In 2016 I attended GeekFest for the first time. When the 2017 came around, I was reasonably excited to see what was on offer. When I heard that the event would be spread over two days at Montecasino, I immediately knew that 2017 would offer a whole lot more. It seems GeekFest is becoming one of the more noted geek events of the year.
A few days before the event kicked off, the weather forecasts threatened to dampen the spirits of those in the area and leave the numbers dwindling over the weekend. Thankfully, fans didn’t let the bitterly cold and wet weather ruin a good weekend and there was still quite a lot of foot traffic around as the heavens opened once more. Speaking to some of the vendors and organisers earlier in the day, they had confirmed what was evident to the eye, that the turnout over both days was very good, more so on the Saturday afternoon.
As the geek culture continues to grow in South Africa, there’s more opportunity for fans to turn out in their droves, as more and more retailers and resellers pop up. There’s no doubt that popular series such as Game of Thrones has made events such as this appeal to a broader audience. Items such as swords have become a lot more favourable, onesies remain hugely popular among females (although it’s not amiss to see one or two guys trying to pull off the look), mugs and keychains being a good quick sell, with merchandise being sold out even before the end of the first day. As the end neared for this year’s GeekFest, more than half the stalls had sold a good number of items.
There’s no doubt the additional space provided by the Montecasino premises allowed for more stalls and bigger walking and chill out areas. While I initially thought I’d be able to do a quick walkthrough and then do a second round to the stalls I enjoyed, I spent more than two hours just doing the first walkthrough alone. In addition to this, there was always some sort of entertainment happening on and around the main stage. From the annual favourite Cosplay to surrounding attractions such as Robo Wars, sword fights, Nintendo and PlayStation stalls, HP experience area and much much more around the venue. There really was a lot to take in at this year’s GeekFest and we can only look forward to a lot more going into 2018.
A big up to all those who braved the weather and made GeekFest a success. Without you things may have looked ominous for 2018. Instead, the turnout only confirmed the increase of geek culture in South Africa.