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Summer of Sonic Past

Dreadknux’s Summer of Sonic 2010 Memories

August 9th, 2010 by Svend Joscelyne

The Summer of Sonic continues to astound and amaze me. It was only three years ago that I was paying for a community hall with my own money and arranging a small-time gathering for Sonic fans in Covent Garden. In a very short time, it has ballooned into a major event on every Sonic fan’s calendar, and has a tonne of backing from Sega itself. But the one thing that surprises me (in a good way) the most, is you guys.

I had the pleasure of speaking to some awesome Sonic fans inbetween my epic sprinting from one end of the venue space to the other. You guys were there to enjoy Sonic 4, Sonic Colours and Crush 40, but you also understood what the point of the Summer of Sonic was all about – making new friends and chatting about Sonic with one another. And I was more than happy to chat to each and every one of you. I’m just sorry I didn’t have the time to stick around for longer than five minutes.

The scary thing was just how many people we ended up fitting in that venue. You guys arrived in droves, and that’s what truly knocked me for six. Standing on stage at the start of Summer of Sonic 2009 and seeing 400 people cheer is one thing, but welcoming 2010′s event with ArchAngelUK in front of 800 fellow Sonic fanatics, all screaming their heads off, was actually insane.

The crowd really got into it, and even though we had heat problems you all trucked on. As ArchAngelUK said, SoS10 really was a victory in the face of adversity for the organisers, but this was just as true for the attendees as well. So a big thank you for sticking around and understanding the issues we were facing.

As has already been said, the heat was only the last in a long laundry list of issues with the venue we chose. You might remember back in May I posted a ‘behind the scenes’ video of The Pavilion in all its open glory – albeit with a ton of furniture and other rubbish littered about the space. All of that stuff was still in there by the time the team arrived to set up on Friday 6th.

And adhering to the floorplan straight away proved difficult – for example, the desks for the Shop Stop and Signing Booth were on the second tier, but we couldn’t move them because we had to wait for the top tier to be cleared of rubbish. But we couldn’t move that stuff ourselves, so were at the mercy of the venue’s furniture removals people, who decided that they would happily take their time doing so, even though we sort of paid them to take all this stuff away a week ago.

Some of the staff were genuinely very helpful however and wanted to ensure we had everything we needed. Overall though it was a total nightmare, given we booked the Friday specifically to arrange furniture and set up tech.

It wasn’t just the furniture people that were tardy either. Despite paying for his attendance for a day and a half, our hired sound technician decided not to appear on Friday, meaning we had to coerce the venue’s management to get backup people in order for Crush 40 to do a sound check. You might have noticed actually, during Crush 40′s performance, that the sound dipped a little bit before reaching rather high levels at one point. That was because our sound technician decided to leave his post and enjoy the gig in the crowd. Needless to say, we weren’t impressed. And he took a nap an hour before we opened the doors! We don’t like paying the wages of lazy people, frankly.

The icing on the cake was the missing equipment, which was one of the main reasons we opened late – along with a few other last-minute requests that I wished we were asked about sooner – and nearly knocked the whole operation off-kilter. Luckily, Rory/Roareye’s resolve was absolutely fantastic, and together we all clubbed up and improvised. I was also asked by the management if there was a way to cut the number of people we would let in to around 500. That didn’t get a very pleasant response from me – we hired a 1000-strong space, we intended to use it.

Because we were blindsighted by these issues, we missed some obvious things that would have been helpful during the day – organised queue ropes and people looking after the new games, the placement of Sonic Colours (in retrospect, not a good idea to allow a queue to form across the stage crowd) and a better handling of Crush 40′s signing period (thrust upon us by last-minute stage requests as well).

In fact, I can tell you exactly the worst moment of Summer of Sonic 2010 for me – it was trying to pull Johnny Gioeli and Jun Senoue away from a massive line of fans wanting photos and signed merchandise. It was a horrible thing to experience on my side. If I was just an unconnected member of venue staff, telling people ‘no more signings,’ it wouldn’t be so bad. But being a massive Sonic fan myself, looking at other massive Sonic fans pleading with me ‘just one photo, please’… it cuts a guy up.

Despite all of this though, I couldn’t have been happier with how Summer of Sonic 2010 went. All of the volunteers (these guys don’t get paid – big them up!) really stepped up their game to ensure all the attendees had a Way Past Cool time, and it seemed like you guys really appreciated the effort we went into to make this day happen. Which is all the thanks I need. Sure, there are things to learn from every convention – it’s the side-effect of having fans organise a fan event, after all – but I feel we really pulled a rabbit out of the hat and staged the greatest Summer of Sonic yet.

