Hooray! Welcome to the FantastiCon 2019 Kickstarter page! We're so glad you could make it.
This year we're staying at the wonderful Cleethorpes Leisure Centre and are taking over the whole building for the full weekend of the 17th and 18th August.
Last year saw the biggest and best FantastiCon event yet and this year we hope to beat that by adding more content, more guests and even a fully fledged after party into the mix.
Thanks to Orrick Media for the above shot of FantastiCon 2016's dedicated Elite: Dangerous flight area.
Thanks to Spencer Cook for this image of a selection of FantastiCon 2015's brave NERF warriors.
And thanks again to Spencer Cook for this shot of a few famous FantastiCon faces playing a tabletop game, namely James Vigor (OneVigor), Dr Richard Dixon (of escape room fame), John 'Zombiecide' Fletcher and Simon Burley, stalwart of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure games and master of the FantastiCon live RPG.
In the group above, can you spot Zac 'the Don' Antonaci? How about Graeme 'so tiny, and so into unicorns' Crawford, Malic 'VR for days' Tolsen, Dan 'The Commander' Smith? There's even a lesser spotted Tom 'handle it' Parkes hiding at the back too, among many of our friends who travelled from every corner of the globe to join us. Legends all.
Here's one of the things that the FantastiCon team is really proud of. We're a friendly, salt free environment for gaming communities to meet up in person, have a drink and a play together and generally let loose. The pic above features a substantial chunk of the gaming community 'The Sovereignty'. Other groups who have made FantastiCon one of their annual meetups include the EDC (Elite Dangerous Community), the Hutton Orbital Truckers, the Pixel Bandits, the Fuel Rats and of course the completely bonkers Hammers of Slough, who in 2017 entered the convention with their leader Kate Russell at their head, all blowing kazoos! If you want to meet and mingle with the friendliest and most welcoming of gaming communities, you won't find a much better place than FantastiCon.
Thanks to Ramon Marett for AdIQ who created this wonderful teaser ident. We love it!
The success of a Kickstarter like ours relies on many factors, but the most important of them all is YOU!
Grabbing your tickets, spreading the word about what we're trying to do, sharing our posts, following our social media feeds on Twitter and Facebook, it's the lifeblood of our convention and it all really helps.
At some point we'll set up a Thunderclap too, so please jump aboard when we do and add your voice to dozens more and when the time comes we'll use the combined power of the tribe to shout much louder than we could do by ourselves and hopefully attract the attention of more folks who'd like to come and join us for a Fantastic weekend.
First of all, for those of you who haven't heard of us before or want a little more info, here's a bit of history.
FantastiCon is an annual event which is ran by Fantastic Books Publishing under the watchful eye of their CEO Dan Grubb.
As you'll see from the list below, there is an awful lot going on, and that doesn't include mixing with some of the friendliest, most diverse folks you will ever find under one roof!
The event is a celebration of all things gaming, with both on and offline games available for the public to play for free all weekend.
Thanks to our sponsors, our helpers and the massive amount of research we've collected over the past 5 years, we have a hugely diverse range of activities for folks to try including, but by no means limited to;
- NERF Wars (all weapons, ammunition and safety gear supplied)
- Lasertag (all equipment and safety gear supplied)
- RPG Gaming (with Dedicated Gamesmasters to help you get started)
- Tabletop Gaming (with Dedicated Gamesmasters to help you get started)
- Virtual Reality Gaming (with our dedicated VR demonstrators)
- Cosplay (bring your best cosplay along and you could win a cosplay award given out during the Fantastic Awards Ceremony on Sunday)
- Retro Gaming (with 16-bit Sam and Keep It Retro)
- MarioKart Tournament (a weekend long, fastest lap tournament to win a trophy on Sunday)
- The Fantastic Books Store (all the literary goodness you could ever need)
- 3D-Printing (with our demonstrators Nocti and Symyoulator)
- Sim Racing (force feedback wheels, pedals, the whole nine yards)
- A selection of hand picked traders from around the country (you won't find three traders all selling the same things at our event, we choose a small, diverse and eclectic mix)
- An Escape Room (run by the devilishly cunning Dr Dixon)
- Live Drone Racing (with Chris Akin from East Coast Customs at the helm, this is sure to be a high octane addition to the event)
- Hi-spec PC Gaming and build advice (our experts regularly tear down and rebuild PCs and so can give you all the advice and guidance you need)
- Stage Shows (more info on these will be announced in future updates)
- Photography (we have a green screen set up so you can grab FREE photographs with your favourite cosplayers/guests/authors/mates) All you need is a camera and to grab one of hundreds of friendly faces to help you take the picture!
