Loads of you are dying to know details about Summer of Sonic 2011 and are inundating our inboxes with questions – I can assure you we will be bringing you details on this year’s event as soon as we can! So while you patiently wait, you can watch the retrospective episode of last year’s Summer of Sonic courtasy of the Sonic Show, right here on TSS (its nice an interactive too!) Enjoy!
UPDATE: The video is now on YouTube, thanks to user UkCollecterOStuff. /UPDATE END
Summer of Sonic 2010 attendees may remember seeing Nintendo Europe staff filming at the convention and by now wondered whatever happened to their coverage. Well, if you own a Wii and have it online, you can now check out their video from SoS on the Wii Nintendo Channel, together with some footage from Gamescom 2010. Nintendo caught plenty of fans in their video and spoke to some familiar faces in the Sonic community at SoS, so see if you can spot yourself. You’ll also hear from SEGA Europe’s Michelle Dix about the Sonic fandom and newly released game Sonic Colours, as well as from special guest Jun Senoue about creating Sonic game music. Finally, SEGA’s David Corless speaks from Gamescom about evolving the Sonic brand and keeping it fresh.
Check out the video on the Wii Nintendo Channel and share your thoughts in the comments.
Welcome to my pictorial roundup of Summer of Sonic 2010! Here are a collection of photos from the day, taken by my sister, who was there as official Summer of Sonic photographer (do go check out her website!) If you stopped and posed for a photo thank you; being busy on stage meant I didn’t get an opportunity to take photos for myself, so these are all fantastic captured moments of what was a fantastic day for all.
Over breakfast the day before, Johnny Gioeli leaned over the table and asked me how many people were coming to this little shindig he would be performing at tomorrow. I proceeded to explain that we were expecting between eight-hundred and a thousand people to show up, travelling from all corners of the world, and he was simply staggered. Although I knew the numbers myself, the reality of it all didn’t sink in until the countdown began on stage, and looked down onto the vast throng of people. It still seems like another lifetime to me when Dreaknux, AAUK and myself were huddled around a little table in a Nottingham café fantasising about the prospect of a Sonic convention, yet not four years later we have accomplished a third successful Sonic event.
First off I want to thank all of you guys; you all showed up for starters, supported the event, and behaved impeccably. I didn’t hear one complaint on the day that you had to wait an extra half an hour outside of the venue (an unfortunate setback because of the thefts of electronics), You all waited patiently in queues for Sonic 4, Sonic Colours and the Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing tournament, in some cases for over an hour. Although we managed to get over twelve pods on the day, more than twice the number we had last year, we could have done with more – the popularity of the games available was incredible! I also didn’t hear one moan about the heat during the Crush 40 performance either, even from those of you who aren’t used to attending hot and sweaty rock gigs; everyone was far too busy enjoying the rare opportunity to watch Jun and Johnny perform live. I also want to thank you all for treating our guests with respect and politeness throughout the day.
Although I was pretty much running from point to point for the entirety of the event, what really made my day was the brief pauses I had in between my dashes, chatting to you guys. Even if it was only for a few minutes it was awesome to catch up with you lot, have my photo taken with you…or even signing things! I had a few minutes to catch up with Aaron “RubyEclipse” Webber, the community manager at SEGA of America, who is a fantastic and pleasant fellow, and is probably just as busy when he’s away from his (now Green Hill Zone themed!) desk. It was also marvellous to catch up with folks from the SSMB, Junsenoue.com, SonicWrecks.com, NiGHTSintoDreams.com and EmeraldCoast.co.uk amongst many sites, and to finally put some names to faces! Thanks to everyone who has sent the staff and I a thank you via PM, email or facebook, and a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who bought me a drink or a bottle of my favourite poison – my whiskey cabinet is now well stocked!
I want to also convey my heartfelt thanks to our guests Nigel Dobbyn, Jun Senoue and Johnny Gioeli. For starters these guys are incredibly busy folk, and yet they took time out to come along and perform, draw, talk and sign items for you, for free. I’m always stunned that at the end of every event our guests always ask if they can come back next year, sometimes with their kids because they love coming out to meet you lot, and because the atmosphere is always so friendly. A huge cheer for the guys and gals at Archie Comics and First4Figures too for their extremely kind donation of literally hundreds of comics and action figures! I must also extend my thanks to Richard Elson of STC fame for donating some fantastic artwork to give away as well – all very much appreciated!
I think I speak for the majority of attendees when I say the Crush 40 performance totally blew everyone away. Organising all of the pieces that went towards creating the performance involved many sleepless nights on my behalf – I had nightmares of cabs blowing and microphones failing, but yet in the end it all came together miraculously. I give my infinite gratitude to AAUK, Dreadknux, Jun Senoue and SEGA for assisting me in putting it all together. I don’t think even in my wildest dreams I’d ever imagined introducing Crush 40 on stage…so Summer of Sonic really has become a place in which even my dreams have become reality.
