Summer of Sonic 2011 Guest Announcement: Tracy Yardley!

With Summer of Sonic 2011’s date rapidly approaching (Less than two-and-a-half months to go now!), expect to see a whole host of announcements over on the Summer of Sonic website with regards to guests and events at this year’s convention.

To start us off, we at the Summer of Sonic can proudly announce that Archie Comic artist Tracy Yardley! will be attending this year’s convention! As many of you know Tracy has been involved with the franchise since 2005 and has become one of the most recognised artists in the comic series. We hope you are all looking forward to meeting Tracy at this year’s convention!

If you are considering coming to Summer of Sonic and this is your first convention (particularly if you are travelling from overseas), don’t forget to check out the travel guide on the SoS site for handy hints and tips on getting to the Camden Centre venue and on places to stay.

Don’t forget to keep track of guest and event anonuncements on the SoS website!

Pictures from Summer of Sonic 2010

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!

Thank you all for an awesome SoS ’10.

T