Back at the start of the year, you may recall how we brought you news of a new Sonic community meet up event? Well, unfortunately for me I was unable to attend, however SOS documentary maker Jono D was able to attend and has kindly documented the day.
So the rest of this update will be done by guest writer Jono D.
“How many of you people know what Summer of Sonic is? A fair few of you? Good! For the uninitiated, The Summer of Sonic is one of the most prolific fan events in many Sonic fan’s calendars, attracting hundreds of people each year for a day of events, contests, community and most importantly, fun.
You’d be forgiven then for thinking that the event has always been this way, however its origins are a lot more humble than some people may think. The event was started by a small group of community members who wanted to create a forum for people to come and socialise, meet each other face to face, and much in that same vain comes Weston Super Sonic.
A local community church in Weston Super-Mare provided the venue for all things Sonical during the day.
Weston Super Sonic is the brainchild of one devoted Claire Cameron. Already a frequent Summer of Sonic attendee, she had the idea of creating and hosting a Sonic community gathering much closer to her home in the west of England… So she did! On the Saturday the 11th of January, Sonic fans descended onto the famous seaside town Weston Super-Mare for the event. Some even coming from as far as London!
The floor space wasn’t massive, but everyone had space to relax and socialise.
The day started off just after 10:30 in the morning in the small community church hall, which was the designated venue. There were a few areas inside; A set of chairs and a projector for multiplayer gaming events and tournaments, a seating area for drawing, relaxing and general socialising, and a table with a collection of rare merch on show for people to have a look at up-close which had been brought in for exhibition (AKA the corner I was looking after, and subsequently living in for the day).
The far side of the room proved popular with fans that wanted to simply sit and enjoy the atmosphere.
After everyone had gotten settled into the venue and had the chance to chat (as well as devour all the cupcakes that had been brought in), things kicked off with a small speedrun tournament of Sonic 1’s Green Hill Zone Act one. Fairly simple: Fastest time would win! The audience participation in this was awesome. Plenty of cheering for each other as well as giving each and every runner a round of applause at the end of their run. I even managed to have a go and ended up coming in second place, which is something I wasn’t at all banking on! The top 3 ranking speedrunners were handed out medals for their achievements.
The lucky winners of the various contests were all awarded medals for their achievements.
The day then progressed casually with other small events throughout the day, including a costume workshop run by the host Claire, detailing how she went about producing her impressive costumes which were also on display for people to see. Everyone had the room to move and take everything they wanted to do at their own pace. Some people drew are for the art contest that was running, some played the consoles on offer in friendly head to head matches, whilst some simply sat and enjoyed each other’s company. With the small nature of the event, everything felt more relaxed and was a welcome change in pace from the normally frantic, upbeat and constantly active atmosphere found at Summer of Sonic.
Claire’s homemade costumes were all on show, and played an active part in her cosplay workshop.
A table of rare merch was on display in the corner. Complete with information cards for everything.
One short happy-birthday song for host Claire later, The day neared its conclusion. The final medals were given out to the other competition winners and runners up, and the final gaming tournament of the day took place: a four-way battle on a mystery game… The audience when the competitors discovered it was Sonic Shuffle was worth it for their reaction alone! After a long battle of attrition on one of the clunkiest party games ever, the tournament finished up, the final medals were handed out and everyone packed their things, said their goodbyes for the year and headed for home.
Everyone poised during the final rounds of the Sonic Shuffle tournament.
And so concluded Weston Super Sonic. Everyone involved had a brilliant day, and even though I had mostly been grounded to my table in the corner, I met some truly great people from the immediate area who I had no idea were so nearby to me. Will definitely be getting in contact with again for local get togethers.
Plenty of friendships were made on the day, with everybody looking forward to a new event next year.
Weston Super Sonic may appear to be a humble Sonic the Hedgehog gathering on the surface, but this sort of small beginning harkens back to the Summer of Sonic’s early days where it was just some fans wanting to give other Sonic fans a day to remember, and with one event under their belts, what’s to say it can’t grow into something much bigger?
With that, I want to give a big thanks and shout out to Claire ‘Rurifuu’ Cameron for having the not only the drive to want to do something for the fans, but actually going ahead seeing it through to the end. The turnout for a small Sonic get together was a brilliant surprise, and with words that Claire is already intending to host again next year with a bigger team to work with, we tip our hats to you Ms. Cameron!
For a little look at some video from the day, as well as a Q&A with event host Claire; check out The Sonic Show’s coverage:
Now, who’s on board for a Sonic-takeover of Weston’s Grand Pier?
Hope to see you next year!”
Special thanks to Jono D for the write up.