June 28, I flew to Barcelona to visit the second edition of Love Fan Fest. I still had warm feelings from last year, even though I encountered some problems in the beginning. In this blog post, I will tell you all about how Love Fan Fest 2019 Friday turned into Barcelona Pride 2019 Friday.
You can also watch the video I made, which you can find below this image. At the end of this blog post, you will find the other LFF videos that I have uploaded so far. The final one, a special one, will be live at 8 pm Amsterdam time (30 minutes after posting this blog post!).
Starting Love Fan Fest 2019 Friday with delays
At Schiphol Airport, I found out that my flight was delayed. The screen said it was fifteen minutes, so I was not too bummed out. After all, the delay of Las Vegas was four hours and entailed much insecurity.
steadily, the delay increased. At one point, the entire plane had boarded, and
the pilot announced that, despite announcing earlier that we would be leaving
in ten minutes, we would have to wait for another forty minutes. Nooo!
the decision was overturned, and we left ten minutes later. The delay ended up
being one hour, even though the flight takes a little over two hours. I guess I
have to get used to delays on con trips.
Arriving in Barcelona
3:30 pm, I finally arrived. It was HOT! I decided to take the bus to my
pension. At the bus stop, someone recognized me and started talking to me. It
immediately got me in a good Love Fan Fest mood! I mean, traveling to a con by
yourself is always a bit scary, so the possibility of a few familiar faces is
Love Fan Fest 2019 Friday
turned into Barcelona Pride 2019 Friday
to explore a small part of Barcelona and to get off the bus at Plaça d’Espanya.
I knew I had little time and that this area was a good spot to walk around a
Guess where I ended up? BARCELONA PRIDE! A few weeks before this visit, I did see there would be a parade on Saturday, but I hadn’t given it much thought because of LFF. I guess Love Fan Fest Friday turned into Barcelona Pride Friday 😉
parched so I needed to get some water before joining the festivities. It was
actually still quiet. No wonder, with this heat! I guess people were still working
too. But it was nice to walk around. It’s always fun to discover the vibe of
another country’s pride. I loved that they had a whole section in the general
festivities area where LGBT+ organizations had room to present themselves. Information
is priceless, after all!
Love Fan Fest 2019 Friday
ended with preparations
I could not
stay until late in the evening because I still had to eat and prepare for my
interviews. Also, I had to be at Love Fan Fest at 8 am already. For everyone else,
Love Fan Fest 2019 Friday consisted of picking up the badges and extra’s and meeting
each other already. That was not an option for people with press passes,
unfortunately. So, no time for partying at Barcelona Pride, alas!
Thursday, June 21st, I took a train to Schiphol Airport for a flight to Barcelona. It was finally time for Love Fan Fest 2018! I had already checked in online and took an early train so I was very relaxed. This was my second convention and I could already tell things were going to be very different from ClexaCon.
With ClexaCon, every small bit of information was available beforehand and the organization responded to your emails. With Love Fan Fest 2018, I hardly knew anything beforehand. I knew that I had a press pass and that I could pick that up during pick-up hours on Friday. There was a rough schedule on the website but never the “real” one.
For instance, I did not know when and where the main panels would be or what they would be about. I also did not know whether press would have the opportunity to talk to the guests. So, I decided to adopt a Spanish attitude and just take things easy. Not knowing what will happen can be good for you sometimes 😉
After finding my hotel downtown, which was very easy, I took my phone and mic and left for the Sagrada Familia. Yes, that is touristy AF but the first time I saw it was roughly twenty years ago and when I saw it again five years ago, it had changed so much that I just really wanted to see the progress now.
The heat in the city quickly became too much for me, so I took a metro to the beach and walked along the boulevard for a long time. About five years ago, my wife and I went to Barcelona for a few days right after our wedding and this afternoon, I ended up eating patatas bravas at the beach club where we had lunch twice. I really enjoyed soaking up both the sun and the happy memories.
After that, I decided to go for the magic fountains, which would be my third time seeing them but it is always just so chill to sit there and so beautiful to walk around. The fountain show would not start for another two hours but I simply enjoyed eating ice cream and watching other tourists.
Going to Love Fan Fest 2018 – or not….?
Friday morning, I got up all excited. I was mentally preparing myself for Love Fan Fest 2018, thinking about questions that I would ask the guests if I was going to be able to talk to them at all and wondering what to expect. The day before, I had tried to contact the organization again to find out where I could pick up my press pass and whether they had a schedule for me but alas, I received no reply.
I took metro line 1, which was around the corner from my hotel and went straight to the official location. I got out and I thought I knew where I was going. You see, I saw the hotel and a straight line to that hotel, so it made sense to me to walk to the tunnel that I saw directly in front of me.
