Fannibal Fest 2018: If Only All Fandoms Were Like This…November 3, 2018
Celebrating its second year of existence, Fannibal Fest showed once again why it is not only a wonderful event but how the fandom is one of the most inclusive and joyful collections of people you will ever meet. Passionate about Hannibal the TV show yet never without smiles on their collective faces, it was an honor and a blast to hang out with these people and see some familiar faces again.
Located at Toronto Airport Mariott Hotel in Toronto Canada, Fannibal Fest took place over five days, incorporating many interesting activities, panels, and events to keep the fans happy and interacting with one another. In all honesty, as with most fandoms, when you get a collection of people together that love the same thing good things usually happen. However, what I didn’t find at Fannibal Fest was the need to outdo one another with knowledge of episodes, push likes and dislikes on others and most importantly, a wonderful lack of entitlement and privilege that is now spreading like a virus through many other fandoms.
The convention was bookended by a bus tour on the Thursday and Monday, which visited many locations the show filmed at here in Toronto during its three-season run. When you think about it, that is a pretty neat perk of a con, to be able to walk around a filming area, even touch some of the actual property and props that were used in many of the scenes. It is a wonderful time to just close your eyes and let yourself drift back to certain parts of the show and realize you are standing right there when it happened.
Speaking of touching part of the series, there was a prop room again where you could get up and personal with many items from the show. Down the hall was the vendor room, where many talented people were selling all things Hannibal, which made many people very happy.
Of course, getting some of the talent from the show to attend is always a highlight and this year hair and makeup, set decoration, stunt personal, and directors were some of the talent new to Fannibal Fest. It is always a treat to talk to those who saw the show from behind the scenes as they have a unique perspective about what went on during those three seasons. What they did share was a love for their time on Hannibal, working on the show and with the talent involved. Food stylist Janice Poon also returned to wow the fans with great stories and her great talent.
It goes without saying that the Sassy Science boys, Aaron Abrams, and Scott Thompson, were one of the highlights last year so it was great to not only see them back but joined by co-star Hettienne Park. These three took on every subject imaginable (although the dinosaur sex chat was different even for them) and they even found time to talk about the show. Again, great stories, wonderful personalities and a clear love for a show that they wish could have gone on longer.
The Saturday night Eat the Rude dinner was again wonderful, both in taste and design, as fans gathered to have a great meal and get to know each other. My table was wonderful, fans talking everything Hannibal but other shows too, conversations that were inclusive and interesting, omitting no one and making the evening enjoyable from start to finish.
There has been some criticism thrown at Fannibal Fest, things like it being more like a cult, nothing but a fan fest, too small, etc. I find these criticisms to be lacking, with nothing really substantial behind them and usually delivered by those who just like some attention. Yes, the show is not huge, it might never be big, but while it did grow in attendance this year the smaller size does give it the intimacy that bigger shows just don’t have. It is also worth noting, again, that this fandom is here to celebrate not only their favorite show but also to celebrate each other as well, which creates a very welcome atmosphere to these eyes.
Fannibal Fest 2018 was another success, thanks not only to the fans but hose tireless people behind the scenes that organize this event. Even with the smaller size, this is no small feat to keep together and hats off yet again to everyone who made this happen. If you want to experience something different in a convention, if you are a fan of the TV show Hannibal and most importantly, if you just want to have fun, I highly recommend you join these fans next year and experience it for yourself. Take it from someone who has seen it firsthand, you won’t be disappointed.