LifeisXbox at FACTS 2021

LifeisXbox at FACTS 2021

For two days you could escape all your worries and the word we all heard way too many times, Covid. From the moment you enter the magical forest from FACTS you arrive at a completely new world. A world full of Deadpools, Disney princesses, steampunk, Squid Game suits and my personal favorite Harley Quinn’s. There’s one thing for sure, the people who visit FACTS make the event, the magic comes from all the wonderful people who take the time to create costumes and from people who can be themselves. As FACTS in Ghent nears there’s one thing that doesn’t sleep and when it does, it wakes up with nightmares. Wallets from all over Belgium and other countries tremble with fear witnessing the impressive line-up from shops that all sell geeky items. And yeah, you can fool yourself by saying I can find all these items on the internet. But seeing everything in real and discovering local artists who sell exclusive items remains so much cooler than simply browsing the internet.

Visitors make FACTS

As I said in the introduction, cosplayers who make the travel to the expo in Ghent help create its unique atmosphere. The organisation does effort too, for example, the huge tree in the middle of the shop hall or the setpieces that welcome visitors. However, I do feel that they could do more though. 1UP, another conference in Belgium has a lot more beautiful decors. There are simply too many stand holders that don’t do any effort in the visual part of the experience and that’s a shame. So again, it all comes from cosplay visitors. They also get a reduction in the ticket sale and they can join catwalk moments to show off their hard work. The cheers from the public could be heard throughout the entire place, must be such a rewarding feeling for all the cosplayers.

Meet your heroes

An impressive line-up of international names was present. For a price, visitors could take a selfie or get an autograph, €45 for a picture with Bob Morley or €40 with Tomer Capon. Other famous actors that you could meet were Mark Sheppard, Jack Gleeson, Rebecca Mador and Dante Basco. Unfortunately, Eliza Taylor had to cancel because of a film schedule conflict. Even the magical tree from FACTS couldn’t make Covid disappear entirely so you had this odd situation with plexiglass between you and the actors. With an exception as Jack Gleeson and Mark Sheppard was without plexiglass. There is also a lot of love for international comic book stars, here you could get sketches or commissions. I do feel the need to add that these could be very pricey!

Hours of entertainment

Just looking at all the cosplayers is enough entertainment for me but visitors had a lot to do, it was impossible to get bored. My favourite? The Colossus. I completed this beast together with LifeisXbox writer Michael. This beast is one of the largest inflatable obstacle courses in the world, with 234 meters of jumping, crawling and getting burn wounds. 234 meters doesn’t sound much but trust me it is a reality check for your fitness. Other selections of things you could do were speed dates, making your own wands, learning how to play card games, panels, driving and fighting with drones and much more.

The biggest question… what did Dae Jim buy?

I know you have been waiting for this. I went pretty easy this year (to my surprise) and only bought a few things. I’m in love with Niffler so I bought a coloured sketch that now hangs in my living room. I purchased a hoodie from Grogu, that will keep me warm in the winter. Also, four different kinds of geeky cider, looking forward to drinking those on a relaxing evening. And that’s it!

Be sure to visit it next year!

In my humble opinion, FACTS is something that everyone can enjoy. Even if cosplay isn’t your thing, you don’t even have to be a geeky person. Kids, young adults or even people in retirement, the stuff you see here from the cosplay community is incredible. They manage to improve FACTS every year and all the new geek hypes and new famous people that come to the event always makes it something worthwhile.