Don your flat caps and stow your razor blades, the Peaky Blinders are coming to 2019, as a 2-day festival celebrating the BBC drama has been announced for mid-September in the Digbeth Arena, Birmingham.
Entertainment will apparently feature theatrical performances, historically accurate street food, and musical acts including Primal Scream, Slaves, Anna Calvi, and a “very special secret set” of unknown character.
It’s not the first attempt at a Peaky Blinders festival – though it’s the first to be sanctioned by the show’s creators.
Whatever your pop culture preferences, here are a few festivals guaranteed have you posting for all the right reasons.
1. The Star Wars Celebration
The second highest-grossing film franchise of all time (behind only the Marvel films and its countless characters and storylines), it’s no surprise that Star Wars boasts probably the largest single-franchise fan fest of them all.
To date there have been 13 Star Wars Celebrations dating back to the last millennium, hosted everywhere from Los Angeles to London and Japan.
All the stars turn out to meet their fans, and 2019’s edition was graced by Daisy Ridley, J.J. Abrams, and John Boyega.
There is already a timer on the website offering a second-by-second countdown until the next celebration in Anaheim, California, despite that fact that it doesn’t start for over a year.
2. San Diego Comic-Con
There was a time when dressing up as your favourite superhero, and spending a week with other people dressed as their favourite superheroes, might have prompted a certain amount of mockery, or at least a few raised eyebrows in the office.
Thanks mostly to Marvel, that time has passed.
First founded in 1970, the San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) started as a celebration of comic books, but has now expanded to encompass almost any medium or genre.
Today there are comic-cons all over the world, but most attendees will tell you the San Diego edition is the OG.
The four-day event holds the Guinness World Record for the largest pop culture festival ever held.
3. D23 Expo
A biennial meeting point for Disney’s official fan club (D for Disney, and 23 for the company’s founding year, 1923), the D23 Expo has run every other year since 2009.
Always held at the Anaheim Convention Center in California, past incarnations have featured gargantuan shopping promenades, performances by Broadway stars, and loads of cosplay.
Given that Disney can count most of pop culture within its empire of joy, the expo’s scope is astonishingly broad.
Visitors can expect talks and announcements on Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars, as well as more traditional output from the House of Mouse.
The self-titled ‘largest Disney fan event in the world’ returns for three days at the end of this month.
4. Con of Thrones
The world’s largest Thrones-themed fan convention, now in its third year (and already planning for 2020), Cons of Thrones returned to Nashville, Tennessee in July to give fans behind-the-scenes insight to HBO’s record-breaking show.
This year’s fest featured interviews and autographs with Jaime Lannister, Gendry, Gilly and fan favourite Bronn, alongside a sword demonstration from short-lived but much-loved First Sword of Braavos, Syrio Forel.
Cosplay is encouraged and widely used, though it’s worth noting that real weapons are expressly forbidden.
5. Toronto Harry Potter Beer, Cider, and Cocktail Festival
Unfortunately, one fan base is facing a rather disappointing 2019. Towards the end of last year it was confirmed that the annual Celebration of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort would not be returning, amid a major restructuring at the Florida park.
An enormously popular event, the cancellation remains shrouded in mystery, and has left Pottermaniacs with an unfortunate hole in the calendar.
We recommend the delightfully offbeat Beer, Cider and Cocktail Festival in Toronto, featuring a range of ‘enchanted brews’ from Polyjuice Potion to Butterbeer.
- Press Association