Belfast, Northern Ireland is the voters’ choice for the site of the 2025 UK Eastercon, the first time the convention will be held in Ireland. Reconnect, will take place April 18-21, 2025.
Reconnect’s venue is within half a mile of the city center: the Belfast International Conference Centre and connected Hilton Lanyon Place.
Deputy Chair Jo Zebedee said “We are delighted to be bringing the Eastercon to Belfast, and look forward to welcoming hundreds of fans to a city full of exciting literary and cultural elements”.
Two bids for 2025 were submitted, Catastrophe! and Reconnect (Belfast). Catastrophe! was, of course, a spoof bid but very humorous in content says Dave Lally, who reports in the end it did actually receive some votes.
Reconnect’s guests of honour will be Lauren Beukes, Rebecca Roanhorse, Jeannette Ng, Derek Landy, Will Simpson and Bar Friendly Ian McDonald.
Co-Chair James Bacon said, “We are thrilled to be able to welcome such an illustrious and fabulous range of guests of honour to Reconnect. We hope that we can share our passion for the fantastic as we welcome fans to a new venue for Reconnect and welcome new fans to their first Eastercon.”
A special rate of £60 is available until the end of May with a series of discounted rates available online.
Co-Chair Tommy Ferguson noted: “We have a long history of fandom in Belfast, be it Walt Willis, James White and Bob Shaw with their groundbreaking fanzines in the 40’s and 50’s up to our local convention scene which has been vibrant, and we want to reconnect fandom to Northern Ireland and with one another as we celebrate science fiction, fantasy and horror in all its forms in person.”
Traveling fan Dave Lally also notes that Northern Ireland’s tourist attractions include “the obvious Game of Thrones locations; and there are also C S Lewis (Narnia etc.) connections in Belfast. Already offered on the Easter Friday morning (and just pre-Con opening) is a fan arranged visit to the award-winning Titanic Centre in Belfast. This is right beside where the doomed liner was built, before its tragic end in April 1912 in the cold, still, waters of the Atlantic.”
And in the neighboring Republic of Ireland, Malin Head, County Donegal (Star Wars), and the charms of Ireland’s capital city, Dublin, (the express Belfast-Dublin train is called “The Enterprise” — 2 hours journey time-between the two Irish cities, and that service leaves from the main Belfast Lanyon Place Station (just ~300m from the Con itself).)
[NOTE: Eastercon 2024/“Levitation” is already approved. Location: Telford (just north of Birmingham) Dates: March 29-April 1, 2024.]
I hope one of these days to attend an Eastercon.
Like many others, my first sf con in Belfast was Titancon, the 2019 Eurocon, the weekend after the 2019 Worldcon in Dublin. I hadn’t been to Belfast since the 1990s, and it’s a spectacular city, very much recommended.
This is a different location from 2019, so I can’t speak to the building, but the city is great, and the Titanic museum was a highlight.
Actually in response to Richard Gadsden, the venues for Eastercon 2025 / Reconnect / Belfast are the very same two buildings used in 2019 (side by side, with an internal connecting route): Waterfront Conference Centre (non residential) and the Hilton Belfast (residential). There are other Hotels nearby. So anyone who went to Eurocon/Titancon 2019 (one week after Worldcon/ Dublin) will be familiar with these. Although Belfast is itself served by two Airports : George Best/City [ IATA : BHD ] (and not far from the City) &; Aldergrove/International [ BFS ] (a little further out), this may prove awkward -esp for mainly European and/or North American fen coming (ie requiring changes). It may be easier for them to fly into Dublin [ DUB ] (Euro currency is used here), then go outside to the next door Airport Bus Station and there, catch the joint express coach service (into Europa Bus Station Belfast) run by Bus Eireann / Expressway //// Ulsterbus / Goldline. (Remember in Belfast £ Stg is used). And a no of fen are turning this visit to N/Ireland, a bit of a vacation (either side of the Eastercon itself). best wishes..
I shall certainly try to be there. Toying with going to next year’s, but the Thursday is my daughter’s sixth birthday, so if have to be travelling on the Friday and so might miss the start.