Thousands of sci-fi fans beamed down into Pwlhelli on the Lleyn Peninsula for a long weekend where normal reality was suspended and a colourfully costumed alternative existence emerged.
Everyday people left their regular-life shackles at home and teleported themselves into Wales in various beguiling disguises. Teachers showed up as timelords, roofers attended as robots, accountants transformed themselves into aliens, mechanical engineers were mutants, shop assistants became shapeshifters, interior designers took to being insectoids for the weekend, doctors reinvented themselves as droids and the result was a mixture of mayhem and utter magic!
The Sci Fi Weekender 8 event surpassed all expectation and was easily the biggest and most successful incarnation of the popular annual get-together. It was so successful that organisers, including Area 51, are to launch a smaller spin-off event "sci fi in the city" for the autumn when it will be staged in Sheffield.
Among the big name attractions at the Hafan y Mor holiday park were Red Dwarf's Chris Barrie and Nicholas Brendon from Buffy The Vampire Slayer who spoke to fans from the stage and also mingled with them, giving their time and autographs to the sci-fi massive! As in previous years the event combined a wide range of attractions including innumerable shows, competitions, memorabilia, forums and a vast range of entertainment that starred a large contingent of Area 51 artists.
Cosplay has increasingly become a big element of the weekender and the 2017 edition was the most impressive yet as a large number of players turned out to enter a competition.
Boogie Storm, who rose to national prominence on the"Britain's Got Talent" TV show, performed their superb dancing-Star-Wars-stormtroopers routine while the superb escapologist and magician Chris Cross also stunned guests. A one-off band formed from various 2000 AD comic artists called Walk Spasm also debuted at Pwlhelli and well known TV and radio personality Pat Sharp also entertained via a DJ spot. Meanwhile, Aussie comedian John Robertson created a huge reaction with his off-the-wall interactive Darkroom performance.
Area 51 have enjoyed a very close working relationship with Sci Fi Weekender chiefs over the years and are honoured to be an integral part of the production team. This year a large crew of performance artists from the company worked long hours between Thursday and Monday, performing cabaret, walkabouts and demonstrating a vast array of circus skills. Stilt-walking, fire performances, dancers, acrobalance and contortion, DJs, robots - including a new range of steampunk costumes from the Warwickshire company and an excellent new costume from Ivor Makarov- and much more.
The ever-popular Imaginarium cabaret proved a big draw attraction with Professor Elemental interviewing Chris Barrie as part of proceedings.