Before I conclude, I think thanks are in order to all the members of staff this year, some of whom have, for a third year running, have given up their time to provide a fun-filled day for everyone. Not only that, some of these folks have donated substantial quantities of money towards the running of these events, and so I’d like to end with a few words of thanks to a few of them:
The DJs; FastFeet, Turbo, BlitzChris and Gavvie: The boys kept the turntables hot all day. This was the first year I haven’t commanded the DJ booth, so I tip my hat to Mr. Graham “FastFeet” Seward who took up the reigns and kept the wheels turning, and who also provided a spot-on job with backing tracks for Jun and Johnny’s performances – simply amazing dude.
The Store Staff:Flyboy, WayPastCool, Speedknux, Char & Nemain – My NiGHTS in shining armour! These guys manned the stores selling all those of wonderful bits of merchandise that no doubt grace many of your shelves and wardrobes. From Jun, Johnny, Tracey Yardley and myself, thank you all so much! A special thanks to Nemain who is probably the person responsible for propping me up the past few months!
The Tech Guys: B’man, Discoponies & Roareye – Even with a massive blow to their arsenal with the theft of equipment the night before, they provided excellent on stage support with feeds and visual magic for the third year running. I honestly don’t think there are any limits to what these guys can achieve on the day!
The Doors and the Games: Urtheart, Vger, Jay Zeach, Shadzter & Blake Draco – The ever present Urtheart once again resided over the doors flanked by his cronies, allowing us all to have another safe day at Summer of Sonic, while Shadz and Blake both kept the crowds moving on the pods. Cheers guys!
Sonic the Hedgehog: He always shows up year in year out with no complaint. And year in year out SonicYoda is nowhere to be seen…we thank him for staying in touch with him and getting him along every year!
…and the Rest: SoA, bcdcdude, Iceman, Rachael,ENVY, Gnasher &SonicMark – I still maintain Iceman is the coolest bloke on the Earth, doubly so as he jumped in when the going got tough and was a huge help setting up the day before. I also tip my hat to the dudes from junsenoue.com who also pitched in, especially in bringing me much needed sustenance in the form of a cheese burger. Rach was also running around much like my sis taking loads of snaps during the day as well. ENVY is the very tallented young chap who provided the fantastic art for the Buzzbombers quiz, and Gnasher for once again running the show. SonicMark has become affectionately known as my caddy as he ends up lugging my stuff around – I just need to find him an appropriate hat. Thanks loads fellas, you all helped make my life easier throughout the organisation of the event.
The Dynamic Duo: AAUK & Dreadknux – Let’s face it, Summer of Sonic only happens because these two guys have the drive to propel it forward. Kevin has once again gone so far beyond the call of duty that we’ve had to send out a search party for him. Svend somehow manages to coordinate a fantastic website every year and continues to be our shining standard bearer. Even though this event is nothing short of an organisational nightmare, they keep coming back year after year to entertain you lot, and I hope your remember that.
So, Summer of Sonic is done for another year, but we’ve already got a date in our diaries for 2011 (25th of June, folks!). Who knows what will be going down on the day, but with it Sonic’s 20th birthday racing towards us, anything could happen!
SSMB member and Summer of Sonic 2010 staffer Gnasher recorded a tour of this years Summer of Sonic. Now, those of you who couldn’t attend can get a better look at what was there and just how jam-packed full of fans it was. If you attended, see if you can spot yourself.
Gnasher has also recorded an ‘unboxing’ of the contents of the goody bag, aswell as some other things gained at the event:
With Summer of Sonic 2010 wrapped up and us staff having recovered (at least a little bit), I thought it time I put my thoughts about the convention out there and share some photos (sorry for crappy DSi quality).
Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing World Championship Tournament
I was staffing the Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing tournament with Sonic Wrecks’ Blake Draco. Things went O.K. during time trial qualifiers, despite him and I having difficulty monitoring two pods each out of a total of four to make sure everyone kept to the three lap limit, didn’t cheat and helped new players/owners of other console versions to learn the XBOX 360 versions controls.
The 32-player knockout round was a mess since only about half the people showed up but it was more than likely because people had got stuck in queue for other things going on. We didn’t take this into consideration when planning the tournament and I deeply apologise to those who did show up that had to wait while we tried to find your opponents and sort out what to do from this point. The last thing we wanted to do was keep participants standing there wondering what the hell was going on and what you’re doing next.
I also apologize to the few that turned up later and/or didn’t catch our shout outs for you and then had to be disqualified. I felt so bad for you guys having to miss out and wish there was something we could have done.
Despite all of these problems with the tournament, we got our winner and runner-up crowned and their trophies given to them on stage to an applause from the huge crowd of attendees, which made the stress and difficulties all worth it.
The Days Events, Games and Guests
It goes without saying that this year has been bigger and better than ever, with so much to do and see there was plenty to keep any Sonic fan occupied. We had a Cosplay Contest, an Art Contest, a Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing tournament, a comics table where Sonic the Comic’s Nigel Dobbyn was present, a merchandise store,
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, Sonic Colours (both Wii and DS), plenty of other game pods, many on-stage events including Nevermind the Buzzbombers, The Wrecks Factor Live, the one and only Crush 40 and more. Now that is a lot of activities and entertainment. All for a whole day and all for free.
