Nineworlds is a All flavours Geek convention in London I attend. So far I've not missed any and I'm proud to have been one to the Kickstarter backers who enabled the first event to happen.
This year (2018) the event takes place on August 10th-12th 2018 and as it's a residential three day convention the hosting hotel is Novotel London West.
This is the third year that the convention will be held at Novotel London West, which in my opinion is a good thing, because it's not a perfect venue (nowhere is), but it is a vast improvement on the previous convention locations and especially the previous convention hotels.
Now, the phrase 'Geek Convention' is kind of nebulous and may conjure up images of something huge like San Diego Comic-Con or MCM London, or something small like a local university Geek meet, but in all my (limited but varied) years of attending Geek gatherings where you pay to be in a Geek space, nothing else is quite like Nineworlds.
Firstly it's unashamedly a Queer friendly space.
Secondly it's also fiercely inclusive.
I've only ever attended Geek events in the UK, but in my experience (until recently) inclusiveness has been a afterthought if considered at all for most conventions - aside from what they are required to do by law - having disabled toilets is one example.
Nineworlds strives to remain as inclusive possible, despite the fact that being so probably reduces or caps it's audience reach. Catering to the majority is how you make money, thinking about the minority fringe/edge cases is how you create intense loyalty but doesn't always scale.
So what is Nineworlds?
From thier own 'About Pages':
From August 10th-12th 2018 at Novotel London West, join us for three days and nights of discussion, workshops, activities, performances and DJ sets. Meet with creators, fans and academics of your favourite books, films, TV shows, games, and comics. Explore cosplay, crafts, sciences, humanities, and the culture and creativity that underlie them all. Take home new insight, new connections, and new swag from our geek-friendly vendors.
Our venue for 2018 is a large conference hotel with a special price on convention rooms, lots of spaces for content, hundreds of things to explore and experience, and over a thousand fellow adventurers.
But it's sooo much more than "discussion, workshops, activities, performances and DJ sets". It's:
- A yearly gathering of friends who speak my Geek language.
- Attended by people who respect each other's pronoun choices.
- A space where I can use the phrase 'I've run out of spoons' and not have to explain it.
- A space where I can talk to practically anyone about any geek thing, and we will have the shared understanding that you can critique something you love. All Your Favs are Problematic is not a judgement.
- A convention that realizes that a having a dedicated member of the organising team be Accessibility Coordinator is crucial to making sure attendees accessibility concerns are addressed,
- A space that acknowledges that a dedicated Quiet room is a mental health necessity for some people attending conventions,
- A convention that realises that a clear, and actionable Anti Harassment policy is also a necessity for some people attending conventions.
- A place that I can attend a Disco that caters to pretty much all types of music you can dance to, whilst also being able to dance whilst Cosplaying.
- A convention run by and for volunteers who are helpful, approachable and beyond knowledgeable about Geek things.
- A convention where you are guaranteed to be overwhelmed at the sheer choice of things to do each day.
- A convention that solicits feedback, is transparent about what feedback they received and strives to take action on what attendees have said.
- A convention that has personal interaction options baked in via the colour of lanyard/convention badge!
- A convention that has photo privacy options baked in via the colour of lanyard/convention badge!
- A convention that has a dedicated vendor space for mainstream and independent vendors (I've met some of my favourite Etsy vendors there)
I have been part of two panels at previous Nineworlds - both of which I co-hosted - and I would never even consider being on a panel at any other Geek convention in the UK. As an anxious person, just the idea of presenting to a room full of people is exhausting. Add to that the idea that I might be discussing things which personally mean a great deal to me, then I NOPE out of that idea so fast, I leave a me shaped dust cloud behind as I skedaddle.
I'm not a volunteer, simply an attendee but I'm so grateful that so many people give up their precious time and resources to make Nineworlds happen every year.
Every year I have so much fun, make new friends, learn new things, am exposed to new things to love, learn new things about myself, new ways to think about Geekdom and world media, it's a full on mind-rush.
It's the closest I have to a real world Geek space, and it's not perfect, I don't need it to be - nothing is.
I am fracking glad it exists though.
If you're interested in attending Nineworlds this year - and I strongly urge you to if you can afford it - day tickets are available you don't have to splash out for a full weekend - The full FAQ should answer any questions you have.
Ninewolds holds a special place in my heart, and it will only exist for as long as people attend and also get involved. Remember it's run for fans of everything by fans of pretty much everything.