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Seven extraordinary conventions you'll find at the Metropole Hotel

Seven extraordinary conventions you'll find at the Metropole Hotel
Flickr: gr0don

From the outside, the Hilton Birmingham Metropole looks as sophisticated as any other of the chain's hotels. Its conference rooms have housed countless wedding receptions, leaver's balls or dull business functions over the years, just like any other Hilton.

Scratch below the surface, though, and you'll find that the hotel has also become a home to some far more, erm, unconventional conventions.

Whether cosplayers, horror movie buffs, sci-fi nerds or Elvis impersonators; the Metropole has seen people from all corners of the internet, who've left the confines of their fan forums to meet up with others who share their passions.

Here are seven unusual sights you could see at the Metropole...

 

Wolfs Bane 3, July 17-19

 

Right. We're settled in for the weekend. Where is the bar?! #wolfsbane3

A photo posted by Anne (@annejhobson) on

 

For people over a certain age, 'Teen Wolf' will conjure images of Michael J Fox performing sick slam dunks to the sound of Mark Vieha's 'Way to Go'. For today's teenaged girls, it means something a helluva lot sexier. Yes, even sexier than that bright yellow basketball kit.

The Wolfsbane 3 convention takes place from today until July 19, and brings together the fervent fanbase of MTV's 'Teen Wolf' for a weekend of interviews, autographs and the chance to meet some of the cast in person. This could be Tyler Posey (squee), Dylan Sprayberry (squee), or even Colton Hayes (squeeee!).

 

Kitacon, July 31-August 2

 

A photo posted by Martin Paterson (@photogoku) on

 

This Anime and geek culture convention is the largest of its kind in the UK, regularly selling out tickets within a matter of hours (as it has done this year). As you might expect, Kitacon is a big draw for cosplayers, who like to dress up as their favourite videogame, comic book or Japanese animation characters.

Needless to say, this can make for some truly unusual sights during the evening parties. This is one of the few times where the odds of seeing Aquaman and the Colossal from 'Attack on Titan' twerking with Princess Zelda and Rapunzel are high.

Auto Assembly, August 21-23 

 

Auto Assembly is not just any Transformers convention – it's the biggest in Europe. The enduring appeal of the 'robots in disguise' means Auto Assembly is now into its fifteenth year and continues to attract fans of all ages.

Not only would this be the best place to go for toy lovers to get their hands on that elusive Pepsi-branded, Gen 1 Optimus Prime (no, not Pepsi Convoy Optimus, pfft), past conventions have provided the opportunity for cosplaying, the chance to meet actors from the cartoons, take part in illustration workshops and be reassured that you aren't the only one who has refused to grow up.

Asylum 15, October 16-18 

 

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Much like Wolfs Bane, Asylum is the yearly convention where fans for TV cult series 'Supernatural' come together.

As another show with a dedicated fanbase (some of whom are responsible for the sort of eye-watering fan fiction that would make E.L. James' toes curl), this means autographs, panel interviews and the opportunity for fans to get up close and personal with the TV idols. Maybe so they can flesh out some more details for their next 'Destiel' fiction...

City of Blood, Oct 30-Nov 1  

 

A photo posted by Lalanator ♦️ (@lala_peachy11) on

 

Unlike the other conventions from Rogue Events, City of Blood differs slightly in that it's not tied to any one show. Instead, this convention is the first of its kind that the company has held that brings together actors who play villains in comic book TV show adaptations.

A full list of names is still to be confirmed, but actors Matt Nable and Michael Rowe, who play Ra's al Ghul and Deadshot from the series 'Arrow' are already on board.

Presumably they had to pick the Metropole for this villain convention as all the underground lairs in a hollowed out volcano were booked out.

European Elvis Championships and Convention, Jan 8-10, 2016 

 

A photo posted by Lucy Cowan (@minicowan) on

 

If you weren't aware already, Elvis Presley is a big deal in Birmingham. Which is why the city has hosted the largest Elvis contest and convention in Europe since 2003. Although the show is next year, more than 40 performers from across Europe have already been lined-up (with more than 80 being the norm), along with the song they are going to perform. Serious stuff.

Beyond the main event, there will also be live music, after show parties and the opportunity to buy enough merchandise to make your home look like a redneck's caravan.

Confuzzled, May 27-31, 2016

 

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If people can dress up as the King of rock 'n' roll, Megatron, Naruto or a steampunk Snow White, why not as animals too? Confuzzled, which has been running since 2008, is for fans of anthropomorphism, better known as furries. 

If, even considering the company here, the concept seems a bit weird, know this – Confuzzled has grown to become the second largest convention of its type in Europe. Meaning there are more people that like putting on an anthropomorphic dolphin costume that you might realise. Think about that next time you're sat on the bus. 

At the 2015 show, visitors were encouraged to dress up to an 'Alice in Wonderland' theme, but past conventions have included art shows, dance-offs, drawing workshops and more. 

So, well done Metropole, for providing the space for all manner of like-minded people to gather, no matter what their eccentricity.

But spare a thought for the hotel housekeeping, who may often be challenged with getting purple fur out of plugholes, washing green body paint off towels, or accidentally walking in on something that will be difficult to describe to even the most understanding therapist.

Need more? Find out nine reasons why Birmingham is a paradise for geeks.   

 

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