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.]