Pop culture expo a big hit (+photos)

All dressed up with somewhere to go. Image / Ezra Woods

Tens of thousands of pop culture enthusiasts packed the ASB Showgrounds in Greenlane for the Armageddon Expo over Labour weekend.

Over 50,000 people attended the expo, New Zealand’s largest entertainment exhibition, with revenue expected to be well in excess of seven figures.

The event, now in its 19th year, is where people congregate to celebrate things ‘geektastic’ or ‘nerdy’.

The growth of the expo reflects the rise of pop/geek culture as an economic and cultural force in the entertainment market.

Asked about the growth of the expo, veteran expo-goer Craig said: “I used to go to this when it was at the Aotea Centre. This is nuts compared to that.”

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Expo veterans line up for celebrity autographs. Image / Ezra Woods

The expo attracted hundreds of vendors, with show organisers expanding the floor plan to accommodate the increased demand for commercial space.

The Marvel film universe has become a force at the cinema, generating billions of dollars at the box office, and Game of Thrones has become must-see TV. What was once the domain of the comic book nerd has become cool and gone mainstream.

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Life size models were a major draw card. Image / Ezra Woods

One of the distinctive features of Armageddon is Cosplay. Cosplayers are particularly dedicated fans who go to great lengths to dress up as their favourite fantasy characters. They often spend months planning their outfits.

Cosplayer Joe explains the appeal: “It seemed like a lot of fun. You get to dress up and take pictures with everyone.”

The Armageddon roadshow continues to roll down the country, with shows in Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin.

Check out images from the expo below:

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For an audio version of the story click the link below:

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Ezra is from Auckland. He has a passion for all things media. He completed a BA in Film and Media studies at Victoria University in Wellington. He is now studying at the New Zealand Radio Training School to further his goal to work as a journalist.