Oh. Wow. What….what a first day! The tumultuous and highly anticipated arrival of the hundreds of fans from every corner of the globe caused something of an explosion of excitement and uproar at the Renaissance Hotel, Heathrow.
Nobody was injured in the cacophony, but I have a feeling that much of the excessive excitement was exorcised, and by evening, everyone had settled into a serene but joyous celebration of what this convention is all about: Love, the coming together of fans with common passions, the sharing of the spirit of giving and open hearts, all under the blessing of Amanda Tapping and the reigning GABIT Team lead by Julia Hague.
For us, the AT5 Reverberation experience really began with our arrival at Heathrow Terminal 3 (after 37 hours of airports and flights) at Thursday lunchtime. Welcomed at the door by people whom we have all come to love as siblings on the internets.
The day was spent in struggling to accept that this was not Skype or our often frequented Amanda Tapping Dot Com chat room, but was real. Real life. It is a concept that still boggles the mind somewhat. Scifi geeks from all across the world over simply must understand how difficult this is to accept!
After very little shut-eye, the experience fairly carried on without interruption into Friday morning, as more and people poured on from all corners of the UK, Europe and around the planet.
The first official congregation of the day was GABITs AT5 Reverberation ‘Meet and Greet’, a welcome designed specifically with fans who are traveling alone. By this point, those who had been there for at least a day were well accustomed to each other’s quirks, but it was a lovely way to formally bring those people together.
After short stint in central London, involving Harrods where we observed a Helen Magnus Desk for only 75,000 Pounds Sterling (pictured above) and Subway, we returned to the base of operations for registration, and the collecting of a fantastic array of Sanctuary For Kids merchandise!
Sue George manned the charity desk, which was overflowing with S4K hoodies, shirts, wristbands assorted badges of quotes from both Sanctuary and Stargate, memorabilia, raffle tickets, car stickers and and on!
After emptying exhausting our daily spending allowances, it was another brief burst of craziness in the lobby, before everyone retired for showers and makeup in preparation for the evening’s Cocktail Party.
Being one of the ‘unfortunates’, we spent the entire evening lounging in the lobby, before migrating out into the cool but mild night air, armed with guitars and our vocal chords. What followed was the most sublimely cathartic and uniting love fest of the day so far. For some three full hours, inspirational and uplifting songs floated up through the night air above Heathrow, and cast a warm glow in our hearts which will echo throughout the weekend.
As Amanda left the cocktail party, and strode out into the night air, the strains of Train’s “Hey Soul Sister” were being harmoniously warbled, and she bopped cheekily with an even more splitting grin. One shut door later, she drove away with a massively excited grin, waving madly through the window at our cosy and equally flailing bunch. A beautiful and perfect closing to a wildly fantastic day!
I sincerely hope that you enjoyed my day one overview as much as I did sharing with you. Being one of the lucky admirers who were able to attend, I think we can say that this day will always be in my heart. The WHR AT5 Reverberation Team will be back with more daily reports each day and detailed reports in the future.
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