Walker Stalker London Review

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March 16, 2017 at 2:44 pm  •  Posted in Events, Reviews by  •  2 Comments

What is Walker Stalker London?

Walker Stalker London is the european leg of the Walking Dead fan convention. If you are a fan of the tv show, this is your chance to meet the stars of the show and meet fellow fans.

When is Walker Stalker London?

In 2017, the event ran on 4th and 5th March. 2018 tickets are on sale from 18th March 2017, and the show will run 10th and 11th March (so a weekend later than 2017.)

Where is Walker Stalker London Held?

For the past 2 years, Walker Stalker has been held at Olympia, London. It’s a big venue, although getting there can be problematic when there’s frequent tube works at the weekend. I highly recommend using Uber (costs around a tenner each way between Paddington station and right outside Olympia.) Getting there from the train station, early in the morning took less than 10 minutes, getting back again took twice as long due to the busier traffic in the afternoon. Travelling to Olympia by tube from Paddington, can take anything from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how busy it is and how frequently the connecting trains to Olympia are running.)

Buying Tickets

Tickets do sell out at least 2-3 months before the event but you’ve got some options.

  1. Buy early for guaranteed tickets
  2. Wait a bit for the 2 for 1 entry offers on general entry (like we did)
  3. Risk it and buy off someone desperate to get rid of their tickets at face value because they can no longer attend

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT buy them for more than face value, or buy them off ebay. The tickets are digital ones that are easily sold several times over, but can only be redeemed once. Basically, whoever redeems them first gets in, leaving a lot of ripped off people very disappointed. So buyer beware!

This also applies to the photo ops tickets. Frustratingly, the organisers do not give refunds for any tickets (unless a guest cancels) which leaves people no option but to sell tickets on. You will also get people that profiteer on the photo ops, with popular guests such as Norman Reedus and Jeffery Dean Morgan autograph and photo ops which were purchased for around £90, selling on ebay for £300+. We witnessed several VERY disappointed people trying to swap their digital purchase for the photo op tickets, only to find that they had been ripped off by some unscrupulous person.

What does a ticket get you?

If you buy a general entry ticket, it will get you entry, plus the potential to attend most of the panel talks.  I say potential, it’s a bit of a lottery as VIP ticket holders have priority seating, it then depends how many other people are in the queue before you (you can’t seat hog between panels, everyone is cleared out of the panel area.)  We watched the Scott Wilson and David Morrissey panel which was set up in the main part of the hall.  Despite being sat in the middle of the audience, the sound was terrible and we pretty much had to read the subtitles on the large screens in order to follow the conversation.  It didn’t really help, when half way through members of the audience spied Norman Reedus walking along the back of the audience, and a really large number of people rushed him from the front, while screaming.   This was very distracting and not to mention, a little disrespectful to the panel that was still happening on the stage at the front.

There was also a zombie maze included in the ticket, and a few stalls selling Walking Dead and other geeky merchandise.  Other than that, everything else costs money.

How much are autographs?

The popular guests (Norman Reedus, Andrew Lincoln, JD Morgan) had autograph pre-sells before the show and cost around £70 – £90. Other guests like Josh McDermitt, and other show regulars cost around £50 for an autograph and same again for a selfie (yep, selfies are not included in the autograph price, they are additional.)

What are the Queues Like?

Will Call (Booking Office Queue) 10 mins before it opened

Be prepared to do a lot of queuing – but that being said, if you experienced the 2014 and 2015 summer LFCC queues, then this is a mere walk in the park – it’s really not that bad.  The organisers really keep things moving.  The first queue we hit, and was tiny, was the “Will Call” (box office) one on the Saturday morning.  We got there for 7.50am, it was due to open at 8am, but opened at 8.15am.  We’d got our tickets within 15 minutes.  The promoters heavily pushed for people to pick up their tickets the day before, which is fine if you’re in London, and I hear the queue was much longer then.

After picking up our tickets, we joined the general entry queue.  I’d say there wasn’t more than a couple of hundred people in front of us (the VIP queue was on the other side of the Booking office.) It did build up very quickly.  Within 30 minutes, the queue by the booking office was full, and they started another queue further down past the tube station and no longer allowed people to pick up tickets from the Book Office.

Doors for the VIP’s opened at 9am and general entry wasn’t due to be let in until 10.30am.  They actually let us (general entry) in at 9.30am, I guess because the queues were getting so big, and I think we were through the doors within 5 minutes.

Standing waiting for the box office to open. Looking at the start of the general entry queue

We then had to queue to pick up our photo op ticket.  This was situated right at the back of the hall, and the queue here was badly organised.  There were 4 members of staff checking photo ops, and problems started happening when people had dodgy tickets.  We happened to choose a line that didn’t move for 20 minutes, so I managed to queue hop to one that seemed to be whizzing along and got sorted in a couple of minutes.

We didn’t get any autographs, so I can’t really comment on the queues for these or how quickly they moved.

The photo op queues were very well organised.  You’re not allowed to queue until your time slot, then in terms of turn around, we knew our photo queue wasn’t due to go through until 3.40pm, and we were done and out by 3.50pm (that was with a lot of people in front of us.)  Photo ops are always a fast churn, basically enough time to say hello, shake hands/hug, pose and out.  (We had a Norman Reedus photo op, and I have to say, he was really lovely – very personable.)

What is the Food Like?

Expensive!  To be fair, that’s standard for pretty much any event venues.  £7+ for a hot dog and £5 for a muffin is pretty steep.  Take your own food and water!

What are the Staff Like?

I thought the staff were on the whole, very helpful and pleasant (we had a couple of misdirection’s, but hey no one’s perfect.)

What was the Merchandise Like?

For me, this was the biggest let down.  I didn’t think there was any thing like enough vendors there or enough variety.  I would like to see double the number at least.  Quite a lot of the product had been priced for the event (i.e. London prices, often up by 25%.)  I know people need to make their stand fees back but overpricing your stock isn’t the way to do it.

Overall Geek Almighty Rating for the Event

It was an experience, but not one that I would repeat. Overall, I thought it was very over priced and unless you’ve got the best part of £1k to spend on the weekend, it’s difficult to get the most out of it.  Definitely one for the super fans with money to burn.

2 Comments

  1. Maja / March 19, 2017 at 9:45 am / Reply

    I have never been to anything like this, but it sounds quite expensive. To a fan it’s probably worth it, but it’s a shame that people sell tickes to rip others off.

    • Aeryn Sun / March 19, 2017 at 10:00 am / Reply

      It was way too expensive to me. We go to a lot of comic cons, but they tend to be the ones that cover lots of genres rather than just one tv show and are considerably less expensive!

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