Jun and Johnny were absolute stars, looking after as many people as they could, and Jun even went back to the queue later in the day just to carry on signing! They were meant to be on stage performing at that time! They were super stoked to attend and perform for everyone on Saturday, and they seem very keen on coming back at a later date. Make of that what you will. I spoke with Jun whilst collapsed on a sofa and he was very excited to look into his goodie bag and find a First4Figures Metal Sonic model. Johnny seemed ultra-tired afterwards, but was still as enthusiastic and chipper as he was on the Friday. Two awesome guys.

Nigel Dobbyn was also an absolute star, and I’m slightly gutted that this was the second time he’s attended SoS and I’ve not been able to spend some proper time with the chap. Being a huge Sonic the Comic fan, I kicked myself for that one. I did manage to hang around long enough to help kick-start his Art Surgery – his intended table had been understandably taken by eager fans wanting to take part in the art contest. It was a struggle to ensure those guys had alternative places to sit, while Nigel could get on with his day, but it was worth the effort. It’s good when you’re able to please as many people as possible in a bad situation.

There are so many stories, anecdotes and special moments for me from the Summer of Sonic 2010 that I fear I will be here all day if I recounted them all. So I’ll start from the ones that had the biggest impact to me. Watching nearly 800 people flood The Pavilion after a mere seven minutes of opening the doors was simply jaw-dropping.

At the time, I was sat in the crow’s nest/technical area trying to desperately fix our internet connection to provide some sort of video or radio stream. At first glance there were about 400 or so attendees (our rough visit count last year), and I had been somewhat desensitised to that number. But then when I looked up again two minutes later the upper and second tiers were swarming with people. Eek. Not entirely sure how I didn’t get stage fright.

Never Mind the Buzzbombers was a hit as always, and Dave Luty (or Hogfather/Gnasher on SSMB) was an excellent host as always. Aaron ‘RubyEclipse’ Webber (of Sega of America fame) and Johnny Gioeli helped us try to win some audience members fantastic prizes, but the highlight came when Johnny had to answer quick-fire questions on Jun Senoue’s career. Nobody had seen Jun at this point of the day, so to see him slowly pop his head from the VIP balcony shortly after Johnny was placed on the spot was a truly special moment, purely to see the reaction from the crowd once they spotted him. I hope Johnny and Jun are still friends after that final score.

Jemnezmy brought to my attention that there was an attendee who had unfortunately reacted quite badly to the humidity and heat. As a result, the poor guy was sat outside for most of the day while his friend dashed around to help him get better. Jem was able to grab a couple of Crush 40 T-Shirts, have them signed by Jun and Johnny along with some other freebies, as a consolation for missing out on the day. I wasn’t able to give him the gear myself, but I heard that he was blown away by the gesture, and was able to later come in and enjoy some of the event before Crush 40 took to the stage. That generosity suggested by others was a major highlight for me.

Other high points include hosting the cosplay contest – all of them fantastic and I wish we could have let them all win – receiving some great gifts from fellow fans such as a homemade CD from a great girl called Kati with a song called ‘Come On Shadow’ along with some awesome artwork, and Ian ‘Bmn’ Bennett working the crowd before Crush 40, getting everyone to yell ‘PINGAS’ in unison.

One of my all-time favourite moments was the countdown however, where Kevin and myself got the whole crowd of ~800 to clap for an insanely prolonged period of time, before taking a full force of excited cheers as we came to the stage. Thank you guys so much for welcoming our hard work and efforts in this way, it really means a lot to us and makes the blood, sweat and tears we all pump into this event truly worth it.

As Kevin said, we’ve already got the date locked down for Summer of Sonic 2011 – 25th June 2011. Initial planning between myself, himself and Sega starts very very soon, and we will be able to share more thoughts at a later date. Ideas, comments and (constructive please – understand that you did come to a free event after all) criticisms can be laid at Kevin’s post here (or here if you’d rather, but best to keep it in one place eh?). We will read them all and take them on board, as long as you’re not a big fat meanie! :)

By all means, share your pictures and video links in this comments thread if you fancy. I love seeing all of the memories being recorded here – it’s no secret that I have a very big folder collecting every single related SoS photo and video, after all. Thanks again for experiencing the Summer of Sonic 2010 with us, we’ll see you at Sonic’s 20th Anniversary!

22 Responses to “Dreadknux’s Summer of Sonic 2010 Memories”

  1. Liam says:

    Funniest moment: When Jonny was throwing chocolate bars off the stage and accidentally nailed this one kid in the face, completely took him out. Everyone laughed, even the kid and Jonny was like ‘OH GOD, I’M SO SORRY!”.

