This past weekend was the 8th annual Wicked Faire in Somerset NJ. As expected, Wicked Faire was a completely wonderful experience full of entertainment, fun and informative panels, and vendors of all kinds.
On Friday night I arrived at The Goblin Market (see photo of Belladonna at TGM right) to catch This Way to the Egress as they serenaded with a special acoustic set. This Way to the Egress is one of the most talented musical acts I’ve had the pleasure of hearing. I’d describe them as similar to Amanda Palmer but less pretentious and depressing. They are most definitely a band I’ll be adding to my everyday playlists. I don’t know why they aren’t rock stars yet.
The Goblin Market was also host to a mad tea party who served delicious tea (no kidding, it was great) for the price of a secret or a period of servitude. Also at The Goblin Market were delightful characters such as the nervous Winston (played by Ben Hamby) and the creepy “Tree Demon” (costume by Dr. Grymm, played by Alison Duda). While these characters added ambiance to the market, I think The Goblin Market’s placement in the second hotel early on in the convention made it less accessible for some attendees. There were periods where the market was very busy, and periods where the crowds died down. Where the entertainment value was very high, I would have liked to see it packed the entire time.
On Saturday I made purchases including a jar of Killer Bee Honey fromThe Bee Folks and a sensuous wall plaque (Death and the Maiden) from Dellamorte (I’m in Love! ). I stopped in to catch a couple saucy songs from The Graces and then immersed myself in the festive Wicked Faire atmosphere. I met some fantastic people, posed for lots of photos, and enjoyed the beautifully crafted costumes.
Later on, I made my way to “Handcuffs to Holy Water” with author Don Kilcoyne. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. As the charismatic leader of this session, Don encouraged us all to role-play as supernatural creatures in exercises on how to appropriately interact with humans. Belladonna loves getting into character so this was fun even as I was being “greeted” by boorish werewolves. I was able to keep my cool and was rewarded with one of Don’s novels. I loved Don as a presenter, and would attend his panels in the future.
The Demonology panel hosted by Kevin Meares particularly fascinated me. I’d say this panel was practically the opposite of “Handcuffs to Holy Water” whereas Demonology provided real-life accounts of actual monsters from bumps in the night, to dishes flying across a kitchen, to full demonic possession. I’m very much a skeptic, and while I don’t think Kevin made me a believer, I now know exactly who I’m going to call if I’m thrust into a situation where I become one. It was at once informative, fascinating, and terrifying.
My last stop on Saturday was to see White Elephant Burlesque Society’s latest performance, a burlesque show based on various Shakespearian works. Unfortunately, there were technical difficulties beyond WEBS’ control that detracted from the performance. However, it’s obvious their performers are all incredibly talented and the concept was well thought out. Despite the difficulties, I did still enjoy the show and will continue to attend their performances.
I rounded out my evening by hanging out with friends old and new into the early morning hours. Like most cons it’s the wonderful people you meet that make the event really special. Sunday was spent giving lots of hugs and goodbyes, and making one last stop to pick up a bottle from J&J Miracle Mead…which I promptly drank on Monday to wash away my post-con blues. It was the tastiest depression one could imagine.
I highly recommend Wicked Faire for 2014. Jeff Mach’s team puts on fabulous events where the attendee’s experience comes first. They book quality entertainment and have many years of convention experience that is apparent in the organization of the event. Please also check out Jeff’s other events such as The Steampunk World’s Fair coming up in May, The Geeky Kink Event, and The Geek Creation Show.