EW PopFest Recap – October 2016
by Veronica Nunez
Entertainment Weekly hosted their own pop culture convention in Downtown Los Angeles the same weekend, and only a few blocks from where Stan Lee’s Comikaze was happening at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
EW’s PopFest was held at The Reef and the parking lot is where most of the events were happening. The main stage was located outside as well as various activations and food trucks. There were some panels held inside The Reef building itself.
On the Friday before PopFest officially began, they held an early screening of Doctor Strange at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood for the first 250 or so VIP weekend badge purchasers. There was a Q&A with Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson.
Some of the panels at the main stage included Supernatural, Arrow, The Flash, and Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them. The only panel I saw inside The Reef was for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, but I also went to the preview screening of the pilot episode of Good Behavior (at which they had t-shirts on the chairs for the attendees.) They also had author signings where I had my 20th Anniversary edition of Outlander signed by Diana Gabaldon.
Some of the outdoor activations included photo ops for M&Ms and for Ash vs. The Evil Dead. The Ash vs. the Evil Dead activation also gave away foam chainsaw “hands” and t-shirts. There was also an activation to compete in Survivor skills. They had trivia, too, where you could win prizes and a Lip Sync Battle stage. There was a beer garden near the main stage, but I’m not much of a drinker and I hate beer so it wasn’t something I was interested in.
It did rain a little bit throughout the weekend, so that was a bit of a downer for the outdoor events, but it was light and sporadic so everyone was able to have fun. The event seemed pretty well run given that it was the first event of this size Entertainment Weekly held. They had a smaller activation called ConX during Comic Con 2016, which I had visited but hadn’t seen any of the panels or live music performances. I think the event would have had more success had it not been held the same weekend as Stan Lee’s Comikaze (now Los Angeles Comic Con).