- Book Launches, Author Readings and Interviews (we have new titles from Drew Wagar, Alex Janaway, the Marett Brothers and more this year)
- Live Music (The wonderful Jemma Johnson will be headlining the Saturday night after party. We'll announce more guests from the lineup as the project progresses)
- The Fantastic Awards Ceremony (every year we award the best and brightest with a real, take home award. Previous year's awards have included; Most Convincing NERF Death, Best Newcomer, MarioKart Champion and Best Helper)
- The Fantastic Raffle (always supported by our amazing sponsors, this is a chance to grab a ticket to win digital games, control equipment, books, booze and all manner of raffle goodness. Our raffle always gives a large donation to Special Effect, our preferred gaming charity)
- FREE, UNLIMITED Soft Drinks and Biscuits for all. Yes, you read that correctly. There's a constantly restocked table of biscuits and soft drinks available to everyone at the event all weekend long. Help yourself!
- The Golden Grail Tavern (if you fancy a tipple a little stronger than the free soft drinks available, then look no further than our very own in house pub, the Golden Grail Tavern. As the name suggests, it stocks all manner of Medieval drinks such as Grog, Nettle Wine, Traditionally brewed Real Ales and, of course, the ubiquitous Mead, a very popular choice amongst the Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen Communities)
Here's a pic of the gorgeous Cleethorpes Leisure Centre. Pretty cool huh?
Not only does it look like a freshly landed intergalactic greeting module, the inside is cooler that a polar bear's underpants!
For the price of your ticket you can look forward to enjoying FREE access to;
- An Escape Room (sign up quickly as each game can take around 40 minutes so there are limited timeslots over the weekend)
- A dedicated RPG/Tabletop Zone
- Console Gaming Area
- Retro Gaming Area
- VR Tents where you can immerse yourself in the latest Virtual Reality experiences
- Stage with shows, talks, demonstrations and the Fantastic Raffle and Awards Ceremony
- Game Cabinets (think you can beat Commander Dan? Challenge him!)
- NERF War Arena (we supply all the weapons, ammunition and eye protection)
- LaserTag Arena (we supply all the equipment and safety gear)
- Tiny Whoop Mini Drone Racing Room (watch as our trained pilots race the course for the unltimate prize, the FantastiCon Cup)
- Trader Marketplace (we hand select our traders so you'll always find something a little different in our trader area)
- The Fantastic Books Store where you can grab copies of our launch titles for the first time before they go on general release
- MarioKart fastest lap tournament (a real trophy will be awarded to the winner during Sunday's Fantastic Awards Ceremony)
- FREE, unlimited soft drinks and biscuits for all
And for a small fee (but much cheaper than usual rates) you can enjoy;
- Swimming in the pool (and wave machine)
- Braving the waterslide
- Trying your luck on the inflatable aquatic assault course
If you are lucky enough to bag one of our very limited VIP Guest pledges, you'll also have unlimited access to;
- Dedicated VIP Green Room and Chillout Area with amazing sea views, FREE nibbles and refreshments (including alcohol)
- Steam Room
- Unlimited access to the pool
- 2 Exclusive, 1 hour VIP pool parties (one on each day)
- Early access to the event on both days (though you may be roped into helping setup and break down if you're not careful!)
Ok, so now you've got an idea of just how awesome this event is, it's time to break down the numbers. What will this Kickstarter actually cover?
The event is made of a variety of complex elements, some of which are driven by volunteers, others which require hired equipment and specialist insurances. The following breakdown will cover fuel, hire, insurance, accommodation, funds for marketing and promotion and a small contingency.
Insurances - In order to keep you and your family safe over the weekend, we need to make sure that the correct insurances are in place to cover activities involving; projectile weapons (NERF), laser products (LaserTag), water (pool, jacuzzi, steam room, sauna), drones (a different level of insurance required for full sized drones operating indoors) and of course the licensed bar. We also require Employer's Liability Insurance to keep our volunteers safe and legal while they race around helping at the event.
Venue Hire - Last year we were lucky enough to receive a large discount to 'test' the space. As it fits our ethos and design so perfectly, we're happy to pay full price for the space this year, though it has bumped the amount we're asking for up significantly.
Van Hire - We need a large van to move everything around the country in the days leading up to and immediately following the event. The setup and breakdown aspects can last two or three days when accounting for returning equipment to where we have borrowed/hired it from.
Fuel - Both for our hire van and for the kind volunteers who offer to bring various things to the event from their own homes such as PCs, lighting equipment, NERF weapons and such.
Furniture Hire - As the venue is a Leisure Centre, they don't keep a large stock of tables and chairs, but you will need to be comfortable and able to relax over the weekend, and our traders and exhibitors need to keep their stuff off the ground and displayed appropriately, so we need to hire some basic furniture.
