This summer, the largest Russian sci-fi, cinema and science festival «Starcon 2016» took place on the 8th of July. It’s the seventeenth in total and fifth one in particular held in northern capital of Russia — Saint-Petersburg.
And the first one, that collected thousands of cosplay, game, comics and sci-fi cinema fans at «Expoforum» center housings.
After going through the general face control and reception desks filled with volunteers, we found ourselves in a huge hall. It seemed impressive to the core: from highlights on top of it, somewhere far above our heads, to the endless square 11,5 ft2. Such distance seemed so far that the wall against was hardly seen behind all the stand zones and decorations.
Separate pavilion of equal size was made into a stage you could reach through a corridor or street. Two huge inner courts had food court and sports zone where visitors could enjoy a breath of fresh air, have a bite and rest without leaving festival grounds. Sports point alone contained laser tag game, climbing wall, rope obstacle course, trampoline and that’s even not all!
Main housing contained more than 30 fan stand zones, decorations. For more, territory included lection halls, various master classes, gaming terminals and much more of what can’t even be counted properly. Shops were piled up with fan stuff . Here and there all different kinds of activities were there for your sake: visitors could both dance with their favorite pony and play simulator games, gain themselves at «PlayStation» football or even play old-school games on ancient computers. Fan stands offered range of quizzes, quests and board games.
All in all, each person had a thing to be into.
In the very center of the housing «BUBBLE», «Comilfo» representatives and famous bloggers spoke out; GAGA.RU games held a quiz. There also took place an autograph session with jurymen, which can’t stay unmentioned.
But of course cosplayers were the «the icing on the cake».
«Expoforum» was filled with many fandom characters from games, comics, films, series and etc. Festival guests, having met the character they like, came up to greet them and make some memory photos.
But in all the kaleidoscope of the festival, «Space Federation» zone stood out exclusively. Its fence contained history or Russian cosmonautics. They brought models of the real orbital station, robots, sputniks and many other space tech. Russian «Space federation» offered virtual reality glasses to have a nice small trip to the Red Planet. There was even a place to drive real Mars rover!
However, our team managed to not only wander inside such treasure box, but also to take an interview with RosCosmos education program chief.
Also, science section this year was presented very thoroughly. In connection with three-day-long «Parsec» conference, they organized lectures spoken by astronauts, scientists, engineers and other referable specialists. Among others, it included topics on bioengineering, modern technologies, cosmonautics and ethic side or environment question. Each lecture was spoken in calm, detached rooms on the second floor, where all the interested visitors could either listen or take part in discussions.
One of the detached rooms appeared to be a sci-fi cinema hall. Where, including «Hardcore» presented by its director Ilya Naishuller himself, were shown «District №9», «Star Trek» and «Batman vs Superman». In addition, cinema hall held presentations for «Protectors» and «Salut-7» projects. However even that was not all there to look at: «Starcon» organized us a meeting with «Main Road Post» visual effects studio chief, Arman Yahin!
Main act occurred at the main stage, which was extremely well-equipped. Excellent sound and light, several agile cameras, high-quality translations on two vast side screens — everything was top-level and really thought through. That, coming along with brilliant cosplay contest wear, felt utterly stunning.
Range of the performed fandoms was so great it kept audience for the whole contest. It even seems impossible now to sum up everything in such short observe. However, you can follow the link to our group for more info.
Cosplay contest on the main stage however wasn’t the only thing to grab attention. On Friday night we enjoyed Ilya Naishuller’s band concert and on Saturday night main stage transformed to welcome visitors at the «Geekers» all-night party!
The tiredness our team gained during two days of festival was blown away in an instant when the bar opened with first notes of the music! Showmen didn’t let anyone sleep for the whole night!
But for the need alone to refresh our cameras, «Costime» would stay there till the very morning!
It wouldn’t even be hard to, as long as there were organized buses for the party visitors.
But still, despite leaving early, we managed to shoot tons of interesting photos.
Festival finished with cosplay contest award ceremony. A competent, international jury this year included invited guests from abroad. They were: Elffi (famous finnish cosplayer), widely-known Calssara, American cosplayer Kiki Aran, Freia and My Reality from Russia.
More than ten nominations got their winners along with jury, organizers and sponsors choices. And right before the awards programme block, «Starcon 2016» had a mesmerizingly grand closure ceremony, that can only be compared to the Olimpics closure:
show started with drums, continued with dancers and climaxed with jumpers, making incredible stunts on stage. Performance was as far from being put into words as possible, and each and every details felt perfectly great.