Worldcon 2014: A Bid for London
Our friends at Concatenation have sent us this, about the Worldcon bid for 2014 to take place in London.
Worldcon 2014 — A Bid for London
Each year there is a vote for the Worldcon in two years time. However those who think that they may have a strong bid to run the Worldcon can make an earlier announcement of their intent to do so. Making an early annoncement, and providing early details of a future bid, signals to other countries that there is a strong bid already going for a particular year.
Britain has held Worldcons in 1957 (England), 1979 (England), 1987 (England), 1995 (Scotland) and 2005 (Scotland). However the last time it was held in London was back in 1957 when 268 SF professionals and fans gathered. An announcement was made at this year’s Eastercon cum Euroconference of a bid to hold the Worldcon in 2014. So when Eastern European SF fans visited some of the Concatenation team, it was a chance to go to London to investigate.
The proposed 2014 Worldcon will be held in a modern venue almost on the zero degrees longitude meridian by the Thames just north of Greenwich and just to the east of London’s second financial centre. (To the right of the distant sky-scrappers in the picture.) The zero degree longitude means that participants will be able to stand with one foot in the
Earth’s western hemisphere and one foot in the eastern hemisphere.
The venue is the Excel exhibition complex in the middle of what used to be London’s docks. It has its own light-weight rail connection (as seen in the SF horror film “28 Weeks Later”) and is next door to some hotels. However a walk across a Thames footbridge and there is cheap bed & breakfast accommodation to be found. The venue is huge. Alas we could not go inside one of the halls but the thin central corridor that forms the spine of the conference centre is three-quarters of a kilometre long! (Indeed the Worldcon will only occupy about a third of the area available.) Even so, the ‘comparatively’ thin central corridor is actually very wide and occasionally along it there are stairs down to below ground service areas and support facilities. The place is BIG far more than this picture can convey because everything is similarly large. However you csan see from the size of the people that you can fit a house in this central corridor.
Unlike the 1957 London Worldcon that saw 268 people attend, the organisers of the 2014 bid are hoping that if they win over 6,000 will attend. This means that there will be about 15 – 20 parallel programme streams and enough time and space for every nation attending to put on their own programme items should they wish. If that was not enough (or indeed over 5 days too much) then the dealers hall, art show, fan exhition areas and relaxation lounges will provide a change from the talks, panels, films being shown. The Worldcon bid organisers have already posted a mini-website
If the bid is won (and the vote will take place in 2012) then it is likley that this event will also be a Eurocon. Eurocon/Worldcon news is posted seasonally on Concatenation’s news page and features all the Worldcon and Eurocon bid news.
Meanwhile there is a promotional music video and film-clip compilation on YouTube:
And the Excel venue website is http://www.excel-london.co.uk/
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