This year’s August Summer Bank Holiday is approaching, and with it traditionally begins another Insomnia Gaming Festival. This time, the event is returning to the NEC Birmingham, where it will take place from 24-27 August. The visitors of the festival are in for four days of the non-stop gaming related program. During the festival, they will have an opportunity to watch the best players collide their skills in the contest to be UK Masters. There will also be special guests that will perform their own shows live in front of the audience. Also, visitors can test their skill in tabletop gaming and show off their crafting and stage play skills in Cosplay Masquerade. Visitors will have the chance to try out a number of newest games and cutting-edge VR tech. There will also be live Q&A panels to watch, discounted gear to buy, community tournaments to take part in and many more. No matter if you are casual or hardcore, new blood or old school, PC or console, you are welcome to take part in these four days of gaming culture glorification.
The center point of every gaming festival is, of course, the games, and Insomnia 63 isn’t the exception. The sheer number of the games you’ll be able to play is staggering, but what really takes the cake is a number of exclusive games you’ll have a chance to play for the first time.
Sony prepared a lot of exclusives you can try, and the headliner of their offer is certainly the new Spiderman game. According to the material published so far, this game will be one of the headliners among the PS4 exclusives and probably the first amazing Spiderman (pun intended) game. Except for your friendly neighbor, another game we deem worthy of attention is Beat Saber. This VR rhythm game gives you a lightsaber (or two) in hands and lets you cut boxes that hurl in your direction in the rhythm of the music. Beat Saber is one of the rare games that are equally fun to watch and to play, so we’re sure everyone will be pleased to see how high they can score in it. Another VR game that Sony offers is Firewall: Zero Hour, a team shooter akin to Rainbow Six, just made for virtual reality technology. There are more entertaining games you can play at Sony booth, like Astro Bot, Blood, and Truth, the Tetris Effect, as well as inescapable smash, hits like Fifa 19 and Fortnite.
Nintendo also prepared their share of exclusives, including Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Splatoon 2, Starlink, Pokken Tournament (that’s Pokemon mixed with Tekken), and a whole bunch of Mario games. Splatoon 2 will even have a UK tournament during the festival. The third big name that will have their own area at the festival is Ubisoft. The French giant will present their upcoming games like The Division 2, Assassins Creed: Odyssey, Trials Rising and, interesting enough, Just Dance 2019. All in all, you’ll have a plenty of games to get your hands on.
Insomnia 63 will also host a great number of special guests. Visitors will have the chance to meet their favorite streamers and creators from Youtube and gaming industry. Among other people, there will be Syndicate, The Yogscast, Alfie Deyes, Willne, EthanGamer, JMX, Nerdout Music, Fazekay, Ashens, and many more.
Another interesting feature Insomnia 63 festival offers are thematically divided interactive zones you can spend your time in. Depending on your interests, you can visit one or more of those zones and have a lot of fun doing various activities. So far there are dozens of zones confirmed for the festival, so we’ll describe them in no particular order. The first is a Retro zone, where you can travel back in time and play your favorite games from the past. There will be a PC and console version, so older visitors can remind themselves of their childhood games, while younger players can find out about the beginnings of the game industry. The next zone is the VR zone, and everyone can try the latest virtual reality gear and play some of the popular games, or enjoy VR presentations. The next is a tabletop zone, where visitors can compare their skills with each other while playing the latest board games.
The zone that will bring the most attention is the Cosplay zone. There are plenty of activities you can watch or take a part of in the cosplay zone, like cosplay workshop, meeting and taking photos with the cosplay guests, and learning about cosplay props, weapons, armors, fabrication, sewing, and culture. If you feel confident enough you can attend the community masquerade, or even compete in the cosplay contest. This stage is the general place you can inform about cosplay culture and meet some of the influential people in it. The interesting zone in the festival is Chillout zone, where visitors can rest, enjoy some socialization and gather the energy for the events. The next is Cubecraft zone, which is, we guess, the zone in which Minecraft players can build and show their creations inside the server.
The event that is introduced first in this year’s Insomnia Festival is Flightball, which is a game alike aerial soccer, played in a netted arena by specially protected drones with a floating ball. In many ways, it’s a video game brought to life, with the same precision control skills at the heart of the successful play. Skill, strategy and teamwork count for everything. There are five players in each team, and visitors that want to register their teams can do it here.
Finally, there is a King of Bots zone, in which Robo Challenge, famous for their masterwork in the area of robotics, will host another King of Bots competition, in which the constructor teams will pit their creation against each other. The King of Bots competition would be best described as gladiatorial fights with robots, and it has a huge following in China, among other countries. With a global ambition, KOB is teaming up with Robo Challenge to bring the first event to the UK. This championship for 13.6kg robots will be recorded live for streaming. 50 of the very best fighting robot teams will battle to the death to fight for the crown of King of Bots.
If you wanna visit Insomnia to compete, there are six major tournaments under the UK Masters banner, in which players will face each other for the title of the Brittain’s best gamers. There will be organized tournaments in Overwatch, Team Fortress 2, Rocket League, League of Legends, Hearthstone and aforementioned Flightball. To compete in video game tournaments, you’ll need a BYOC Ticket, but for the Flightball the ordinary appliance is enough. For those visitors whose wallets are itching to spend some money in the festival, there’s Retail zone, where you can buy all kinds of game and entertainment related products, from game peripherals to toys and energy drinks (Mountain Dew memes weren’t made in vain).
There’s also a huge BYOC/LAN hall with hundreds of computers for the competitive and single player games. The interests for this place is so high you’ll have to reserve your seat if you want to play. This is the hall in which tournaments will be held too, but also the place where the evening entertainment will take place. Now, the evening entertainment is an interesting category, since it consists of various events more or less related to the gaming. The events are Dark Room, the world’s only live action video game. After selling more than 1000 seats in the Insomnia 61, the event comes back to Birmingham. The next event is a world-famous Pub Quiz. In the relaxed atmosphere, the competitors will try their trivia knowledge and entertain the audience and themselves alike. And the last but not least part of the program is pro wrestling events NXT UK, which will debut in Insomnia Fest over the weekend. Awesome cast of wrestling stars will assemble in the hall, lead by the WWE UK Champion Pete Dune, and followed by the stars like Tyler Bate and Trent Seven, Noam Dar, Mark Andrews, Zack Gibson, Toni Storm, Joe Coffey, Jinny & Charlie Morgan and many others.
We hope Birmingham is ready for the comeback of Insomnia 63 Festival. As the central gaming event on the British Isle, this festival will be home for the gamers and pop culture lovers all around the country, and more. The time is ticking, there’s just a bit more than a week until the Insomnia opens its gates to the tens of thousands of gaming lovers and begin the celebration of gaming and pop culture all around the world.