2019 South African Gaming and Geek Expo Guide

Over the last few years, there has been an increase in the number of gaming and geek expos happening around the country. However, the smaller events which set up the current status quo have begun to struggle with some stalwarts all but gone. So to ensure your favorite expo or event doesn’t become a footnote in the future, make sure you support them by booking these dates now – 2019 is going to be a busy one.

*Please note that at the time of writing, some events have not been confirmed or even announced. This list is compiled based on previous years of activity and will be updated as details are confirmed.

AFRESPORTS | UCON

  • Date: 16 to 17 March 2019
  • Time: TBC
  • Venue: Sun Exhibits, GrandWest, Goodwood, Cape Town
  • Cost: TBC
  • Details: Site | Facebook | Twitter

Two established events joining forces rather than forcing Capetonians to choose. The ACGL Afresports event and the UCT Genshiken Society UCON event will give attendees a healthy dose of gaming, esports, anime, cosplay and a lot more.


COMICEX

  • Date: 23 to 24 March 2019
  • Time: 9h00 – 18h00
  • Venue: Sun Exhibits, GrandWest, Goodwood, Cape Town
  • Cost: TBC
  • Details: Site | Facebook

The (according to their words) “only all-round family entertainment event.” On the agenda for the two days is gaming, cosplay, tech, music, dance, magicians, Nerf Gun Battle Zone, stalls and more. The event has (in 2018) also hit Gauteng and Durban, and there is no reason not to expect that this year.


RAND SHOW

Perhaps a surprise entry to some, but this year sees the addition of the Gaming (and cosplay and dancing) Pavilion at the Rand Show. After 125 years, the event has entered the digital era with the “greatest celebration of Fortnite ever held in Africa.” There will be (by some accounts) more than just Fortnite available, and there is a trip to TwitchCon USA on the line, so this should be something to consider.


ICON

  • Date: 20 to 22 April 2019
  • Time: TBC
  • Venue: Emperors Palace, Gauteng
  • Cost: TBC
  • Details: Site | Facebook | Twitter

ICON is “South Africa’s longest running comics and games convention” and this year celebrates its 27th anniversary. Last year, the event offered an entertaining variety of speakers and international guests, along with the usual expo components. Expect the same (and more) in 2019.


FANCON

  • Date: 27 to 28 April 2019
  • Time: 10h00 – 18h00
  • Venue: CTICC, Cape Town
  • Cost:
  • Details: Site | Facebook | Twitter

The ‘Cape Town Comic Con’ hits its fourth year and promises something for fans of comics, cosplay, geek culture and more. So start getting your outfits ready and preparing for a panel-packed experience with some top local and international comic artists and writers.


GEEKFEST

  • Date: 28 to 30 June 2019
  • Time: 10h00 – 17h00
  • Venue: Sun Arena at Times Square, Pretoria, Gauteng
  • Cost:
    • Day Pass: R120 | Weekend Pass: R300
    • via Ticketpro
  • Details: Site | Facebook | Twitter

**UPDATE** Geekfest and Rush have joined forces. Two events over the weekend at the same venue.

Now one of South Africa’s most regular and supported geek events, GeekFest will return for its seventh year with a weekend of geekiness for the family. “Whether you’re a gamer, a cosplayer, into gadgets and technology or like to read and watch series, Geekfest has something to excite you.”


RUSH

  • Date: 28 to 30 June 2019
  • Time: 10h00 – 17h00
  • Venue: Sun Arena at Times Square, Pretoria, Gauteng
  • Cost: R250 Player Pass
  • Details: Site | Facebook | Twitter

**UPDATE** Geekfest and Rush have joined forces. Two events over the weekend at the same venue.

Rush is an esports-focused expo from the creators of rAge where attendees can expect esports across a variety of titles alongside other gaming activities. Details of that variety will be available once the event is confirmed.


LANX

  • Date: 4 to 7 July 2019
  • Time: From 07h00
  • Venue: TBC, Gauteng
  • Cost: TBC
  • Details: Site | Facebook | Twitter

LanX is a LAN and Expo usually operated over four days where “high competitive gaming will take place together with a great expo of tech and geek related stalls.”


ICON By The Sea

  • Date: 5 to 7 July 2019
  • Time: TBC
  • Venue: Old Mutual Sports Hall, Glenwood, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Cost:
    • Day Pass: TBC
    • Weekend Pass: TBC
  • Details: Site | Facebook | Twitter

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


EGE

  • Date: Likely to be July 2019 based on 2018 dates | TBC
  • Time: TBC
  • Venue: TBC, Cape Town
  • Cost: TBC
  • Details: Site | Facebook | Twitter

The Electronics & Gaming Expo is looking to return for year five, with the usual mix of gaming, esports, exhibitors, cosplay, game development, boardgames and tasty geek stuff. And zombies. There are always zombies right?


A MAZE. / Johannesburg

  • Date: Likely to be September 2019 based on 2018 dates | TBC
  • Time: TBC
  • Venue: TBC, Gauteng
  • Cost: TBC
  • 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.”


COMIC CON AFRICA

  • Date: 21 to 24 September 2019
  • Time: 9h00 – 18h00
  • Venue: Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand, Gauteng
  • Cost:
  • Details: Site | Facebook | Twitter

Comic Con Africa is returning for its second year with a new venue, an extra day and a date shift that puts it a week later than 2018 (and closer to rAge which also moved dates). The event will showcase “comic books and science fiction/fantasy related film, television, and similar popular arts.” Let’s hope the esports balance is right (ie. less of it) in 2019.


RAGE

  • Date: 27 to 29 September 2019
  • Time: TBC
  • Venue: TBC, Gauteng
  • Cost: TBC
  • Details: Site | Facebook | Twitter

Possibly South Africa’s best known and longest running gaming expo hits year 18 of its existence. Just expect more. More esports. More VR. More cosplay. More everything. And importantly, more games. And more people.


CON.ECT

  • Date: 5 to 6 October 2019
  • Time: 10h00 – 17h00
  • Venue: NMMU Vodacom Indoor Sport Centre, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
  • Cost:
    • Day Pass: R80
    • Weekend Pass: R140
  • Details: Site | Facebook | Twitter

Eastern Cape gamers, cosplayers and fandom lovers can get together over two days to enjoy everything that makes them tick.


CANAL WALK GAMING EXPO

  • Date: Likely to be October 2019 based on 2018 dates | TBC
  • Time: TBC
  • Venue: Canal Walk Shopping Centre, Western Cape
  • Cost: TBC
  • Details: Site | Facebook | Twitter

After four years of entertaining Capetonian gamers, it’s pretty likely that this year will see the return of the BT Games sponsored event. Gaming (both demo and competitive) and cosplay should be on hand again, along with some tasty event specials.


GENERAL

A few events that may be a little lower on your radar but are worth noting:

  • Gaming Forum by Game Nation, which this year returns with a “Live Concert, 10+ Speakers, 1000+ Tickets, 1 amazing day at @WitsUniversity”. The event will be on 29 March. Additional information can be found here.
  • Ekasi Techfest will return on 29 and 30 June. It brings panels, speakers, esports and more to the Soweto Theatre.
  • StelCon is usually hosted around September and is the Stellenbosch University’s (Western Cape) gaming and geek event.
  • Playtopia was hosted end of November 2018 for the first time at the Cape Town Castle. Whether the event will be returning in 2019 is not yet known.

There is plenty on the agenda for 2019, which should keep local gamers and geeks 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, please feel free to let us know about it in the comments below.

For a more fluid update on upcoming events, you can also keep your eye on our calendar of events which we update with events as soon as we are aware of them.

About Zombie Dredd

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