33 of the best gaming events in the UK

Gaming Events in the UK

From the endearing simplicity of 1972’s Pong to the complexity of Star Citizen’s multiplayer universe, video games have certainly come a long way. Not only has the technology improved but also the market’s size.

Thanks in part to the growth of mobile and a player base that keeps asking for bigger and more sophisticated titles, video game companies now offer more types of experiences than ever. From the competitive Call of Duty series to the every-day-life simulator The Sims, there’s bound to be a perfect title for anyone.

Unlike what your average Reddit user would have you believe, the video game industry no longer is a niche market reserved for a gaming elite. It has gone mainstream. Don’t believe me? Check out these numbers:

The industry is worth around $83.6 billion worldwide and it’s expected to reach $113 million in 2018. In the United Kingdom alone, we’re talking of about £4.2 billion. This turns the country into the sixth biggest market in the world, coming right after China, USA, Japan, South Korea and Germany.

But people do not only play video games here, they also produce them. Not many are aware that some of the best titles from recent years have been developed in the UK. Grand Theft Auto V — which is one of the most successful video games of all time — was co-produced by Rockstar North that’s located in Edinburgh and Batman: Arkham City, a game praised by both fans and critics, was co-developed by Rocksteady Studios which are based in London.

With such a booming sector, it only makes sense that events catering to its following are sprouting everywhere. Some of them are organised to showcase the latest advancements, others have educational purposes and some are just big geekfests where gamers get to share their passion for everything gaming.

Note: This post gets updated regularly so make sure to come back for new events and more dates.

Gaming Events in the UK




By the way, are you looking for customised clothes for an eSports event? Printsome’s apparel-printing services are perfect for making souvenirs, merchandise and uniforms, among many other possibilities. Visit our website to find out more.


– February –




Wifi Wars

Type: Performance, game
When: They have several dates confirmed starting on February and going all the way to December 2019. Check their website to see when they’ll be presenting somewhere near you.
Where: Several venues
Website: wifiwars.co.uk
What’s the deal? Part game show, part comedy routine, part gaming, Wifi Wars is a spectacle where the audience gets to play along with their own smartphones or tablets. Led by video game commentator and comedian Steve McNeil, the show promises to deliver lots of laughs and a bloody good time.

Update: WiFi Wars does livestreams now! These allow you to play along from home. Check their website for more details.

Back to top.



– March 2019 –




MCV Awards

Type: Awards
When: 7 March 2019
Where: The Brewery, London
Website: nbmevents.uk
What’s the deal? Unlike other gaming awards, the MCV recognise all areas of the gaming industry including publishing, retail, distribution, marketing, PR, events and media. In their 16th year, they’re making changes to the voting process to make it even more transparent.

Back to top.



– April 2019 –




London Games Festival

Type: Conference/Festival
When: 2 – 14 April, 2019
Where: Several Venues Throughout London
Website: games.london
What’s the deal? The London Games Festival is a series of events from talks going through financial advice to the British Academy Game Awards. It’s a 10-day celebration of everything gaming that’s got the ultimate goal of turning the British city into the gaming capital of the world.


Type: Conference
When: 4 April, 2019
Where: Baltic Art Gallery, Gateshead
Website: vrtgo.co.uk
What’s the deal? XRTGO (formerly known as VRTGO) is an annual conference and expo that explores everything related to VR (virtual reality). Regardless if it is for entertainment purposes or other more serious endeavours, the event is a perfect occasion to find out the present and future of VR.


Type: Awards
When: 4 April 2019
Where: Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
Website: bafta.org/games
What’s the deal? Yes, it if the same BAFTA that organises the fancy movie awards show but this one is for games. Who knew? The crème de la crème of the video game industry gathers here every year to recognise the best of the season.

EGX Rezzed

Type: Conference/Festival
When: 4 – 6 April, 2019
Where: Tobacco Dock, London
Website: egx.net/rezzed
What’s the deal? Self-described as London’s biggest gaming event, EGX Rezzed features talks with famous game designers, previews of upcoming PC and console titles and many other gaming related activities.


