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25 August 2012 @ 08:24 pm
FanExpo - Treated Like Cattle but the Lost Girl Cast Was Great  
We went to the Toronto FanExpo today. It is the largest Sci Fi/Comic/Anime/Horror etc. convention in Canada. I had heard it was crowded, but had no idea.


We didn't get tickets in advance because we weren't sure we would be able to go but decided late this week we would. We drove drove to the closest subway station and took the underground to downtown Toronto (to avoid the traffic). So far so good. Walking from Union Station to the Convention Center is just a short way. We knew were were headed in the right direction because we were following Darth Maul and an anime character. When we got close to our destination, we looked out the window of the SkyBridge and saw hundreds (maybe thousands) of people lined up. We were expecting that. But, when we got there we found out that this was the line for people with tickets. We had to cross the street and get in line to go into the loading area for the Convention Center. Thousands of people were in an uncontrolled line snaking up and around and through the park over top of the loading area. When the ticket office opened we were herded into the loading area ramp and one of the guys in line said he thought that they might bring out the gas canisters (I was thinking the same thing). Finally, after an hour and half with little communication from the staff we got into the actual line for tickets and got in.

The herd (there were more than this many people behind us in the spiral into hell)

Because the ticket office didn't open until 10 (the same time the event started) it took us an hour and a half to get in and we missed the gang from Criminal Minds at 11. So we got our bearings and went into the large theater to see the Lost Girl panel. It was not to crowded when we got there and we got good seats.

The Lost Girl cast (especially Zoe Palmer) is hilarious and it was all very enjoyable.

Ksenia Solo texting during in panel

Anna Silk (sorry - a bit blurry)

Rick Howland and K.C. Collins

Zoe Palmer and Kris Holden Reid

We left that panel a bit early because we wanted to get into line for Alan Tudyk. This is where the wheels fell off. We got there about 45 minutes before the panel was due to start and there were already enough people in line to fill the room and they had cut off any more attendance. We didn't get to see one of the guests we wanted to.

So, we decided to go to the InnerSpace Panel. InnerSpace is the news entertainment show for Canada's channel dedicated to sci fi (Space). And it actually is - no wresting and almost no reality shows. There was a huge lineup for that and as there was little control over the line, people started to push in ahead of us, even after we had been there for 30 minutes. We got in anyway and enjoyed listening to Teddy, Ajay and Cynthia. I probably could have won tickets for a sneak peek of the new episode of Doctor Who but we were not going to wait around until 9.

Teddy, Cynthia and Ajay

We wandered around the vendors exhibit a bit. We couldn't really see much or take time to shop as the crowds tended to just push you along. Collected an Arrow poster from CTV along with a magazine and some Once Upon a Time pins. Wandered by the Space channel booth and got some Doctor Who pins and a Doctor Who poster. Peeked at Amanda Tapping and Julie Benz signing autographs and decided it was time to head back to the subway as we were hot and tired from fighting the throngs. Saw Kevin Smith in the hall with a big crowd around him. Unfortunately, FanExpo forced us to take the long way around the building making us hotter and crabbier on a humid day.

I don't think my sweetie will ever go back again. I might think about it but certainly not on Saturday. I talked to some nice folks and overall it was OK but I would buy tickets in advance and go on a weekday. Polaris is much nicer and you are treated like a person there an not a cow so we realize how lucky we are to have a fan-run convention like Polaris. There are a huge number of vendors at FanExpo and some great guests. Enjoyed the panels we were able to get in but not the atmosphere or the chaos.

skieswideopen: SG: Carterskieswideopen on August 26th, 2012 12:47 am (UTC)
Thanks for posting this!

I didn't end up making it over. The people I really wanted to see all did their Q&As on different days! I was debating going tomorrow (Amanda Tapping!), but after reading this, I'm not entirely sure I want to. Although...Amanda Tapping! So maybe.
casett: Insanity - Chuck - Jeffstercasett on August 26th, 2012 01:28 am (UTC)
It wasn't horrible but be prepared for lines that aren't clear and a person in just about every foot of floor space!
skieswideopen: Being Human: Aidanskieswideopen on August 26th, 2012 01:49 am (UTC)
LOL @ your icon!

I'm usually okay with crowds. Just not sure yet how much of my Sunday I want to spend in line...
jennifer jensenjenniferjensen on August 26th, 2012 01:08 am (UTC)
Yay for Lost Girl! Sounds like Calgary Expo. I think the count was 50,000 - 60,000 people attending. It was insane, felt like cattle wrangling yet I was happy I was able to see most of the people I wanted to.

I'm very excited to find out about Edmonton Expo which will be the first year and will most likely not be as insane.
casett: Flan - don't hasslecasett on August 26th, 2012 01:32 am (UTC)
I just wish there was some clarity with regard to lines, etc. Good thing most Canadians are polite and try to follow rules, even if they aren't clear.
KosmikDawgkosmikdawg on August 26th, 2012 03:54 am (UTC)
The Lost Girl cast was so awesome. :)
casett: LostGirl-palscasett on August 26th, 2012 11:25 am (UTC)
anna_sg1anna_sg1 on August 26th, 2012 03:49 pm (UTC)
Lovely pics but omg that looks like a lot of people! XD
casett: Flan - don't hasslecasett on August 26th, 2012 09:26 pm (UTC)
It was insane!
fififolle: Primeval - Connor *faints*fififolle on August 27th, 2012 07:35 pm (UTC)
Good heavens! So busy!!! Not much fun at all. Mind you, you got some good pics! I think the only thing I'd heard of was Arrow! Hope I get to see it :D

We knew were were headed in the right direction because we were following Darth Maul and an anime character.
LOL! Love it.
casett: LostGirl-palscasett on August 27th, 2012 09:35 pm (UTC)
I heard they cut off selling tickets that day so you know it was really crowded.
fififolle: Car Troublefififolle on August 27th, 2012 10:03 pm (UTC)
coffee_nebulacoffee_nebula on August 29th, 2012 05:01 pm (UTC)
I was there the whole weekend and Saturday was insane. They actually hit capacity and wouldn't let people in until some left. I got stuck outside with a friend and almost missed the Kate Mulgrew panel. Luckily we had a game plan and there was always one person in line to hold a spot for all of us and ended up with front row seats.
casett: Burn Notice - Suit Upcasett on August 29th, 2012 09:19 pm (UTC)
Good thing that worked for you. But having one person hold spots for others was one of the reasons we didn't get in to some panels. Not to blame you - the whole event was so badly organized that doing things like that was the only way. Never go on Saturday again if I go back at all.