Event Review: Supanova Pop Culture Expo Sydney (17th-19th June, Sydney Showground)

When you see a Stormtrooper or a Pikachu or a Disney Princess walking by you on the street you know it’s that time of year – Supanova Pop Culture Expo is back in town. If you’re a fan of film, tv, pop culture, video games and anime then this convention is the place to be. We checked out all the action from the Sydney Showgrounds from Friday 17th to Sunday 19th June and it was a weekend packed full of fun.

Over the last couple of years Supanova has grown in size, and is now at the point where Friday is considered a full day of action, with the venue opening at 1pm for patrons. For those who are new to Supanova, and if you’re able to, coming along on the Friday is a strategically wise move. Not only is it a little less crowded than the consistently busy Saturday, but you may stumble upon a fantastic guest Q&A panel. We got to see the Voice Actor Mega Panel featuring Troy Baker, Sean Schemmel, Christopher Sabat and Jeremy Shada. They discussed the challenges of their work, the need to overact and closed with their best attempts at voicing their death scenes. What a lineup of fabulous voice acting talent!

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The convention brings with it a multitude of things to see and do. One of the big draw-cards of course is the opportunity to meet a variety of film and tv stars. Just some of the names on the lineup included Travis Fimmel (Vikings tv series, Warcraft film), Holly Marie Combs, Shannen Doherty and Brian Krause (all best known for Charmed) and also Tyler Hoechlin (Teen Wolf and soon to be on Supergirl as the latest incarnation of Superman). These are just a few of the celebrities on the lineup that fans can purchase autographs or meet & greet with photograph opportunities or attend Q&A panels and ask them a question. Hoechlin’s panel was particularly popular, with fans lining up around 45 minutes before it even started.
Another extremely popular panel was the one featuring Stephanie “Hex” Bendixsen (from ABC TV’s Good Game), Maria Lewis, Justin Woolley and Tamora Pierce. All of whom are authors and they sat down to discuss female characters in stories, film and tv. Then there were some of the guests got to even showcase their musical side, with James Marsters (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) hosting a ticketed concert on the Friday night, and Troy Baker cracking out his guitar for his own concert on Saturday night in one of the theatres onsite.

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Along with the celebrities though there’s also the ever increasing number of exhibitors and Artist Alley where people sell their merchandise and wares. The front half of the dome showcases a number of larger exhibitors like Popcultcha and Kings Comics who stock almost every type of officially licensed merchandise available, and is your go-to place if you’re a fan of Funko Pop Vinyls. Then as you move through the venue you will pass into the back half of the showground hall which is now just a little over half full with exhibitors and Artist Alley. Here you’ll find talented individuals who make their own fan art or fan inspired wares that you can purchase. Fan art and prints are often a popular choice, but you can even find things like baby and toddler wear, or even a coffin decked out with your favourite pop culture design.

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But in amongst some of the wares and purchases, there’s plenty of activities and things to see, and also do and be involved in. This year Supanova featured the Winterfest Horse display where you could get up close to some beautiful horses that are used for medieval riding and shows. There was also a massive Ghostbusters display set up that included the actual costumes and prop from the film. Then there was also the Sons of Obi-Wan Lightsaber Academy, who can teach you how to fight like a Jedi and use a lightsaber. There was also the S.A.F.E indoor archery set up, grab a bow, and a rubber tipped arrow and try to shoot the floating balls.

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And even if you don’t want to spend any extra money on buying things, or purchasing an autograph from a celebrity. The best free entertainment you can get is watching all the cosplay. And if you were keen eyed and clever enough to double check the Supanova program, you could’ve seen a Cosplay Bingo competition that they were holding where you could’ve won some awesome prizes. All you needed to do was snap a photo of yourself with the cosplay on the bingo sheet! Our photographer Nathan got some excellent photos of an assortment of cosplay over the weekend.

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From city to city and each year, as Supanova expands there are more things to see and do that are great family activities and fun for young and young at heart. Whether it’s spending some of your hard earned money on merchandise, or getting an autograph from your favourite celebrity. To sitting in on Q&A panels or watching all the cosplay or getting a lesson on how to fight with a lightsaber. There’s an entire weekend’s worth of fun to be had, but for now, Sydney will have to wait until 2017.

Supanova Pop Culture Expo Sydney was held Friday 17th to Sunday 19th June at the Sydney Showgrounds.

Want more? Perth’s Supanova will be held Friday 24th to Sunday 26th June at the Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre. Brisbane will be held Friday 11th to Sunday 13th November at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. And Adelaide will get their event from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th November at the Adelaide Showground.

For more information visit the Supanova Pop Culture Expo website.