AireCon Returns to Harrogate in 2022
AireCon, one of the UK’s largest analogue gaming festivals, will be returning to Harrogate Convention Centre in March. Which means three days of gaming, exhibitions, product launches, large scale social games and special guests for visitors.
Following a break in 2021, the team at AireCon are ready to bring the event back bigger and better than ever before. It offers an opportunity for thousands of gaming fans, creators, families, companies and more to come together once again, a full two years after their last event.
Originally set up by director Mark Cooke as a place for him and his friends to hang out and play games, the first AireCon was held in his North Leeds flat. He then teamed up with Ben Clarkson and moved to a venue in Bradford. Here, it had two public events in 2016. After quickly outgrowing its first venue and realising they were onto something big, Airecon added engineer Rick Meeson and Nabil Homsi, director of the Leeds based Travelling Man chain of comic and board gamenshops to the team to focus on expansion. A long search led them to The Harrogate Convention Centre. And it’s been their home since 2017. And in that time it’s become one of the largest events of their type in the UK.
It’s an essential date for any fan or enthusiast. And AireCon 2022 will be hosting some of the biggest and exciting names in gaming from across the world. Over 60 exhibitors will be showing off games and launching new products. Guests this year include the creators of CoraQuest – the West Yorkshire father and daughter lockdown project that sold over 6000 copies on Kickstarter and influential gaming YouTubers Watch It Played.
With community at its heart, AireCon offers a huge amount of table space for attendees to meet. For those attending who are new to the hobby or wanting to experience gaming in this way for the first time, Travelling Man, the Leeds based comic shop chain, will be on-site. And they’ll be armed with a huge library of free to play board games.
Elsewhere on site fans will be able to head to the Family Zone for gaming and sessions for children. And there’ll also be a selection of street food trucks for refreshments. Introductory sessions, demo games and much more will be available throughout the convention centre. And AireCon will also be hosting an Inter-schools tournament with Imagination Gaming on Friday 11th March. Multiple schools from the area will be heading to Harrogate to compete.
This year AireCon will also be launching an exciting new addition to the festival with AireBus. The AireBus is a VIP coach complete with tables for onboard gaming. It’ll be collecting passengers in London and driving to Harrogate via a number of shops throughout the country. The AireBus will also be stopping at Ludoquist Cafe in Croydon, The Dice Cup & Warhammer World in Nottingham, Travelling Man in Leeds and The Secret Lair in Harrogate before arriving at AireCon.
Mark Cooke spoke to us. He said: “We’re thrilled to be returning to Harrogate for AireCon after taking a break in 2021. People are excited to come back, see people they’ve not seen for a couple of years and get some games played! It looks like the event will be our highest attendance ever, and looks like we may even sell out.”
Under 17s go free. Tickets for AireCon are on sale now from here