  2. Claire says:

    Ur welcome! It was my first ever convention I’ve been to and will not be my last. Yeh the heat was insane but I think u shud hold Jonny to his promise… he will personally pay for the air con next year. LOL A truly wkd day seriously, I met sum amazing ppl and seein Crush 40 perform was pure magic! I cud go on all day but but three best bits: The doors finally opening just as the heavens did the same. Getting to play Sonic 4 after an hour of queing and Jonny holdin the microphone out to me to sing along!
    Oh and a special thanx to the guy who let me use his phone at the end of the day to make sure my lift had turned up (my i-pone was flat due to taking so many epic pictures!)
    Can’t wait for SoS 2011… XD

  3. Darkshadow1000 says:

    Johnny was just funny in general xD He was a good laugh :) good to see a rocker with a sense of humour xD

  4. D says:

    If Crush 40 can make it next year, their performance should close the event again. (I don’t see how anything else could have topped them if they’d played at the planned time this year.)

    Hopefully there’ll be some aircon next year. Or windows. I know several others I chatted too said that a few vending machines would have been a godsend. (I know that stuff like that is up to the owners of the venue ^_^’)

    I hope the shop will have more stock too. I was hoping to grab a Crush 40 CD but they’d sold out by the time I got there :(

    All in all it was a great day and I had fun chatting with people (mostly in the ‘queue’ for Colours) and avoiding the Doctor’s wrath.

  5. DVDSmith says:

    It was a fantastic day, you should be proud of yourselves guys. I had the best time ever and even with all the problems you had it was still an incredible show – you would never have known it hadn’t all gone smoothly.

    My only request for next year (other than Crush 40 returning) would be a playable demo of Sonic 4: Episode 3 (or whatever episode is unreleased at that point ^_^). Other than that, just do what you did this year and I’ll be happy with anything.

    Here are the photos I took:

    And here’s a video I got of Crush 40′s performance:

    Also check out my channel later for full videos of Jun’s solo guitar show – they’re uploading now:

    Will be doing everything I can to be there next year. I’d been waiting 19 years for a day like that :)

  6. Hi there

    Sounds like SoS had it’s ups and downs for u ^^; Well, I had fun there (apart from how hot it was in there). Am looking forward to the next SoS.

    Oh and by the way… SUMMER OF EGGMAN!!! XD


  7. What can I say? The whole event was incredible, I can say with 100% confidence that I’ll be going next year, even if I had to pay a reasonable sum of money for a ticket.
    A massive thankyou from me and my friends from deviantart that I met at the show, the three of us already have plans for the cosplay competition (Though I made a joke about turning up as Optimus Prime next year)
    Crush 40 as the finishing act was intense, as I said to Jun before I left, to hear their music on my mp3 player is one thing. To see and hear them live was beyond words. Jun’s guitar playing was spectacular and Johnny really knew how to work the crowd.
    Seriously guys, I don’t know how you can make SoS 2011 any more enjoyable than 2010 but I’m looking forward to it all the same!
    Best of luck everyone! :D

  8. bcdcdude says:

    I’m hoping that you guys can get some kind of compensation from the Pavilion folks because the crap you guys had to put up with was totally unwarranted. You guys deserve a pat on the back. Or twelve! :)

    I’m so looking forward to the 20th Anniversary SoS :) When I return from my annual leave, i’ll book that week off nearly a year in advance; this is how much the SoS festival means to me.

  9. Daxan says:

    I was actually one of the people send away by knux, but while he was distracted I still got my autograph. I also remember Johnny taking a few seconds to look at the remaining line to sign and was not so thrilled it was still that long.

  10. I can’t believe the rubbish you had to put up with! We all appreciate the effort you put in, thanks for a great day. I can only name a couple of issues I had, none of which were major and almost all of which you covered yourself. Even so none of them was enough to even slightly dampen the most amazing day I can ever remember having.

    I have been posting videos onto, and will be throwing my pictures up there soon too. It’s been a busy few days since SoS.

    The only suggestions I can think of are 1. Get Yuji Naka there. I somehow didn’t think of this myself but after seeing TRiPPY’s tweeting about the idea…yeah. And 2. Segata Sanshiro. I know neither may be possible but just imagine if they could be…

  11. DarkNoise says:

    All I can say is gratz to the lot of you. I did hear from you all the trouble you had on the day, and despite all that you managed to pull off something spectacular, and you should all be very proud. Well done.

