Sometimes they have celebrities, sometimes they’re equipped with wicked gaming areas, they’re almost always full of collectibles and of course, they’re packed with like-minded people that won’t judge you for acting (and dressing) as your heart desires.
They’re pop culture conventions and here in Australia we’re lucky to be blessed with numerous gatherings ranging from large Supanova and Oz Comic-Con types to smaller SPYfests, anime and manga gatherings and even for the first time, a dedicated Game of Thrones event.
There are so many, it’s at times impossible to keep up, so here’s just a small selection of 16 pop culture conventions to add to the diary in 2017:
RTX Australia – Sydney (4-5 February)
Kicking things of the year is next month’s RTX Australia in Sydney where attendees spend two days discussing everything gaming and internet.
ComiXpo – Chadstone, Victoria (19 February)
The science fiction and fantasy pop culture fair keeps things traditional with a focus on collectibles as well as the popular cosplay.
Madman Anime Festival – Perth (4 March); Brisbane (10 June); and Melbourne (4-5 November)
Split up throughout the year and visiting multiple Australian cities, the gathering is one of the largest Down Under for anime and has everything from international cosplayers to famous guests.
Goulburn Comic Con – Goulburn (18 March)
Rural New South Wales likes its comics as much as the big cities, that’s why the destination hosts this one-day event where locals (and visitors) can take part in workshops, purchase comics and admire collectibles.
Oz Comic-Con – Perth (25-26 March); Adelaide (1-2 April); Melbourne (1-2 July); Brisbane (23-24 September); and Sydney (30 September-1 October)
Oh hey Jason Momoa! One of Australia’s biggest pop culture conventions is back again this year and it’s bringing with it Aquaman (Perth and Adelaide only so far – soz rest of the nation)! He’s just an example of the incredible guests this event attracts, so keep an eye on their website and social media pages for more big names.
Supanova – Gold Coast (21-23 April); Melbourne (28-30 April); Sydney (16-18 June); Perth (23-25 June); Brisbane (10-12 November); and Adelaide (18-19 November)
Oh hey David Boreanaz! One of the hottest male vampires in the supernatural genre’s history is coming to Australia with Supanova this year (Gold Coast and Melbourne – soz rest of the nation). As one of the largest conventions in the country, the event is able to attract big names, so keep an eye out on their website and social media pages for more.
GX Australia – Sydney (29-30 April)
They describe themselves as “the most inclusive gaming and geek convention” because they cover all areas of geekdom (comics or video games, cosplaying or consoles) in an “epically awesome, inclusive and supportive environment”.
Free Comic Book Day (6 May)
Okay, so this one isn’t exactly a pop culture convention, but it is a day where all comic book fans drop everything to line up for hours and purchase goodies at discounted prices – totally worth adding to the diary.
ThronesCon – Melbourne (20-21 May)
Australia’s first Game of Thrones dedicated convention – heck yeah! In its first year, the event will have panels, discussions, Q&A sessions as well as autographs and photo opportunities with actors from the popular series. Click here to find out who the first three will be.
Star Wars Saga Convention of Australia – Melbourne (2-4 June)
What better year to hang out with a group of Star Wars enthusiasts than on the franchise’s 40th anniversary! The event will feature special guests who will take part in talks and discussion panels. There’ll also be collectables, art exhibitions and fan films.
Haven Expo – Mackay (1-2 July)
Smaller Australian cities like Mackay host gaming and pop culture, which can be a little more intimate but still as entertaining as the major events.
AVCON – Adelaide (21-23 July)
An anime and gaming gathering, AVCON has an ‘Indie Games Room’ to showcase independent games, there’s also gaming tournaments as well as guests such as popular voiceover stars.
SMASH! – Sydney (19-20 August)
If it’s at Rosehill Gardens, then you know it’s going to be big. This Manga convention has everything from karaoke rooms (YAS!) to film hubs, workshop areas and of course, famous guests.
SciFi Film Festival – Sydney (13-17 September)
It’s where local filmmakers can show off their work and where sci-fi fans can appreciate it. The event runs annually and is known to receive exclusive releases.
SPYfest – Goulburn (15-17 September)
It’s not just for the Bond fans, although they have had one 007 make an appearance in the past.
AMC Expo – Melbourne (Not Too Sure)
The website hasn’t been updated with 2017 dates, however, last year the expo had Ray Fisher aka Cyborb from the forthcoming Justice League movie as one of its special guests – pretty cool.
For more pop culture conventions be sure to check out Geeks Events Australia.