Convention Survival Guide: Glasgow Games FestivalFeb 06, 2019
Glasgow Games Festival: What is it?
A day of open board gaming in city centre Glasgow with demos, traders and a games library, with just under 400 attendees. It has been operating for a couple of years, and has a website: http://www.glasgowgamesfestival.com/
Glasgow Games Festival: When is it?
The 2019 dates haven’t been announced yet.
The last one was Saturday 17th November 2018.
Doors open at 10am and stragglers leave around 11pm.
Glasgow Games Festival: Where is it?
It is held at the Royal Concert Hall on Sauchiehall Street. Glasgow Queen St rail station and Buchanan Bus Station are a minute walk away. Parking is available at the shopping centre next door.
Glasgow Games Festival: What does it cost?
In 2018: £8.80 adults, 4.40 kids, £21 family ticket (including booking fee)
Is there an App for that?
No show guide or app but the event isn’t that big. There were two large rooms – one with exhibitors and a stall and one with the games library. Both are full of open gaming tables.
Collecting tickets – will I be standing in line for hours?
From the website you can buy e-tickets with QR codes, but you can buy tickets in the door with a tiny queue at busy times.
Food and Drink – What options are there?
There is a cafe in the venue which is lovely but expensive. Think £4.95 for a toastie. Outside you have the biggest high street in Scotland with all the usual suspects and a Sainsbury’s local.
Money – are there cashpoints?
Outside there are many of them but the vendors take cards.
Cloakroom – are there any?
No cloakroom but there was a free stand to hang your jackets at your own risk
Crowds – just how crowded is it?
Early on there were a couple of hundred people here, fitting nicely into the two rooms. By the late afternoon it was quite busy and getting a table was a challenge.
Quiet Space – are there any quiet spaces to escape to?
The concert hall is massive with many quiet areas you can break out to as the event is only taking up one floor.
Toilets – are there enough or are there lines?
It’s the Royal Concert Hall, there are many toilets and they are lovely. No lines.
Phone Charging – is there anything available?
There are plug sockets in the walls, you might have to be a bit brazen to use one!
Cosplay – what’s the cosplay situation like? Encouraged? A dedicated area/stage?
No cosplay I can see, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind it though.
Where to Get Help
There is a help desk at the entrance with a first aider. Organisers wear branded tees so you can spot them.
Some Scottish gaming companies are represented and a handful of game designers are here demoing, so there are opportunities to try something new. There was a Keyforge tournament with a voucher for money off the game, and a raffle for some good looking new games at £1 a ticket.
Top Tips for attending:
- Go early, grab a table and stay there
- It is up a few flights up but there is a lift. The cafe is also downstairs so bring your snacks!
- If you go in your own take a ‘looking for players’ sign to stand out
- Everyone is really friendly so don’t be afraid to chat
Did we like the Glasgow Games Festival?
It was a lot smaller than similar events such as Tabletop Scotland, but it has grown from last year so hopefully that continues. My family (my kids are under 10) enjoyed it and there were lots of other children there too. It had a positive gaming vibe. As a casual gamer I like trying out games and a game library does that. My only criticism was the cost – I thought it was a bit pricey but you are likely paying for the great location and nice venue.
I even bought a game after trying it with the designer Inger – Absolute Dice. I can’t recommend this game enough, easy, cheap, lots of themes and portable. Who doesn’t like the sound of rolling cubes? Got my eye on the Christmas set for presents.
Would I go next year? Yes, especially if it grows again in size.
Tamsyn Kennedy – Mum of 3, wife, public sector manager, writer, roleplayer, gamer, biophiliac, drinker, rockband singer. More @xtamsynx
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