Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Four Weeks to Fanfest

The countdown is on like Donkey Kong. It's sort of even less time for me as I use Fanfest to travel back to England from the Middle East to see family and friends. I fly in three weeks and one day back to Blighty!

I think this is Fanfest number four for me. I also think the last Fanfest advice post was November 2013 so time for another post? If you are going and this is your first, here are things I think are helpful!

1. Clothing
Icelandic weather is very changeable. I'm also used to a minimum of 13oC. Layers are key! It can be snowing a blizzard one minute and nice warm sunshine the next. Also consider your footwear. You could be walking through snow to get to the Harpa! Iceland is certainly not the place of Matari high-fashion I can assure you...

2. Booze
As I've said in previous posts similar to this, stock up as you land. Supermarkets do not sell drink. Only special shops do. There is a massive booze shop in the baggage reclaim area. Get it there!

3. Airport Transfers
The airport is a long way from Reykjavik. Unless there is a group its going to cost you. Get the FlyBus. A nice modern coach with free Wifi for the 40 minute journey.

4. Cash isn't Hugely Important
Whilst I take some ISK (yes, Icelandic money is called ISK. No, seriously!) Iceland is the most card friendly place I've ever been. The Party on Top of the World usually makes for an interesting bank statement! There is talk that cards now need 'Chip and Pin' technology in Iceland so best make sure your plastic is compatible!

5. The Showers are Lava Powered!
Seriously! Iceland has one of the highest percentages of renewable energy in the world. Then again they are living on top of a massive volcano! The hot water is basically spring water heated by lava. It has a bit of a sulphurous smell but its all good. Also the hot water can be HOT so be careful.

6. Celtic Cross is THE Place to be Wednesday Night
It started as the #tweetfleet meet but now is just generally the pub a lot of Eve players migrate to on the Wednesday night. Fire these co-ords into Google Maps or Earth 64.146681, -21.930276. Get there early, its very popular and soon the doors become like Jita in 2009. One in, one out.

7. Registration
Previous years registration has opened Thursday morning. Many Fanfest veterans have "fond" memories of the human line that snakes for miles (not quite but it feels like it) out of the Harpa and outside into the freezing rain. This year CCP has said they'll open registration all week. So if you get there early it might be worth heading down and getting your pass before the queues.

8. Round Tables
Whilst the main presentations and talks have plenty of capacity, the roundtables can be packed. It could potentially be worse this year as the Eve Keynote is before the roundtables. Therefore more people might want to attend if something is revealed in the keynote that directly impacts them. If you really want to make sure you don't miss a roundtable, get there early.

9. Do NOT Rely on the Harpa WiFi
CCP kindly provide free WiFi at Fanfest (or did in previous years, I assume they will again). Many people rely on this for keeping in touch with other Fanfest attendees. "If your going to that I'm going to this. Send me a message when you get out and we'll meet up". Great idea.... only the Harpa has 1000+ geeks in it all with a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, a smart-watch, etc, etc. It can get very difficult at times to maintain a connection or get data through. They may have upgraded recently, but beware of relying on the WiFi.

10. Plan Ahead
Fanfest can actually be grueling. Finishing at the Harpa at 6pm or later and then restarting an hour or two later for the nights events. Make sure you plan for the three S's (****, shower, shave) and to eat! I always try and book a hotel less than a 10 minute walk these days.

11. Experience ALL THE THINGS at Least Once
Do the Golden Circle. Do the CEO Dinner. Do the Pub Crawl with a Dev. Do the Blue Lagoon. This year I'm skipping the Golden Circle as did that last year. I am doing the CEO dinner as I did Sindel's last year. Its the second year in a row I'm not doing the official pub crawl. Doing some small gang roaming to harass the large fleets out in Reykjavik town centre! I am doing the Blue Lagoon!

12. Pack for the Blue Lagoon
You can hire a towel but obviously a good idea to take your own. A waterproof camera is also a good idea so you can capture a few hundred space-nerds, almost naked, drinking in the run-off from a geothermal power station. Mmmmmm "The Blue Lagoon" does sound better than that description I just typed, that's why I don't work in advertising. Remember you'll have damp swimwear so a plastic bag for them is a good idea.

13. Rest on Sunday
If you've done Fanfest right you don't want to travel on the Sunday. Relax in the Blue Lagoon and then chill for the day. Leave the stress of traveling until the Monday!

14. Enjoy
Fanfest is a very friendly place. In-game rivalries are forgotten and friends are made. Have a drink, talk to strangers who are passionate about important internet spaceships and enjoy the experience!


  1. I couldn't agree more on point 13. In 2013 I flew home after the party at the top of the world. That Sunday was possibly the worst day in my life. I stopped drinking at 1 am and got home around 2 pm.

    This year I fly home on Tuesday!

  2. Thank you for this! If nothing else, it should help keep the questions I have lined up for you at less than 50 a day from now until Fanfest! ;)