Bask in the Gamma Rays – GAMMA.CON is back

Andrew Myers

Andrew is a self-proclaimed lover of music, movies and cats. He was the recipient of the Best Short Story award for the University of Canberra's anthology First: Pulse in 2014, and is now a contributor at BMA.
Andrew Myers
Oh it’s on, like Donkey Kong

It’s that time of year when Canberra’s biggest pop culture festival comes to town – GAMMA.CON! 

I spoke to the current convenor of GAMMA.CON, Isabella Hurst, about the upcoming event featuring all things “nerdy” and what this year will include: Jesse Cox and Alex Faciane (of YouTube’s Scary Game Squad fame), acclaimed voice actor Paul St Peter (Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, Kingdom Hearts and Bleach), panels about cosplaying with four cosplay professionals including Danielle Debs and Hench Wench, exhibitions, competitions, local and interstate vendors and businesses (Impact Comics, Warhammer, The Games Capital, Revolution CD), amateur artists, a vast array of video games to play from various generations, tournaments, performances, workshops, tabletop strategy games, workshops for kids and much, much more! 

The floor of EPIC will be lined with local businesses and artists – some you may recognise and others that will introduce you (and your wallet) to new customer experiences. 

“GAMMA.CON give businesses an opportunity to reach new customers; introduce people to new comics or games. They come as fans of one thing and find more things they love”, said Hurst.

Last year’s event clocked in a whopping 6200 attendees – not a bad achievement that originally began with four university students seven years ago. 

What makes this event so successful is the die-hard loyalty Canberreans have for all things pop culture, as outside of this when else can people see multitudes of people dressed as Harley Quinn or Master Chief, or gawk at entire walls decked out with Funk Pop Vinyl figurines?

Hurst knows just too well how important these festivals are for destinations other than the usual tour trek of Sydney and Melbourne as GAMMA.CON even visits NSW’s Wagga Wagga. 

“(This) highlights how diverse and interesting Canberra is. We’re not just one thing – a ‘bush capital’ or a ‘city of public servants’ or whatever – we’re a big community of many weird and wonderful interests and GAMMA.CON taps into that,” she explained. 

Gamma@Night is everything nerdy and naughty that your heart could desire, being aimed at mature aged patrons who enjoy entertainment like films, competitions, video games, drag shows, erotic fan-fiction readings, Star Wars themed burlesque and responsible service of alcohol provided by Reload Bar and Games. 

GAMMA.CON is currently the only pop culture event that holds an 18+ evening program at its venue making this two day event a unique occasion for all. 

So break out your wrist-brace for all those video games, dust off your Jon Snow faux-fur coat, polish your Styrofoam He-Man sword, zip up your movie-quality Chewbacca jumpsuit and treat yourself to the phenomenon that is GAMMA.CON!

GAMMA.CON, Exhibition Park (EPIC), 3rd-4th August, $25-$160, venue opens at 10am – 5pm

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