Team Accommodation - As setup starts the evening before the event and can continue into the early hours, our core team need to be very close to the venue. We hire a working 'base' (caravan, tent or similar) from which to coordinate the setup and breakdown of the event.
Technical Equipment and Staff - Lots of equipment and volunteer staff arrive and need to be coordinated so they know where to setup, which power outlets to use, where their internet access is, how best to arrange their 'safe areas' in the example of VR tents and suchlike (when immersed in Virtual Reality, it's easy to get carried away and flail your arms around, so we need clearly delineated 'safe areas' for each machine). The Stage Audio/Visual equipment and everything technical that comes with it is a substantial part of this cost.
PAT Testing - Every year we reward our friends who bring along their own equipment for us to use by getting their items PAT tested for 12 months. This allows them to use their equipment legally and safely at other events throughout the year and we are very happy to provide this service. It does, however, have a cost attached as last year we had over 200 items of electrical equipment to test!
Marketing and Promotion - We do include in the Kickstarter a small amount for marketing (printing of flyers and posters) and promotion (paid advertising through Facebook, Twitter and in magazines and local newspapers). This helps us get the word out to as many relevant fans as we can, while maintaining a healthy web presence to make sure everybody knows how to find us and where to get tickets.
Contingency - We factor in a small contingency to cover unknown events such as key vehicles breaking down or, as happened last year, one of our music guests arriving in good time for the event ... but in the wrong town ...
Here's a handy pie chart of how the £9360 we're asking for breaks down into the areas above;
Ok, so that's how we'll be spending the Kickstarter money to make sure you have a safe, legal, fun packed, activity filled weekend for all the family.
What about when the sun goes down on day one?
Last year Saturday night was our music evening and for three hours (7pm-10pm) we partied hard and danced the night away. For this we charged a mere £5 and, thanks to our generous sponsors at Frontier Developments, folks were treated to a free bar for the majority of the evening, which was a lovely surprise.
This year is a little bit different because we have spoken at length to Frontier and they really want to help us to give a huge thank you to all their fans by sponsoring aspects of a dedicated, ticketed, Saturday night AFTER PARTY!
We have had to put a few restrictions in place to help us organise this so you will notice that there is no 'After Party Only' pledge for this project.
Spaces are very limited so along with those who have pledged for a ticket containing After Party access here on Kickstarter, only folks who have enjoyed the day convention will have the chance to join us for the after party until all spaces are filled.
Among the many exciting things happening in the five hours from 7pm until Midnight, there will be live music by Jemma Johnson (go and give her a follow on Youtube, you won't be disappointed), a rousing closing speech from Commander Dan, a live RPG session and a man swinging a sword around the place with gay abandon ...
We can't really tell you much more at this stage as we're saving those announcements for future updates, but we can assure you it will certainly be worth the hype and more. Phone cameras at the ready!
Next comes the important subject of stretch goals.
There certainly are!
The first stretch goal is a simple one. A big reveal!
As some of you will know, this year sees the rolling out of our latest division, FBG or Fantastic Books Gaming.
The division will be publishing pen and paper RPG games, Tabletop games, Board Games, Card Games and various games based inside the universes of our existing books.
It's extremely exciting! As with any new business venture, we've had to be quite coy about details at this stage, but if we can reach the first stretch goal Dan will announce the title of the inaugural game of FBG!
The initial goal is £9360 and if we can manage to exceed that and reach £10000, Dan will show off something that he has been working on for many months, and something we're all very proud of.
Reveal Title of Fantastic Books Gaming's inaugural game XXX XXXXXXX XXX' - £10000
If we reach the second, he'll show off some of the finalised card artwork too.
Reveal five pieces of finalised Card Artwork for 'XXX XXXXXXX XXX' - £10500
The third stretch goal will release more artwork goodness, this time board tiles and our method of connecting modular rooms.
Reveal three board tiles and connecting pieces for 'XXX XXXXXXX XXXX' - £11000
That's quite enough stretch goals to be getting on with, though we do have many more in the wings should they be required!
What's next? Sponsorship!
We are an independent convention and as such we can decide exactly what does and does not make it into the final schedule and plan our event accordingly.
As a result, although this is a huge plus, we do not enjoy the financial backing of large corporations.
Sponsorship is a really good way for us to stay in control of our event while giving others the opportunity to showcase their business/product or service in front of a large and relevant audience.
We have various sponsorship packages available, including the three £1000 top tier packages on this Kickstarter.
If you would simply like to advertise on the walls of our convention and get you or your company a shoutout on stage, we have smaller packages available on the FantastiCon website.
Last year a single Commander (a dedicated Elite: Dangerous player) took the £1000 pledge and donated it to our chosen charity Special Effect, full in the knowledge that they were getting lots of space and coverage at the convention already.