As I walked to the tunnel, I started to feel very unsafe as it was a big parking lot, a tunnel, and me. What woman does not become uneasy in that situation? As I left the tunnel, I ended up on a dirt road right next to a freeway. Nope. I was not going there. I walked back, luckily ended up meeting a Dutch guy, and asked for directions. Google Maps was right: it was only a three-minute walk, just not through that tunnel….
When I finally arrived, I asked the staff where I could pick up my press pass. They told me to sit and wait with the other press. I turned around and there were only two others, and one of them I recognized from ClexaCon. What?! That was so cool! Until they told me they had been waiting for 45 minutes already and that nobody knew anything. Eh…. That did not sound promising….
Granted, the wait was somewhat long but not too long (for me at least). It was the outcome that was terrible. There were “no press passes today.” We were to pick them up Saturday morning at 8 am. That was quite some disappointment to process.
First of all, it meant a work day less. It also meant we were not allowed to be at Shannon Beveridge’s panel (“not today, no”). And finally, 8 am is early, you guys…. Look, I am a mom; I have to get up early every day but with the welcome party that night and the prospect of working all weekend, I had hoped to be able to get a little more sleep since the festival did not start until 10 am.
On top of that, we had to get in the long line because we needed to show the tickets for the extra’s that we had bought. I did not buy anything but a ticket to the Welcome Party, so seeing that long line for a mobile ticket that you were just supposed to show at the door seemed daunting. Then, the long line was redirected to outside the hotel, which meant you had to stand in the blasting heat. Still, I was happy my ticket to the Welcome Party was still valid, seeing that I did not have a pass to the festival yet.
I needed a restroom break and when I came back, apparently, we had moved to another line. We had been sent to the registration line when all we needed was the extra’s line. After chatting with others in the line (what else can you do?), we were finally able to get our tickets checked. Guess what? My ticket did not need to be checked because it was a mobile ticket. Yup, that is right; I was in those lines for no reason. Lol. At this point, I just laughed about it. So, in total, my first Love Fan Fest day consisted of an hour of traveling back and forth and a 2.5-hour wait.
The first evening of Love Fan Fest 2018
I was planning on going to the Earper meetup in the hotel lobby at 5 pm since I was not allowed to go to Shannon’s panel. However, when I got back to the hotel, all I wanted was food. I took the metro to La Rambla and had a nice big lunch. After that, all I wanted was sleep. My quick nap turned into sleeping for two hours straight and when I woke up, it was already 6.30 pm. Woopsy, I missed the meetup.
I went for a quick bite at a bar near my hotel and got ready for the party. These are the events that I get nervous about when traveling to a con by myself. I wanted to be there to see what it was like but going to a party by yourself is quite scary. I knew the other press people were coming too but since we were not traveling to the party together, it meant we would be arriving at different times.
And yes, I was there alone for about twenty minutes. At ClexaCon, that was no problem at all. After all, they organized speed friending before the con and had two full convention days before their party. Talking to people was no problem at all (outside at least).
Here, I did not know anyone and nobody talked to me. Yup, that is as terrifying as you can imagine. So, if you are traveling to a con by yourself and Love Fan Fest is your first one, I do not recommend going to this party by yourself (if they organize it the same way next year, that is).
Guests at the Welcome Party
Luckily, my press buddies came after twenty minutes and I was fine. At 10 pm, I heard this screaming and saw everybody waving their hands. Eh, all the guests arrived at the bar. Lol, I did not know that was even happening! How cool!
But wow, how intimidating that must be for them to see an entire club run to where they were at. They were guided to this small room and everybody stood in front of that room, taking pictures. People with VIP tickets were allowed in to talk to them.
I decided to go home around 11:30. After all, the second day of Love Fan Fest 2018 was going to be a long day. It would start with the press passes at 8 am.
It is possible you have already seen me announcing it on social media but now I can write a blog about it: I am going to Love Fan Fest in Barcelona!! I am so excited! First ClexaCon in Las Vegas in April 2018 and then Love Fan Fest June 22-24. In this blog, you can learn all about it and decide how quickly you should buy your ticket (tip: very quickly!). You can also find some accommodation tips.
Love Fan Fest gives Barcelona the first LGBT multifandom event. The organization wants to offer a great festival to celebrate, debate, and show diversity, requesting a greater LGBTQ+ (and, more specifically, lesbian) visibility in films and television.
In short, there will be actresses who play or have played lesbian characters, concerts, different stages, parties, art, and culture.
What guests will be present at Love Fan Fest?
Yay! Fans of Wynonna Earp, Carmilla, and South of Nowhere can be very, very happy! Melanie Scrofano, Katherine Barrell, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Natasha Negovanlis, Elise Bauman, Mandy Musgrave, and Gabrielle Christian are coming to Europe. Goodbye, long travels and expensive tickets! Us Europeans can simply book a city trip and meet them!
There will be panels with them and plenty of opportunities to meet them, get their autographs and take your picture with them. You can even have dinner with them or party with them at Party Love!
