2017 South African Gaming and Geek Expo Guide

Over the last few years, the number of gaming and geek expos happening in South Africa has increased, and the community no longer only has rAge in Johannesburg to look forward to, but a variety of expos of varying scales almost all around the country. So start booking your dates for these events now, because 2017 is going to be a busy one.

ICON By The Sea

  • Date: 7 to 9 April 2017
  • Time: 9h00-18h00
  • Venue: Old Mutual Sports Hall, Glenwood, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Cost:
    • Day Pass: R60
    • Weekend Pass: R100
  • Details: Site | Facebook | Twitter

ICON By The Sea offers geeks and gamers in KwaZulu-Natal a taste of the ICON experience (see below).

rAge Cape Town

**UPDATE**

Unfortunately, the Cape Town rAge has been cancelled.

  • Date: 27 to 29 April 2017
  • Time: 10h00-19h00
  • Venue: Century City Conference Centre, Cape Town
  • Cost:
    • Day Pass: R80 pp pre-booked | R100 pp at door
    • Weekend Pass: R200 pp pre-booked
  • Details: Site | Facebook | Twitter

The first of the Cape Town ‘majors’ sees the return of rAge but not quite as promised in 2016. Original suggestions were that the event would treble in size and stay at Grand West. It has made the move to the more upmarket address of the Century City Conference Centre but that has also meant that the event is not getting as big as expected. Another change is that the dates have been pushed a little later in the year which has meant it directly clashes with FanCon.

FanCon

  • Date: 29 April to 1 May 2017
  • Time: TBC
  • Venue: CTICC, Cape Town
  • Cost:
    • Day Pass: R120
    • Weekend Pass: R240
  • Details: Site | Facebook | Twitter

The second ‘Cape Town Comic Con’ moves venue to Cape Town Convention Centre and expands to three days. Comics, cosplay, geek culture and more can be found over the course of the event. Start getting your outfits ready and preparing for a panel-packed experience with some top local and international comic artists and writers.

GeekFest

  • Date: 13 to 14 May 2017
  • Time: 10h00-16h00
  • Venue: Montecasino, Gauteng
  • Cost:
    • Day Pass: R100
    • Weekend Pass: R150
  • Details: Site | Facebook | Twitter

The fifth GeekFest returns a little earlier in the year than the 2016 iteration and also heads to a new venue in Montecasino. We’re sure you can expect should be a good two days of geekiness for the family but we’re not too sure if pets will be allowed to enjoy the activities too this year.

ICON

  • Date: 16 to 18 June 2017
  • Time: TBC
  • Venue: Gallagher Convention Centre, Gauteng
  • Cost: TBC
  • Details: Site | Facebook | Twitter

ICON is “South Africa’s longest running comics and games convention” and this year celebrates its 25th anniversary. Last year, the event offered an entertaining variety of speakers to go with the usual expo components and in 2017, that is likely to continue.

LanX

  • Date: 6 to 9 July 2017
  • Time: TBC
  • Venue: Joni Bach Sports Centre
  • Cost: R200 per person
  • Details: Site | Facebook | Twitter

LanX is back with their LAN and Expo this July. Full details of what to expect are still to be announced, but we will update with the information as soon as we can.

Rush

  • Date: 21 to 23 July 2017
  • Time: Friday: 10:00-20:00 | Saturday: 09:00-21:00 | Sunday: 09:00-16:00
  • Venue: Exhibition Hall 2, Sandton Convention Centre, Gauteng
  • Cost: R50 per day pass | R100 per weekend pass | R600 for NAG LAN
  • Details: Site | Facebook | Twitter

Rush is an esports-focused expo from the creators of rAge. Over the weekend you can expect esports across a variety of titles and a 600-seater BYOC LAN. You can find out more here.

EGE

  • Date: 28 to 30 July 2017
  • Time: TBC
  • Venue: CTICC, Cape Town
  • Cost: TBC
  • Details: Site | Facebook | Twitter

The Electronics & Gaming Expo returns for its third year. Obviously, details are a little scarce for now but you can expect the usual mix of gaming, esports, exhibitors, cosplay, game development, boardgames and tasty geek stuff. And zombies. There are always zombies right?

Con.ect

  • Date: 2 to 3 September 2017
  • Time: 10h00-18hoo
  • Venue: Fairview Sports and Community Centre, 90 Willow Road, Fairview, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
  • Cost: Day pass – R50 | Weekend pass – R80 | LAN pass – R200
  • Details: Site | Facebook | Twitter

Con.ect 2016 was hosted at the end of July last year, but is a little later this year. Gamers, cosplayers and fandom lovers can get together over two days at the Fairview Sports and Community Centre. This year, a LAN component has been added to the convention.

A MAZE. / Johannesburg

  • Date: 13 to 16 September 2017
  • Time: TBC
  • Venue: Tshimologong Presinct: 41 Juta Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, Gauteng
  • Cost: From R40 via Quicket
  • Details: Site | Facebook | Twitter

Since 2012, the A MAZE. Festival has been hosted in September, so there is no indication to suggest otherwise. The festival “represents the current state of artistic and experimental game and vr design, alternative games, virtual realities and interactive digital arts.”
We will update the details for A MAZE. / Johannesburg as soon as they become available.

rAge Johannesburg

  • Date: 6 to 8 October 2017
  • Time: TBC
  • Venue: Ticket Pro Dome, Gauteng
  • Cost: TBC
  • Details: Site | Facebook | Twitter

Let’s not beat around the bush – rAge in Johannesburg is the most anticipated and biggest event of almost any year. It returns for the 16th year and on the agenda should be more of what made the previous years as popular as they have been. More esports. More VR. More cosplay. More everything. And importantly, more games. And more people.

General

A few events have suggested continued returns in 2017 but even guessing the dates would be wrong:

  • UCON 2016 was delayed into 2017 due to student protests but no alternative date has been suggested. UCON is operated by the Genshiken Society of UCT and brings Anime, cosplay, comics and gaming together for two days.
  • Canal Walk‘s Gaming Expo should return for year three unless it has been a complete failure over the previous two (which I suspect they weren’t). I am willing to suggest late October again but I won’t bet my life on it.
  • Capegate Tech & Gaming Expo launched in November 2016 and there is everything suggesting it is likely to return again but possibly at a different time of the year. Possibly.

There were a few new events that kicked off in 2016, and whether they will continue in 2017 remains to be seen, but keep your eye on the following (this list will be updated as we gather more information):

  • Geekon who hosted an event in Port Elizabeth in December 2016.

There’s plenty on the agenda in 2017, so local gamers and geeks should be pretty happy and entertained. We will update this article with further details as they come to hand, but if we have missed an expo or convention, feel free to let us know about it in the comments below.

About Zombie Dredd

Wannabe gaming journalist. Wannabe zombie. And sometimes clan leader of OAP. Clint O'Shea when in his human disguise.