You know who you are Commander, we salute your dedication and generosity. o7
Without our sponsors, there wouldn't be a FantastiCon, and by pledging your support by buying a ticket, a tshirt or a sponsorship package, you're helping to make it happen. Thank you!
So what's next?
We are always so excited to get messages from our supporters and folks who have previously enjoyed the convention and we'd really appreciate it if you'd take the time to help us share this fundraiser around your networks. Below are various promotional images we've created to make your posts stand out and be noticed.
Simply right click on the image and hit 'save', then you can use it wherever you please.
Be sure to add the hashtags #fantasticon and #onwards to your tweets and posts too, thanks!
We really appreciate your help and look forward to meeting each and every one of you in August.
Dan, Gabi, Lacey and the Fantastic Team x
WE'VE APPLIED SOME GLOBAL UPGRADES TO THE PROJECT - DETAILS ARE BELOW
1st GLOBAL UPGRADE ANNOUNCEMENT:
EVERYONE who backs us will now receive a free ebook of Sue Knight's 'Till They Dropped' (RRP £1.99), a dystopian novella about the dangers of runaway global capitalism.
COMPLETE! THANK YOU ALL! - THE FIRST 100 BACKERS will also receive the audio adaptation of 'Till They Dropped' (RRP £5.99), read by Penelope McDonald. This includes those who pledge for just £1 so don't miss out, pledge today!
2nd GLOBAL UPGRADE ANNOUNCEMENT:
EVERYONE who is coming to the convention who backed this Kickstarter will receive a copy of Alan Wakeman's beautifully illustrated collection of short fables, 'Hamun and Giben' on arrival (RRP £5.99).
Risks and challenges
What if I want to get more than one pledge gift? Every year this has happened at least once so we thought we'd pop the solution right here at the top of the risks and challenges section. To pledge for more than one gift (thank you very much) simply add together the costs of the pledges you would like, up your pledge to at least that amount and then send us a message through Kickstarter detailing what you need. Please remember to add up any postage costs associated with multiple pledges too. Simple!
Why are you running a 60 day Kickstarter instead of the more usual 30 day campaign? We have made the decision to buck the trend because some folks have approached us wanting to purchase the higher value tiers but wanted the opportunity to save a little from their last pay cheque and add it to a chunk from their next pay cheque. As Kickstarter doesn't take the funds until a few days after the campaign is successfully completed, we thought this was the best way to take the pressure off people's bank accounts while still being able to offer the higher tiers during the campaign.
What if the pledge gifts are late? This has recently happened to a large event we attended and it caused quite a bit of frustration to the folks affected. With this in mind we're offering mainly ticket pledges (your name will be added to a list and checked on the door so no physical tickets) and tshirts to folks actually coming to the event so, if the production is delayed, we can always fulfil them at the event itself on arrival. That said, we are confident that our tshirt printer and supplier can fulfil all orders in plenty of time to ship them out before the event.
What if one of our celebrities has to pull out due to work commitments? This can and does happen and if the worst should happen we will use the funds from their booking fee to hire another celebrity if there is time or, if there isn't, we will use the funds to supercharge another area of the event such as the Saturday night after party.
What if we don't meet any of the stretch goals? If this happens, FantastiCon will remain entirely unaffected as all of our stretch goals this year are related to the roll out of FBG, our gaming division.
What if the venue is flooded/damaged/unusable for the weekend? This is extremely unlikely but, if this happens, we will look to one of our backup venue spaces. We have a very good relationship with the folks who look after Cleethorpes and Grimsby's venues and we are confident that an alternative venue could be found in time, though the access to the pool, jacuzzi and sauna would of course be sadly removed. We wouldn't choose a different town as lots of people would have booked their hotel within reach of the leisure centre.
What if the internet fails us? The internet at the venue is easily powerful enough to accommodate our needs as it runs hundreds of computers every day. However, this has happened before at FantastiCon 2016 and the technical team responded wonderfully. The event has both on and offline aspects and either of these can be expanded to fill any gaps that appear in the schedule. For example, if a live stream from stage fails due to internet issues, we would replace it with something like Kate Russell's live retro Worms tournament, something that was extremely popular last year and that doesn't require an internet connection.
What if we are overrun with Wookies and bikini clad Leias? The Star Wars cosplay community is great and, if there is an excess of either Wookies or bikini clad Leias, we have arranged extra space to accommodate them. We call it the 'cosplay overspill' room and it contains pre-warmed Jabba the Hutt replicas and a Storm Trooper shooting gallery.
What about the possibility of the outbreak of Nuclear War? This has never really been a concern but due to the current global political situation we thought it was worth mentioning. In the highly unlikely event of the breakout of nuclear war, Cleethorpes is far enough away from tactically important military sites in the UK to ensure that we will be able to enjoy what could possibly be the last great weekend of our lives.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)