    I will agree that the pavillion staff were less than helpful. I had an unfortunate incident with them, but I’ll save that for my SoS post on the boards.

    Again, great work guys! And provided I can still walk alright, I’ll see you next year!

  12. Liam says:

    Yeah, Jonny was hilarious. Diarrhoea jokes FTW. Jun was awesome too. I met him after the show. Got one of his picks –, shook his hand, got my shirt signed. Had a brief conversation with him about the Rock Band thing too, but I was too starstruck to keep it going and was about to miss my bus XD Hope they come back next year.

  13. Aggron says:

    My highlight of the day was my Photo with Johnny (Jun ran up the queue D:)
    after the photo I got “Whoa, you sure are a big fella!” as everyone has told me for the past 5 years

    he put his hand out for a handshake, but I kind of lept at the poor guy and gave him a hug, ha ha.
    Sorry Johnny, but thanks for everything! you and Jun are awesome dudes!

    And thanks to all the SoS staff too, it was my first SoS this year, and it was the greatest day of my life

    *P.S – more High-Fives for DreadKnux*

  14. Harry says:

    I agree with a lot of these comments, while i was dissapointed about not getting crush 40′s autographs i still appreciate all the work put into organising and hosting this event and i think i speak for everyone when i say you all did such a fantastic job this year and i hope summer of sonic 2011 will be just as good if not even better :)

  15. Harry says:

    Actually, i suppose i have a plan for next year just in case. i’ll wait for the time of the crush 40 signing session to be projected on the screen then wait around the area where it takes place just so i can be near the front of the line muahahaha! Also, i like the idea suggested by the cosplay winner of summer of eggman! :P

  16. Kat says:

    I’m not sure where to put this, but I was the person with the way too large camera and you can find most of my pictures over here:

  17. Hood says:

    It’s unfortunate that a great deal of things went wrong but you & your team managed to pull it off it’s a shame however i didn’t really socialise much as i had some stuff on my mind but if i go next year,i will definitely try to get more involved with sos,fans and of course the staff(i was thinking about going to the after party but by the end i was quite tired)oh and i saw this video about sos which i thought was quite good: (The uploader said it’s cool if i post it here)

  18. Jakeiiii says:

    I loved the whole event! but I wish my camera had more space so I could record all of Crush 40′s performance. Johnny was really funny through the whole event, and Jun’s musical performances were excellent! Johnny passed the mic over to me when singing Open Your Heart and I said the wrong line and he was all like ‘Oh, you’re getting lost!’(but still in a good way) XD If it weren’t for the heat, I probably would’ve said the right line:) You gotta love Johnny’s interaction with the crowd through their performance, it seriously felt like a priveate party!
    You guys really through a fantastic event and just a great experience overall, and I can assure you guys I’ll be there next year! :D

  19. ChunNanDragon says:

    I soooo wish i was there D: it all sounds soo awesome, and i’m sure it is. Maybe i’ll be there next year. :D

  20. Harry says:

    dreadknux, i’m so jealous you got a picture with johnny and jun. johnny was really funny and entertaining and jun put on an amazing performance. I’m definitely coming back next year and i hope crush 40 are too.

  21. Chi-town Shawn says:


    You guys pulled off an amazing job. I didn’t even notice any issues with the tech system. I can’t believe all the problems you had leading up to and during the event, because I didn’t notice any issues while in attendance, except for the room temperature. You deserve an even bigger applauds for the work that all of you did, it was a very successful and very fun convention.

  22. Yeah, Jonny was hilarious. Diarrhoea jokes FTW. Jun was awesome too. I met him after the show. Got one of his picks –, shook his hand, got my shirt signed. Had a brief conversation with him about the Rock Band thing too, but I was too starstruck to keep it going and was about to miss my bus XD Hope they come back next year.

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The Summer of Sonic is a convention based in Central London, UK. Event created by Svend Joscelyne, presented by The Sonic Stadium and Sonic Wrecks. Supported by SEGA Europe and SPOnG. Attendees of all ages are welcome, but visitors under 15 years of age should be accompanied by a suitable parent or guardian - the organisers accept no responsibility for those attending the event. Anything brought in by attendees to showcase are the sole responsibility of their owners. Be careful when meeting strangers you know online elsewhere; The Summer of Sonic is a safe neutral location for fans of Sonic the Hedgehog to meet up. All content copyright © The Summer of Sonic 2010, fan content published is the copyright © of respective artists and fans. Sonic the Hedgehog and all related characters are copyright © SEGA. All Rights Reserved. Website powered by WordPress.