SCI-FI By The Sea 3 is the third annual festival of science fiction in Herne Bay and it is likely to prove so popular that you won’t get in without a ticket.
BayPromoTeam senior organiser Gerald McCarthy said:
“There’s only so big the event can get and tickets are flying out. We had about 3,500 visitors in the first year and almost 7,000 last year, but with capacity at about 8,000 we’re likely to sell out all tickets before the day. We’re already 200 per cent up on last year.”
The appeal is clearly huge and there have been bookings from Swansea, Nottingham and even a Canadian family who built the festival into holiday itinerary. The big day is Father’s Day, June 21, and will see an impressive array of actors present.
These include Ross Mullan, Josephine Gifian and Pixie Le Knot from smash TV hit Game Of Thrones, former Dr Who Sylvester McCoy and his assistant Ace (Sophie Aidred) and Red Dwarf’s robot Kryten (Robert Llewellyn).
“We’ve cast the celebrity net far and wide and to see what comes back and hope they’ve not got big Hollywood deals lined up. We’ve been very lucky to have Dr Whos three years running. After Cohn Baker and Paul McGann, we’ve now got Sylvester McCoy. With Herne Bay being home of the Tardis, we think it’s important.”
For those not in the know, Dr Who’s famous police phone box and time machine was the brainchild of early scriptwriter Anthony Coburn, who lived in Herne Bay. So how can an event that is still in its early days afford such an array of celebs? Do you have to pay a lot to secure their services?
“Some you do, some you don’t,” said Mr McCarthy. “Most just charge for autographs — people bring along memorabilia, books or even toys to be signed. And of course visitors like to pose for photos. That’s a big plus point — these convention celebrities are very good with us.”
Some, however, come in a lot more expensive, however. One former Dr Who mentioned by Mr McCarthy would command a fee of some £50,000. So we won’t be seeing him, then?
“Not unless we get a huge science-fiction fan to sponsor us!”
• Book for Sci-Fi By The Sea 3 at www.ticketsource.co.uk/baypromoteam. These photographs are from last year’s event.
Herne Bay Times, 28th Jan 2015