Monday, August 7, 2017

Recap: ScareLA 2017

The ScareLA pumpkin patch!

Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to live in a place where I'm able to attend multiple Halloween conventions! I spent last weekend at Midsummer Scream (check out my recaps of Saturday and Sunday!) and this past weekend I got to attend ScareLA. It was my second year at Midsummer Scream, but my first year at ScareLA and the festival's first year at the Los Angeles Convention Center (the previous four years ScareLA was held at the Pasadena Convention Center). I was really excited to have two back-to-back weekends of Halloweenie goodness!

ScareLA 2017 program

Below I'll be sharing my experience at ScareLA from start to finish, with plenty of photos in order to give you a taste of what to expect at this Halloween festival! I'll also be including some tips that I find helpful when attending conventions at the very end, as well as sharing all the goodies I picked up from vendors and artists.

Head over heels for ScareLA!

Kitty cutie welcoming us to the ScareLA showfloor!

Mister Spooky and I arrived to the LA Convention Center around 10AM on Saturday, August 5th, and they started letting in press and front of line people through bag check soon after. We got checked in at registration, then waited a little longer for doors to open at 11AM. They had lined up excited fright fans in two lines - one for general admission, and one for VIP/Fear Freak (aka front of line) tickets. The VIP and Fear Freak ticket holders were let in first, followed by general admission. 

Hi Michael! Photo by Justin Rekt (used with permission).

Dolls and art by EsmeMade, hair bows by M.A.L.A.

This clown looked very Killer Klowns-ish and was hanging out in Scarywood.

I really the location of ScareLA at the LA Convention Center - everything was grouped in one place, including the showfloor, the scare zone and mini mazes, panels, classes, and presentations. The showfloor was really big and roomy, with plenty of space for all attendees, vendors, classes, and presentations. I also liked that the venue had a full cafeteria (though I did not eat there and do not know if they have vegan options), vending machines, a coffee stand, and even food trucks. Even the parking was really close and convenient! It seemed easier and more organized to get in and out, though I think they would benefit from bigger signage directing people to appropriate lines before the bag check area. 

Inside Scarywood, 3D Halloween maze. 
Photo by Justin Rekt (used with permission).

The Venardos Circus inside Scarywood

There were so many clowns, including this guy!
Photo by Justin Rekt (used with permission).

Wrapped in plastic

Their Scarywood scare zone was next door to the showfloor, and featured mini mazes, shows from The Venardos Circus, performances from the Decayed Brigade sliders, the Scarywood stage, spooky walkthroughs, some maze facades, and wandering scare actors. The layout was kind of confusing and cramped, and there wasn't a clear distinction between front of line and general admission lines, so we skipped most of the experiences there. I think the longest line I saw there was for the bar (which seemed to be the only one in the entire convention). 

IT VR experience

The line for IT VR experience - it was like this all day long!
Photo by Justin Rekt (used with permission).

We all float

The IT VR experience was one of the most popular experiences of the event, and had a huge line for the duration of the day. This experience debuted at Comic Con a few weekends ago and they went all out with an old-looking creepy school bus being the focal point of the experience. From what I read online, you board the bus and they strap you into swivel seats before putting the VR headset on. You are then immersed into the part of the film where Georgie is chasing his paper boat as it speeds down the waterlogged gutters of the town of Derry and culminating with his deadly encounter with Pennywise. It was one of the things I wanted to check out at ScareLA but unfortunately never got around to doing; I heard it was pretty cool, though!

Drew Rausch's One Stop Spooky Shop - I couldn't resist getting both the new
Binx print and ghost print!

Best couple award to Chucky and Tiffany!

Getting goth at the BlackCraft Cult booth

Andysocial Industries art - there were so many amazing caricatures to 
choose from!

We spent most of our time on the showfloor - there were so many neat vendors to check out! We skipped the panels and classes being offered that day since there wasn't any I wanted to attend on Saturday. I did miss out on some experiences and shows I hoped to check out, but oh well. Our time was mostly spent walking the rows checking out all the vendors and we walked away with some really neat stuff. Next time I'll make more of an effort to attend some presentations or experiences, but I was kinda burnt out from attending so many at Midsummer Scream the weekend before.

