So as the dust settles and people start heading back to their normal everyday lives, it’s a time for reflection of the weekend that’s just past.
Horror fans from all across the UK travelled in their droves to attend For the Love of Horror 2019, which took place at Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester. Now this isn’t anything unusual for fans of the genre to do. There’s numerous of horror conventions across the country that are successful and there’s plenty of opportunities to get a chance to meet filmmakers, actors or even trade at these events.
So what made For the Love of Horror different? Well, I believe it’s two things. First it’s the sheer audacity of it all. I’ve never known a convention to have so much content. The team responsible for creating the event threw absolutely everything at it including the kitchen sink. They catered for everyone from hardened horror fanatics to families. There’s was no time whatsoever to be bored. We’re talking a scare maze, zoo, guests, Q&As, live performances, cosplay, make up and SFX artists, unbelievable amount of top guests, huge trading hall, multiple food outlets, multiple bars and before other conventions start piping up saying they have similar things at their events,For the Love of Horror had a full Lost Boys fairground outside with more food outlets, bars and outside seating. We’re literally talking the works.
The second thing that was impressive was the organisation. The event went like clockwork. Even though no doubt the organisers were stressed at times, and so would I putting an event on to that scale, they didn’t seem to be. They were laughing and smiling and getting involved and interacting in everything, which shows how well they planned everything meticulously, so they could actually enjoy it themselves. It was like a well oiled machine.
I’ve been around the horror scene for a long time and attended numerous conventions and festivals across the country, but I can safely say I’ve not witnessed a better event. I also got a chance to observe it from multiple angels and view points. I’ve traded at multiple events, met a lot of event organisers good and bad, but this time I thought I’d attend as a punter. The friend I attended it with also had never been to a convention before, apart from a few tiny community ones back in our home city, and was totally blown away by it. The two friends I met at the event who are hardened horror fans were also thrilled by it.
I’m friends with quite a few of the traders who were trading at the event and they were literally buzzing, not only with how busy it was, but the slickness of the set up and the atmosphere of it all. I didn’t receive one negative or bad report from them. They just couldn’t get over the entire vibe. This was a highly impressive factor. Attending a lot conventions or smaller festivals over the past few years has become awfully dull. There’s no atmosphere and you basically walk around the same traders and see the same guests. There’s no variety and they’re becoming less and less inclusive. The vibe at For the Love of Horror however was electric. People from all walks of life were interacting and new friendships were being made. I didn’t see anyone at all not impressed, no traders moaning, everyone smiling and there were times it was that busy during some the performances it was like being at a music gig.
Obviously a lot of these events hinge on the guests. Like I’ve said the majority of conventions nowadays just have the same old stuff year in year out, but the guest list was utterly phenomenal. They somehow managed to accumulate The Lost Boys reunion including the mighty Kiefer Sutherland and Jason Patric, a blistering performance of ‘I Still Believe’ by Tim Capello that nearly blew the roof off, Tobin Bell, Kane Hodder, Bill Moseley, Alex Winter, Shawnee Smith…the list goes on, it was frightening. It shows you how popular and impressive it was when actors such as Paddy Considine and celebrities such as Keith Lemmon were there just as punters!
For the Love of Horror has not only set a bar for themselves now, but every other convention across the country. This surely is going to be the most eagerly awaited horror convention of 2020 and I for one cannot wait!
A massive congratulations goes out to all the For the Love of Horror team as you’ve made a lot of horror fans extremely happy!
Photographs courtesy of Jabe Jackson: https://www.instagram.com/jabe842/