The People of Summer of Sonic
The Summer of Sonic couldn’t be what it is without the people behind the scenes who pull it all together voluntarily and the special guests who give up their time to attend. There is a huge team of us staff who work hard for this event and don’t get paid. They give up their free time, money and risk their sanity and health for the love of one spiny blue speedster and his community of fans.
Many of the Summer of Sonic’s guests and activities all come from the event’s main organisers. ArchangelUK, Dreadknux and T-Bird who deserve the highest respect and thanks for their huge efforts. Without these three guys, there was no way we could have had all of the special things we had and no way we would have gotten through the day.
All of the other staff at the event such as Vger, Flyboy Fox, JayZeach, DiscoPonies, Bmn, Roareye Black, Roarey Raccoon, Echo Hawk, Jemnezmy, Blake Draco, Urtheart, Nemain, Turbo, Iceman Etika, Gnasher and others deserve huge praise, too. This is what the true super power of teamwork has made: a large convention for the community and by the community.
The Heart of the Convention
The heart of Summer of Sonic is what keeps people coming back every year and makes the event really some thing special. The heart is within the community who attend this convention every year and it really shows. From every inch of the convention, you can see people socializing and making new friends, sharing each others experiences in their time in the fandom and even their creations in areas like the art tables. I myself got to see a good friend I’ve made in the community outside of the staff here, Doctor MK, who is the founder of the charity event Sonic Relief that I help out with. I also got to meet other folks, too, like Skai5er (on the left of the photo). To see a room full of love, friendship and spirit for our favourite blue dude with ‘tude is why we staff volunteer our energy and souls to this event.
I really enjoyed myself! It was good to see familiar and new faces, make new friends and a pleasure to work with my fellow staff. I didn’t get to take part in many of the days events since I was staffing, but it’s worth it to bring you guys the goods. I’m glad all of us, attendees and staff alike, got to enjoy the Crush 40 concert at the end. That’s an experience I’ll always remember and treasure. Johnny and Jun were fantastic! The way they interacted with the crowd who love them so much was absolutely fantastic. I’m sure the rest of the fandom are so grateful to them for coming down to see us all.
All in all, Summer of Sonic 2010 was a blast and I look forward to next years event for Sonic’s big 20th Anniversary. A massive thanks to my fellow staff and thanks to everyone in the community who have supported us. See you all next year!
Another big announcement has been made at the Summer of Sonic 2010 website that will get all of you merchandise collector types pretty darn excited. I’ll let ArchangelUK explain below:
“Before you even ask me, I don’t even know how I managed this one but Summer of Sonic and First 4 Figures are happy to announce a partnership that will see F4F as a sponsor of this year’s Summer of Sonic and will allow SOS attendees to gain possession of a special free gift from the specialist figure manufacturers.
All attendees will, whilst stocks last, receive free of charge one of First 4 Figures brand new Series 2 of their 2 inch Sonic figures line, which we are also exclusively revealing today. Series 2 will contain Super Sonic and Classic Amy Rose; these will be in shops soon where you can purchase them individually. Also at some select shops, F4F will be releasing a collectors 6 pack which includes both Series 1 and Series 2 together!
A 6-pack AAUK? Wait surely there must be another character then! Well you’d be right. The figure you will be getting is not Amy nor is it Super Sonic, attendees will be getting – before its even out on sale anywhere in the world – METAL FREAKIN’ SONIC!
That ladies and gentlemen is the look of a robot that is going to rip your face off the first chance it gets. GLORIOUS.
And there’s more – somehow…wonderfully… there is more!
First 4 Figures have been even more generous and they will also be entering all attendee’s names into a raffle draw where you can win one of the Super Sonic Exclusive statues – yes the ones that light up! We’re hoping to have the prototype of this figurine on display in our merchandise case this year as well.
Details of this prize draw will be made nearer the time, for now SOS attendees content yourself with the knowledge that a pocket-sized Metal Sonic is coming your way. Everyone else can check out these images of the new Series 2 figures and the limited six pack below.
My thanks to the incredibly generous First 4 Figures. For more details about First 4 Figures products, including the Super Sonic Statue and other video game figurines visit: https://www.first4figures.com/ ”
Those of you who popped in to last year’s Summer of Sonic convention might have had the opportunity to talk to Sonic the Comic artist Nigel Dobbyn…and some of you were even more lucky to beat me in picking up some original artwork! Once again we are fortunate to once again welcome back Nigel, who will be returning to Summer of Sonic once again to sign your comics and have a natter (and heck if you’re nice enough he might even draw you a quick sketch!). Nigel might also up to some other tricks on the day…but we’re keeping that under my hat for now; we will just tease you with some of his new artwork instead!
As well as Nigel, we are also happy to announce this year, the young aspiring artists from Sonic the Comic Online will be in attendence and will also be showing off their artwork and talent! Don’t forget there will also be more opportunities for you to show off your own artistic flair at our Art corner too…and who knows, there might even be some fab prizes to be won. More on that later!
Do keep your eyes firmly fixed on the Summer of Sonic website, because believe me, you’re going to want to be there this year!
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