You’ve been hearing about it on the radio, you’re seeing billboards, ads on TV, ads on Facebook. It’s everywhere in Utah right now. It’s Fantasy Con. And it’s making it’s debut this week starting Thursday July 3rd running through Saturday July 5th in Salt Lake City at the Salt Palace.
But what is it?
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting pretty excited for FantasyCon. I’m .. what stands out to me?
Since getting a media pass to attend and after talking to some local industry insiders, I’m getting the feeling that Fantasy Con is very well organized. It’s been thoughtfully planned out and delegated to those who can do it best. If I have questions, they get back to me quickly and their scheduling feels like it’s had a lot of thought going into it.
Set in the Salt Palace, with likely booths and kiosks, it’s going to hard to feel much of anything beyond “convention”. But from what I’ve heard it sounds like they’re working very hard to make it feel like a fantasy world when you get there. They’re encouraging attendees to dress up if possible. They’ve build a 3 story dragon that at least breaths smoke, perhaps fire if rumors are true and there are huge sentinels around the entryway.
If there is something about Fantasy Con that I’m the most excited about, it’s the cosplay. If you’ve watched Heroes of Cosplay, you know that they’ve announced two of their cosplayers that were initially slated to attend. Ridd1e is going to be there. Monika Lee announced on her twitter feed that she was skipping Fantasy Con, so don’t plan her. But there are several other well known cosplayers scheduled to attend.
Not only that, but they’re also giving away $10,000 in cosplay contest awards! That’s some good money for cosplay contests. It makes me wish I had a costume that I’d been working on that I could enter with. There are going to be 4 contests.
- Roaming Contest – at certain times and locations, just show up in your costume and wander around. There is a “The Secret Band of Roaming Judges” that will be judging everyone walking around prizes are going to be announced for this contest soon.
- Youth Contest – For ages 15 and under. This one is broken up into age groups, best Teen, best 10-12, best 9 and under. Best of show here is $300
Room 150 ABC Friday, July 4, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
- Creator’s Contest – For ages 16+, this contest is broken into three cateogories, novice intermediate and master. With the best in show at $800, this is a good place to go if you’re getting started. Requires pre-judging.
Room 150 G, Friday July 4, 5:00pm – 6:30pm
- Quest of Emberfire – If you’re in it for prestige, glory and cash this one is your contest. The best in show wins $5,000 and this one is grouped into categories: Best Fantasy, Most Original, and People’s Choice. Requires pre-judging.
Grand Ballroom, Saturday July 5, 5:00pm – 6:00pm
I’ve got a bit of a Firefly movie memorabilia thing going on. So far I have Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk and Adam Baldwin’s autographs on replica pieces from the movie. I’m very excited that Fantasy Con is bringing Summer Glau so I can get another piece added to the collection. I’m also stoked for Simon Pegg! What a funny guy. I can’t wait to hear about his experiences. I’ve heard this is his first con where he’s doing an autograph booth, so that’s fun. All those hobbits and dwarves and a wizard! This is gonna be awesome!
Fireworks and Parties and Awesomeness:
So much sweet stuff. Free fireworks on Saturday night! There’s the kickoff party hosted by DJ Elijah Wood? Seriously? That’s awesome. The Red party on Thursday, there are Aerial Acrobatics going on through the whole thing. There’s a FantasyCon Parade, Tabletop Gameplay and the FilmQuest Film Festival. All going on this weekend.
There’s a new reality show coming in July to ABC called The Quest. I’ve got to admit, I’m going to watch at least a few. Nothing like LARPing on television in a contest for the whole world to see. Fantasy Con will be hosting The Quest in their auditions for next season.
I have to admit that when I heard about Fantasy Con, I was a little skeptical. As of the Summer of 2013, there had basically been zero of these types of conventions in Utah. Now by the end of this year, we’ll have had 4. My knee-jerk reaction to Fantasy Con was that it’s a copy-cat of the other new big con in Utah. But I’ve since learned that I was totally wrong. Fantasy Con has been in the works for the past 5 years!
Get the family out of the house this weekend and go check out the show and the fireworks. It’s gonna rock!