Type: Expo
When: 19 – 22 April, 2019
Where: NEC, Birmingham
Website: insomniagamingfestival.com
What’s the deal? Easily the most famous, Insomnia is also one of the oldest UK gaming events. It is a big festival about everything gaming including big exhibition halls, interactive activities and eSports tournaments, among others. They hold three editions a year in spring, summer and winter.

Back to top.



– May 2019 –




Play Expo Manchester

Type: Expo
When: 4 – 5 May, 2019
Where: Manchester Central Exhibition Complex
Website: playexpomanchester.com
What’s the deal? For those gamers in the north, Play Expo Manchester is a great choice to get your needs fixed. The event will feature current generation and retro games tournaments, talks, arcades, pinballs, merchandise stands and a cosplay presentation, just to name a few activities.

Animex – International Festival of Animation and Computer Games

Type: Festival
When: 13 – 17 May, 2019
Where: Teesside University, Middlesbrough
Website: animex.tees.ac.uk
What’s the deal? Animex is a mix of workshops, talks, presentations and other activities related to everything animation and computer games. An event for those who want to find out about the latest in the industry.

Retro Games Night

Type: Festival
When: 17 May 2019
Where: Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen, Leeds
Website: retrogamesnight.co.uk
What’s the deal? This event that’s organised by the same people behind the Retro Games Fair, introduces itself as the best alternative night in Leeds. The premise is simple, a night of gaming where you and your mates can get together to play some old titles and have a drink. The occasion takes place every two months, so make sure to bookmark their website to stay on top of the latest dates.

Norwich Gaming Festival

Type: Festival
When: 27 May – 1 June, 2019
Where: The Forum, Norwich
Website: norwichgamingfestival.com
What’s the deal? The Norwich Gaming Festival describes itself as a “free, family-friendly celebration of video games”. Here’s a chance to meet local developers and learn how video games are made while you have fun.

Casual Connect

Type: Congress/Networking
When: 28 -30 May 2019
Where: Queen Elizabeth II Centre
Website: europe.casualconnect.org
What’s the deal? Casual Connect brings together every year over 100 gaming professionals from all over the world to connect and learn from each other. This event is a great networking opportunity for professionals in the industry.

Back to top.



– June 2019 –




Play Expo Glasgow

Type: Expo
When: 8 – 9 June 2019
Where: Braehead Arena, Glasgow
Website: playexpoglasgow.com
What’s the deal? Organised by gaming events specialists Replay Events, Play Expo Glasgow promises to bring top-notch video game entertainment to the Scottish city. On its third edition, the event features tournaments, cosplay competitions, retro arcades, next-gen consoles and much more.

Brains Eden

Type: Festival
When: 28 June – 1 July 2019
Where: Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge
Website: brainseden.net/
What’s the deal? The biggest student game developing festival in the UK. Brains Eden is a place where young developers get to learn from professionals of the most important companies in the industry. It includes a 48-hour jam where attendees have to design a game based on a surprise theme.

Back to top.



– July 2019 –




Develop: Brighton

Type: Conference
When: 9 – 11 July, 2019
Where: Hilton Brighton Metropole, Brighton
Website: developconference.com
What’s the deal? A two-day conference that covers every aspect of the game development process from the idea, going through design and funding to production. Develop: Brighton is a great opportunity for smaller studios to make themselves known and learn from their peers.

NERG (North East Retro Gaming)

Type: Expo
When: 13 – 14 July 2019
Where: Gateshead International Stadium, Gateshead
Website: northeastretrogaming.com
What’s the deal? Loved playing Streetfighter II on the SNES? Or how about the first Mario Kart? If you’re a fan of first and second generation video games then NERG this is the event for you. A weekend where you’ll get to play the best games from the past and spend time with like-minded people.


Type: eSports festival
When: 20 – 21 July 2019
Where: SEC Centre, Glasgow
Website: resonatetotalgaming.com
What’s the deal? Self-described as ‘the ultimate gaming experience’, SEC offers a series of options which include an eSports arena, over 18’s hall, tournaments and much more. This occasion is also a great opportunity for fans to meet their favourite streamers and professional gamers.

Back to top.