I need to make one of these pumpkin walls for my home, or just "borrow"

Bat in Your Belfry, who designed this year's program cover art, featured here
on a limited edition tee and print!

Overall, ScareLA was a blast - we only attended Saturday and while we didn't get to do as much as I hoped, I still had a good time. Coming back a second day would have been great in order to check out all that was offered at ScareLA, and hopefully we can manage that next year!

I loved this pumpkin dude! He moved around, too - I need him in my house!

Jewelry by M.A.L.A.

The Hollywood Horror Museum had a small exhibit, including these 
scary life-size statues of Reagan from The Exorcist and everyone's
favorite monster from Frankenstein!

A few tips if you decide to attend ScareLA:
  • Get there at least an hour early to get a decent parking spot and take traffic into account when planning your route - there are multiple conventions/events all happening at the same time, which means there can be a lot of traffic to deal with. Get there early so you get decent parking and don't feel rushed.
  • Pack some snacks - we left some water and snacks in the car and came back halfway through the day to have some food (without having to pay crazy convention prices or risk not being able to find any vegan food at the event). Protip: Bring empty water bottles and you can fill them up at water fountains inside the event!
  • Bring an extra bag if you are planning on buying goodies - many vendors didn't have bags.
  • Plan ahead - decide what vendors/presentations/performances/classes and so on you want to see and do before you arrive. Write it down somewhere and bring it with you, because you will get distracted by all the amazing stuff and forget about all the things you wanted to see!
  • Pack a portable charger for your phone if you plan on using it to take lots of pics or post a lot to social media. If you plan on using a camera, pack extra batteries or charge it the night prior to ensure you have plenty of juice to document all the spooky fun times!
  • Be respectful of those around you - it will get crowded and people get cranky, so make sure you are courteous to others, move aside if you are walking down an aisle, and try not to stop right in the middle of an aisle/walkway so you don't block everyone behind you (which is hard since there is so much neat stuff to look at!).
These animatronics were a huge draw - you can't tell from the photo, but 
they were all moving (even the animals on the wall). I didn't catch the 
name of the company, I wish I had!

 This Krampus light box by artist Bob Lizarraga was gorgeous!

Krampus Los Angeles was there representing the dark side of Christmas!

And here is my haul from ScareLA (I got so much great stuff!!): 

Halloween parasol is by Hilary's Vanity, art print on the wall is by Drew Rausch (see below for better photos of the prints I picked up), Every Day is Halloween tank from Rock N Horror Apparel, bat hat, bat coffin "Trick or Treat" pin, and Hex pencil set from Black Willow Gallery, bat bag from Love Pain and Stitches, Haunted Mansion art from Bat in Your Belfry, My Blacks Don't Match sticker and The Perfect Drug art print (it's cut off in this photo, see below for better photo) by Drew Rausch, Trick or Treat Smell My Feet and Trick or Treat or Die stickers from Local Boogeyman, Let's Ride UFO sticker by M.A.L.A. and pumpkin head art by Esme Made.

 Boo-tiful art print from Drew Rausch featuring his black cat character Binx!

I fell in love with this ghostie art print by Drew Rausch and had to have it!
It is so evocative of autumn and gives me a wistful feeling of missing fall.

Close-ups of bat hat from Black Willow Gallery, bat bag from Love Pain and StitchesHaunted Mansion art from Bat in Your Belfry, Trick or Treat Smell My Feet sticker from Local Boogeyman, Trick or Treat coffin pin by Black Willow Gallery, My Blacks Don't Match sticker and Perfect Drug print by Drew Rausch, Let's Ride UFO sticker from M.A.L.A., Hex pencil set from Black Willow Gallery, pumpkin head art by Esme Made.

Close up of The Perfect Drug art by Drew Rausch

Close up of Bat in Your Belfry's Haunted Mansion print

Hocus Pocus Amok! print by Andysocial Industries

Did you attend ScareLA, and if so, what were your favorite things about it?

Until next time, stay spooky!

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