Press Release - 7th February 2014

Title: Nine Worlds is your oyster
Event: Nine Worlds GeekFest, August 8th-10th 2014, Radisson Blu Edwardian, Heathrow

Nineworlds Geekfest burst out of the woodwork in August 2013 in style. “So, that was Geekfest, a large-scale convention that came out of nowhere around the beginning of the year, funded itself via Kickstarter, occupied a large chunk of two big hotels at Heathrow and had a mind-bogglingly bewildering variety of panels, lectures, games and activities for fans of just about all tastes. And it was, frankly, wonderful,” said Adrian Tchaikovsky.

The inaugural con took place at Heathrow, London with over 1500 attendees. In March 2013 Nine Worlds ran a Kickstarter fundraising drive that was 232% oversubscribed and raised £23,000 (the second most successful convention launch in Kickstarter's history), demonstrating the huge interest for an event of this kind in London. “If you’re looking for a UK version of Dragon*Con, then this is for you. It’s run by geeks for geeks, and it really showed,” said GeekPlanetOnline.

“Nine Worlds fills a huge gap in the UK con scene, between the more traditional bookish events like EasterCon and FantasyCon . . . and the less focussed multimedia things like the SF Weekender. Nine Worlds has all the potential to be the UK’s equivalent of Dragon Con, which we totally don’t have at the moment,” said Adam Christopher.

“You can imagine our excitement when we found out about the Nine Worlds convention – a weekend of ALL the geekery, where expensive signings and meet and greets had been replaced by workshops and talks on a huge range of topics – literature, sci-fi, vampires, skepticism, Game of Thrones, knitting, Joss Whedon, robotics, maths . . . and so on. Sure, there were expensive signings if that’s what you wanted, but the focus of this con seemed to be different – there seemed to be a real focus on discussion and learning. Pair that with a clear commitment to fostering a safe and inclusive space for ALL geekdom, and we were sold,” said Jessica Lowndes.

Innovative and ground breaking, Nineworlds brings together a plethora of strands, from the more typical sci-fi tracks featuring comics, literature and film to Queer Fandom, Steampunk, Geek Feminism, Fanfic and Bronies. Nine Worlds also hosted the UK's first academic conference on geek culture, with scholars gathering from around the country. “Nine Worlds has a different shape to anything else on offer right now,” said Paul Cornell.

Many exciting new tracks and events are on the drawing board for 2014 – watch this space for updates!

The organisers listened to feedback about the problems associated with spreading the con across two huge conference hotels near Heathrow Airport in 2013, and therefore decided to confine Nine Worlds Geekfest to one hotel in 2014, to preserve the friendly and inclusive atmosphere. The Radisson, Heathrow, is a veteran conference venue and well equipped to deal with the specific requirements of a residential London event such as Nine Worlds.

Traditionally, con-goers are seen as the cliché - white, cisgender men. This can lead to people who don’t fall into that category feeling intimidated, or maybe even at risk. At Nineworlds diversity and inclusion are hugely important foundations for the event. Specifically, it aims to dump the sexism that infests many geek spaces and sci-fi cons. There is a strong anti-harassment policy and Nine Worlds endeavours to maintain a safe space for women, LGBTQ+ people, people with access issues, and other groups that are often marginalised at geek/fandom events.

“I think one of the biggest compliments I can give to the organisers of the event is that it felt like Geekfest had been running for years already. I know it’s really early days for this convention but to me it’s already up there with the best we have to offer to Geeks and the rest of the convention organisers should be worried – there’s a new kid in town and, if you want to stay ahead, you’re going to have to pick your game up massively . . . It’s going to be one of the first conventions I look out for when organising my geek events . . . I can’t stress this enough – if you didn’t attend this year make sure you book up early for next year, you may be disappointed otherwise,” said Geek Syndicate.

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Press information: Claire Powell