What is the lineup for the Love Fan Fest music festival?
So far, Bombai (pop, surf, reggae, and rock) and Pignoise (pop, punk) have been confirmed. They both play on Saturday.
Love Fan Fest activities
This is what you can expect at Love Fan Fest:
Artists are the main focus of the festival. With the Q&A panels, Love Fan Fest brings together national and international artists as well as emerging talents. The duration is 45 minutes.
Some topics of the conferences will be Sci-fi tv shows and lesbian visibility, gay superheroes and lesbian relationships in comics, film industry and LGBT characters, prevention of discrimination in children from gay/lesbian couples, and LGBT youth and bullying.
There will be workshops where attendees can acquire new knowledge or skills. They usually do not last longer than 4 hours. One or more specialists will talk and under the supervision of the moderator, the participants will work as a team and put the theory into practice. Topics will include creative writing, short story, flash story, and how to start your first FanFic.
Two-hour dinners with actresses and nine guests
Love Fan Fest contests
There are a photography contest and a short film contest with nice prizes, so if you are a photographer or a filmmaker, this might be fun!
Love Fan Fest tickets
The tickets were a bit of a puzzle but I managed to figure them out. You have to buy separate tickets for the festival with the actresses (‘love festival passes’), the music festival (‘festival music passes’), and the personal interactions you want to have with the actresses.
There is one pass (‘love x-treme pass’) that does give access to both festivals as well as an autograph, but the seats in the Q&A room have zones and you will get zone 3 seats, which are not the best ones.
No ‘love festival pass’ gives access to the music festival. There are tickets for Saturday or Sunday and tickets for every day, ranging from a normal one to a gold one (the latter is sold out, though).
Finally, there are tickets for the party (normal or VIP) and for interactions with each actress (autograph, solo photo op, photo op together with one or two other actresses, meet & greet, and dinner).
· The big ticket puzzle
One thing that may concern you about this festival is that there are two different venues (with a distance of about 2 km between them, which metro L1 covers) and that you have to buy separate tickets. You may wonder whether that might be a barrier for some people, opting to go to just one venue instead.
Accommodations festival and concerts
Love Fan Fest’s first edition will take place in the NH Collection Barcelona Tower. The address is Gran Via, 144, 08907 Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, which is about 8 kilometers from Barcelona’s city center. The hotel is located in the new financial and economic district of Barcelona, between the airport and the city center. By car, the city center is 15 minutes away and using the station next to the hotel, the city center is 20 minutes away. The hotel is 10 minutes away from the airport.
For June 22-26, there is a special offer for the attendees of the festival. A double room including breakfast is €146+ TAX/night (about €161 per night with taxes included).
For some, this might still be pricey, so I have some Booking.com suggestions for accommodations below. If you book using these links, I will receive some commission. Think of it as a tip for my help! I have accommodations near the official hotel, near the music venue, in the city center, and near the airport, so you can pick where you prefer to stay.
These accommodations were available from Thursday to Monday when I was writing this blog. Please note that the neighborhood seems kind of big, so make sure to check where you are staying and how to get to NH Collection Barcelona Tower, where the festival will take place.
The concert part of the festival (Escenario Love) is at a different venue: Sala Salamandra. The address is Av. Carrilet, 235; 08907 Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, which is about 2 kilometers away from NH Collection Barcelona Tower. Sala Salamandra is close to a metro (L8) and train station (R5, R6, R50, R60, S3, S4, S8, and S9). Metro L1 goes from NH Collection Barcelona Tower and has a stop 650 meters away from Salamandra Sala 1; L1 also goes to Barcelona’s city center (Eixample).
These accommodations were available from Thursday to Monday when I was writing this blog. Please note that I have organized the list by proximity to the city center, so there might be some pricey ones on the top of the list.
These accommodations were available from Thursday to Monday when I was writing this blog. Please note that I have organized the list by proximity to the city center, so there might be some pricey ones on the top of the list. Also, the city center is about 8 kilometers away from NH Collection Barcelona Tower, where the festival will take place. Staying close to metro line 1 (the red line) might come in handy!
These accommodations were available from Thursday to Monday when I was writing this blog. Please note that I have organized the list by cheapest options first, which may be a shared accommodation. Also, the city center is about 8 kilometers away from NH Collection Barcelona Tower, where the festival will take place. Staying close to metro line 1 (the red line) might come in handy!
These accommodations were available from Thursday to Monday when I was writing this blog. Please note that the airport is about 6 kilometers away from NH Collection Barcelona Tower, about 9 kilometers away from Sala Salamandra, and about 16 kilometers away from Barcelona’s city center.
I have just booked my flight using Skyscanner. It is awesome; it found me a Transavia flight from Amsterdam to Barcelona costing only €83. Skyscanner scans for the cheapest prices and you can set up a price alarm to see if prices change.