MagnetiCon makes a comeback

MagnetiCon's Graeme Hone said last year's event numbers as well as special guests meant a venue upgrade was needed. IMAGE: Magneticon.

The last time I dressed up as a superhero, I was told underwear didn’t belong on the outside of my pants and I should leave the Strand immediately.

You’ll have the chance to get creative and dress how you like when MagnetiCon Pop Culture Convention lands at its new venue, RSL Stadium, this June.

MagnetiCon is returning to Townsville for its second year, joining Supanova and Comic-Con on Australia’s list of annual pop culture conventions – and is one of only two such conventions outside South East Queensland, with Mackay’s Sugar City Con making a comeback in August.

The event was a mere vision at the start of 2016, but quickly evolved into a weekend that attracted crowds so large, a venue change was necessary for the 2017 Convention.

MagnetiCon Guest Liaison and Co-Organiser, Graeme Hone, said while the event came together in a matter of months, it took a lot of effort behind the scenes.

“[Family members and fellow organisers] Bev, Kirra and Tiffany went to another regional Convention and thought, ‘why not Townsville?’ With some help from friends in the crowd, MagnetiCon was formed and a Facebook page was started,” said Graeme.

“From that small spark, radio stations wanted to know when the event was happening and the Townsville Bulletin wanted to do a story on Kirra and Tiffany. Then Travis Bain, a film maker from Cairns, asked if we’d like to have Vernon Wells (Wez from Mad Max II) to be our special guest. We said yes, and it snowballed from there.”

2016 saw roughly 2,000 people attend the inaugural Townsville pop culture convention, which initially prompted the move to a larger venue at RSL Stadium. But when the 2017 international guests were announced, there was no doubt the second event would draw an even bigger crowd.

“With the numbers we saw last year as well as our fantastic guests Jeremy Bulloch (Star Wars’ original Boba Fett) from the UK and Nicole Marie Jean (in the top five cosplayers globally) from the US, we knew we’d need more room.

“For those that haven’t been to a pop culture convention before, you’ll see lots of costumes: people dressed as their favourite superhero, cartoon character, video game character, anime, and more. We also have a corporate cosplay competition this year, so want to see lots of business teams enrolling.”

As well as the emphasis on cosplay, you can expect a number of guest speakers, panel sessions and some of the best replicas available in Australia.

“There will be a replica of Bumblebee (Transformers) that will greet you in the foyer; out the front we will have other replica cars from film and TV including Bandit One (Smokey and the Bandit), Huntress (Supernatural), the yellow MFP Interceptor (Mad Max) and K.I.T.T (Knight Rider). We’ll have comic book artists from Sydney and Melbourne doing their artwork, other cosplayers from around Australia and heaps of exhibitors and vendors with everything pop culture.”

Get your superhero on when MagnetiCon, Townsville’s only Pop Culture Convention, takes over RSL Stadium on June 3-4. Tickets are now available through Townsville Tickets.

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