CaptureCHARACTERS from the silver screen, the small screen and the worlds of gaming and animé, will be heading to Tyneside this summer for a major national convention.

Star Wars’ Han Solo, Indiana Jones, battalions of storm troopers and galaxies of Star Trek Klingons will be among the 4000 ‘visitors’ descending on Newcastle’s St James’ Park from 17 to 19 June for SunnyCon 2016.

The three-day event not only gives film, sci-fi, animé and gaming fans the chance to dress up as their favourite screen characters, but will also include demonstrations, talks and stalls, relating to the increasingly popular Japanese animé trend.

Over the course of the weekend, convention-goers will be able to meet VIP guests, such as US voice actor Johnny Yong Bosch – who also played Black Ranger for the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers –  and Japanese voice actor Fumiko Orikasa.

Along with autograph signings and question and answer sessions, there will be a taiko drumming workshop and performances, a fashion show and a variety of craft demonstrations.

Visitors will also be able to play board games and a wide range of video games on modern and retro consoles and take part in tournaments including Magic! The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon!
There will also be the chance to take part in competitions and win cash prizes at the event, which began in Sunderland six years ago, before moving to St James’ Park for the first time last year, when they held a smaller convention.

“The event has just grown bigger and bigger,” said SunnyCon Ambassador Michael Tuckwell, “and we needed the flexibility and capacity St James’ Park offers us.

“We’ve completely outgrown all our previous venues, which is testament to the popularity of Japanese animation and we’re expecting record numbers of people from across the UK to this summer’s convention.”

SunnyCon 2016 at St James’ Park will be managed by the stadium’s in-house team from Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events, which won the Operations Team of the Year category at The Stadium Events and Hospitality Awards 2015.

General manager, Frankie Angus, said: “The SunnyCon team staged a smaller convention here last autumn and it proved immensely popular so we are very much looking forward to helping them host their major annual event here in June.”

SunnyCon 2016 will take place between 12 noon and 6pm on 17 June and from10am to 6pm on 18 and 19.

Weekend tickets cost £25, with day tickets priced at £17. Under 12s are free with a paying adult.
Tickets can be purchased via www.sunnycon.co.uk and further information about Sodexo Prestige and its conference and banqueting facilities at Newcastle United call 0191 201 8525 or e-mail candb@nufc.co.uk