year was no exception. There was the PES 2016 tournament for those soccer fans that wanted to show off their skills, the helicopter flights to satisfy the daredevils amongst the visitors and even a Robotwars tournament where iron machines of destruction could be found duking it out in the ring.
For those that wanted to test their puzzle solving skills, the guys from #ESCAPE were also there and had set up rooms with puzzles to solve and test your mental abilities. While on the subject of puzzles, Timeless Board Games once again hosted a board gaming area where attendees could sit and spend some time playing a variety of interesting board games.
I was once again amazed at the variety of people at the event; families sat around tables playing board games, small kids dashed up and down the open field chasing after each other, cosplayers roamed the stalls and drew attention wherever they went. This is the reason that I believe Geekfest has become so successful. It is a place where all manner of geeks can come together and celebrate the thing that they love, in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
In the end, I had to drag my daughter away, but Geekfest had once again given me memories that would stay with me for a lifetime. The friendly atmosphere, tasty food, great stalls and fun attractions had made our father-daughter outing one that we would not soon forget. I really enjoyed seeing Geekfest grow into this huge event, and hope that they continue to do so and that more people would be able to experience this very special event.