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An interview with the Insomnia team

We sit down with the Insomnia event team and get the latest on the upcoming event this March 22-25! It looks to be one of the biggest ever, so read a sneak peek here at what’s coming up!

E4G: Insomnia is one of UK’s biggest gaming festivals. What are the key areas that new attendees would be interested in discovering?

Multiplay: We have the first UK hands on of Injustice which should be a massive draw. We also have a Retro Gaming Section, a Fighting games section as well as the LAN Hall which, for first timers is always very interesting to see!

E4G: Events that have run for several years have quite a history behind them, even in a newer industry like games. What is Insomnia’s history, and where do you expect to see the event in five years?

Multiplay: We have been running gaming events for over a decade and it’s just gotten bigger and bigger. Originally this was a PC gaming only event, but in recent years has incorporated console gamers. The series of events, referred to as the ‘iSeries’ are sequentially numbered and run 3 times a year, typically with one around Easter, with the others usually hosted in August and November. The original events were hosted at Newbury Racecourse in the United Kingdom from i5 to i33 then insomnia was relocated to Stoneleigh Park for i34.

From i38 to i42 the event returned to Newbury. As of our i43 event, the events have moved to Telford International Centre, where they remain to this date. These events have now evolved with professional competitive tournaments and large exhibition halls. Sometimes referred to as “The Glastonbury of Gaming” Insomnia continues to be the biggest festival of its kind in the UK. The first Insomnia: Insomnia99 was a 300-player event. At that point, it was, and remains the largest LAN party held in the United Kingdom.

As of March 2013, Insomnia is now in its 48th festival and attendance for any given festival is over 5,000 people. The record for the largest amount of LAN BYOC attendees was made at the i46 event which had 2247 people. In five years I see the event getting even bigger.

E4G: Speaking of traditions and history, we were looking at the list of “What’s On” events on the Insomnia main site. What is “The Boat Race”? 🙂

Multiplay: The Iseries is so much more then just a gaming festival, for example The Boat Race, is a drinking completion and a LAN staple. The punters go head to head with the Insomnia/Multiplay staff in a long chugging race to the finish. I don’t think the punters have ever won, or at least not to my knowledge ;p We have other traditions too, such as “Classy Saturday”, where our customers don posh attire to show the world that LAN gamers smartern up too! We run a food ordering system that delivers food and beer direct to every computer at the flick of a button. As well as a World Famous Raffle, a Pub Quiz and calls for ‘The Box’ whenever sponsors throw goodies into the crowd. It’s an event full of tradition, jokes and community events. We expect many more traditions to be made by the end of the year.

E4G: The event is set to take place at a new location this year, the Telford International Centre. Why the change?

Multiplay: The event has been in Telford now for a few events, and we changed manly because we needed more space! The event is hugely popular and we need to be able to adapt to more and more exhibitors, lanners and tournaments, for example this event we are opening up an area in the LAN hall for Table Top Gamers, specifically Magic the Gathering players. We want it to truly become a festival of gaming, all types of gaming. This means, MORE SPACE!

E4G: What keynote speakers and celebrity guests can attendees expect to see at the event?

Multiplay: The event attracts a lot of top gaming talent including professional eSports teams like Dignitas, many well known Starcraft players and off course our commentators like Madals, A_Spec and Redeye have put in appearances at previous events.

We also have our Charity of the year for 2013 SpecialEffect in attendance this year with their ambassadors.

E4G: Tournaments are a large part of Insomnia. Which ones can attendees look forward to this year, even if they do not intend to directly participate?

Multiplay: The ESET UK Starcraft Masters, The Razer League of Legends Cup, Mad Catz Strike Challenge (CS:GO), TF2 Sponsored by Aquatuning, FIFA13 Sponsored by Mad Catz, COD:B2 and Minecraft 😀

E4G: Teams and guilds are a huge part of what brings gamers together at events like Insomnia. How are you supporting player groups for games that are being presented?

Multiplay: We have various prizes on offer and sponsors for each event, totaling over £30,000- check out our website for all the info on the cash pools!

E4G: For those that are unable to attend what online channels are best to view the latest tournament news and other event updates?

Multiplay: Our website at iseries.multiplay.co.uk is constantly updated. We will also be streaming the entire festival via twitch.tv/multiplay theres also our Facebook: /multiplay /insomniagamingfestivals and our Twitter.

E4G: For those hoping to attend in 2014, when is the earliest we can expect to see news about next year’s date?

Multiplay: We have all the dates available for this year as well as Facebook pages for each event. You can even buy season tickets via our website, as well as choose your seats for I48 in the LAN hall.

Our next iseries is 22rd-25th- don’t miss out! As far as next year goes, we’ll have to wait and see…

E4G: We can’t wait to cover the event further, thanks Multiplay team!


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