Fandoms will join forces to celebrate the stars, shows, and genres they love during one incredible weekend at Fan Fest Chicago - a special joint event combining Walker Stalker Con and Heroes & Villains Fan Fest - at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois, Saturday, April 7th from 10:30am - 7pm, and Sunday, April 8th from 10:30am - 5pm.
New to the convention scene? Expect to encounter fans of all ages, ranging from diehards who enjoy cosplay and live and breathe their fandoms to families looking for fun outings to individuals with a growing passion and interest in a show, star, or topic. Attendees can explore convention halls filled with booths of featured guests signing autographs and taking pictures for nominal fees, vendors selling themed goods, collectibles, and art, fans taking pictures with each other, and stages with free live panels featuring special guests. Fan Fest Chicago will feature a lineup of stars from Arrow, Black Lightning, AMC's The Walking Dead, Gotham, Riverdale, The Punisher, Marvel's The Defenders, The Gifted, The Boondock Saints, and more.
There are three main ways to interact with and see celebrity guests:
Wait in line at their specific booth space. Guests sell autographed 8x10s or will sign your personal items for a fee. Most also offer selfies or photographs with your own device at their booth for a fee. (Pro Tip: Visiting at their booth is the recommended way to get face to face interaction with the stars you want to meet. Cash is king at conventions, so don't forget to hit the ATM or bank ahead of time)
Pay for professionally taken photos. These are set times that guests head to the staging area to pose for well lit photographs with their fans. Guests receive a print out to take home and can opt to purchase the digital file as well. (Pro Tip: to keep up with demand and schedule, these move quickly. Be ready and don't expect time to chat. A lot of these opportunities sell out quickly, so it's best to book ahead of time. Plus, you can pay with a card instead of cash if you book online.)
Attend Free Panels. Guests will take the main stage for question and answer segments throughout the weekend, sharing behind the scenes anecdotes and their thoughts on pivotal moments from the shows and characters they bring to life and love.
Attendees can also interact with cosplayers and zombies roaming the convention floor, play interactive "hero-style" games meant for the entire family, or even get inked (18+) by celebrity tattoo artist Chris 51. Talented artists will be on hand selling their pieces and prints, including ambidextrous painter Rob Prior, Odyssey Art's Brian C. Roll and our friend The Chalk Girl, who recently created a Black Lightning themed mural at the Be Well Milwaukee Expo at Southridge Mall.
Walker Stalker Con and Heroes & Villains Fan Fest both boast growing fan bases, and for a good reason: they offer opportunities for typically short but intimate interactions with stars of fan favorite shows and movies in a safe space filled with like-minded attendees who are passionate about similar genre entertainment. Fan Fest started out as Walker Stalker Con, a convention celebrating zombie and horror entertainment -- specifically The Walking Dead -- and more, which was created for fans, by fans. After growing success with the Walker Stalker Con events, Heroes & Villains Fan Fest was spun-off by Fan Fest founder James Frazier and Arrow star Stephen Amell to celebrate superheroes and villains. The events are now held worldwide and have created a great way for fans, artists, and stars to mingle and embrace the common threads that bond us -- a love for great genre entertainment. The truly one-of-a-kind experiences offered by these shows have helped Fan Fest grow its audience into the hundreds of millions around the world.
Fan Fest Chicago
April 7th & 8th, 2018
Location: Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Saturday: 10:30am to 7:00pm? Sunday: 10:30am to 5:00pm? VIP Entry at 9:00am each day
Tickets range from $45 General Admission to $1,400 for the ultimate experience