So, I went to MCM on Saturday and it was not quite what I expected. The day really didn’t go to plan at all but I have learnt lots of valuable things in case I decide to go again. It also means I didn’t get any photos which is a shame but it was just impossible with the mass of people. I decided to do a little write up on my day anyway.
So, on Saturday morning I got up at 5am (after about only 2 hours sleep) got ready, travelled to Lincoln and caught my train at 7:04am. I was lucky enough to be travelling 1st class! It only cost £3 more than standard for some reason so I decided to treat myself. There were 3 Cosplayers catching the train at Lincoln too who also took advantage of this great deal so we were all sat together for the journey down. The funniest thing has got to be the looks we got from the other 1st class passengers and especially one of the staff members. She had a look of slight disgust on her face every time she passed us, unless that’s just her usual expression when at work, who knows. The train got in to London for 9:59am and I then had to wait 20mins for my friend to meet me (they got lost in the station).
Then it was off to the excel centre by tube/DLR where the nearer we got the more Cosplayers we encounted – there’s something quite nice about being on a tube where most of the people are in Cosplay. Once we arrived at excel there were people everywhere, no signs, no staff and no clear areas to queue. I was so confused about where to go, luckily my friend had been before so they would know where to go….nope, it turned out they seemed to have no idea either. Eventually we found the right queue for the pre-bought tickets, the staff scanned them, stamped your hand and sent you through in to a large room where you followed around a lot of barriers (which reminded me of Alton Towers) to join a mass of people all waiting to go in. The queue for people buying tickets on the day was massive! So even though I couldn’t take advantage of the early entry you get from buying a ticket in advance it was still much quicker. I think we joined the queue roughly around 11:30am and eventually got in for about 12:30 but I don’t know for sure as I didn’t pay full attention to the time. I think we queued for roughly an hour maybe a bit over. One person I spoke to at the expo who bought a ticket on the day said he had queued for 3 hours!! Anyway, we were in and as soon as you get through the door you join a mass of people shuffling around the main hall. It’s so hard to get to anything at all due to the mass of people and it was sooo warm inside. The aim was to try and have a walk around, look at the stalls, figure out where the stages were and what events were taking place and then decide what to do. Trying to get around took ages so I missed the first panel I wanted to go to, I wasn’t sure where the fringe festival bit was, my friend was just as clueless about everything even though they had attended the event previously, I couldn’t find any timetables, maps or anything either so I was really glad I had written down some stuff previously from off the site. I eventually made it to a panel called Fairytale at 2pm (it lasted a massive 10 mins) I then saw a bit of the NCIS:Los Angeles panel after that then we headed over to the Steampunk section to witness some tea duelling at 3pm. I headed back over to the main stage for 4pm as that’s when the online info had said the Cosplay thing would start, it didn’t get going until after 4:30 and started with young kids (cute, but not why I go to watch the Cosplay as they usually are in bought costumes) then main bit kicked off around 5pm but I had to leave at 5:30pm to make sure I didn’t miss my train home…..so pretty much it was a really expensive trip to not actually do much. I do know how to improve things though if I go again which I guess it something.
So overall it was quite a disappointing day, this is due to lots of factors not all down to MCM itself. I do think the lack of info was bad and it didn’t seem to be the most organised at times. They had a really good choice of stalls and events though, there really is something for everyone. I can’t believe that some people had to queue for 3 hours, even if you arrived at 11am when normal entry opened you wouldn’t have gotten in until 2pm and it ends at 6pm. The day went by really quickly and I don’t feel like I really did or saw anything properly, lol. Also the cosplays are awesome, especially the ones in the competition, some people are just so talented! There are loads of photos, videos and blogs about MCM so check out youtube and google to see them. So for next time I intend printing more off in advance (stall layout, timetables etc), buying an early entry ticket again but trying to get there earlier than 11am and perhaps going on a different day or maybe for the full weekend as it’s so hard to get around the stalls on the Saturday. The next MCM is in October so if I go I will be able to reflect back on this time and access if my plans paid off or not and if the experience is different.