– August 2019 –




Cardiff Anime & Gaming Convention

Type: Convention
When: 17 – 18 August 2019
Where: Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel and Spa, Cardiff
Website: cardiffanimecon.com
What’s the deal? If you’re a video game and video game fan in the Welsh capital then this is the date for you! This event offers you dozens of activities like cosplay competitions (with a prize pool of £1,000) and workshops.

Q Con Belfast

Type: Convention
When: 30 August – 1 September 2019
Where: Queen’s University Belfast
Website: q-con.org.uk
What’s the deal? After running for 25 years straight, this event holds the title of being the largest gaming and anime convention in the UK and Ireland.

Back to top.



– September 2019 –




Retro Games Fair

Type: Festival
When: 15 September, 2019
Where: Leeds Marriott Hotel, Leeds
Website: retrogamesfair.com
What’s the deal? Fan of retro games? Then this is your opportunity to get your hands on your favourite title from back in the day. Retro Games Fair will feature more than 60 sellers in over 130 tables of goodies.

Back to top.



– October 2019 –




Play Expo Blackpool

Type: Festival
When: 12 – 13 October, 2019
Where: Norcalympia Exhibition Centre, Blackpool
Website: playexpoblackpool.com
What’s the deal? Blackpool’s very ownn gaming event features activities for gamers of all ages. With tournaments, tabletop games and the very popular Minecraft area, there’s bound to be something for every video game fan.


Type: Expo
When: 17 – 20 October 2019
Where: ExCel, London
Website: egx.net
What’s the deal? They introduce themselves as the UK’s biggest gaming event. EGX is the place to discover new indie games, try out blockbuster titles weeks before their release and experience eSports events. On top of all the fun, the event will feature the GameIndustry.biz Career Fair for those interested in getting a job in the industry.

Back to top.



– November 2019 –




eSports Industry Awards 2019

Type: Awards
When: TBA
Where: TBA
Website: esportsawards.com
What’s the deal? The British award ceremony that celebrates the very best of the eSports industry.

Back to top.



– February 2020 –





Type: Expo
When: 4 – 6 February, 2020
Where: ExCeL, London
Website: icetotallygaming.com
What’s the deal? Unlike the other events on this list that are designed for gamers or developers, ICE is a B2B exhibit aimed at professionals. With 133 countries represented, ICE is one of the biggest international gaming fairs in the world.

Back to top.



– TBA –




King of the North

Type: Tournament/Exhbit
When: TBA
Where: MediaCityUK, University of Salford, Manchester
Website: uomesports.co.uk
What’s the deal? King of the North is the UK’s largest student-run gaming gathering. The two-day occasion offers Overwatch, League of Legends, CS:GO tournaments on top of giveaways and other activities. The 3£ ticket also means that it is one of the cheapest events on the list.

GEEK – Meet Make Play

Type: Festival
When: TBA
Where: TBA
Website: geek-play.com
What’s the deal? GEEK is a festival that even though it features next-gen titles, is focused on retro gaming. The expo is known for showcasing a great variety of playable consoles, old and new.

The PC Gamer Weekender

Type: Expo
When: TBA
Where: TBA
Website: weekender.pcgamer.com
What’s the deal? An entire weekend dedicated to PC video games. Fancy playing Hearthstone with a few mates? How about Overwatch? Or Dawn of War III? Then this is the place for you. There will also be talks, workshops, and board games among other activities.

By the way, are you looking for customised clothes for an eSports event? ? Printsome’s apparel-printing services are perfect for making souvenirs, merchandise and uniforms, among many other possibilities. Visit our website to find out more.


Type: Competition
When: TBA
Where: TBA
Twitter Handle: @Gamerbake
What’s the deal? GamerBake is the most creative event on this list, yet the premise is very simple: A video game inspired cake competition. And the best part is that if you don’t enjoy baking, you can still stop by to taste the goods and buy the cakes. All proceeds go to charity.

Nine Worlds

Type: Festival
When: TBA
Where: TBA
Website: nineworlds.co.uk
What’s the deal? As they describe it themselves, Nine Worlds is a geekfest that during three days will shamelessly celebrate Fantasy and Sci-Fi. While it does feature some gaming related activities, it is not the focus point of the event, but still, if you’re into Game of Thrones, Doctor Who or anything in between, then by all means…

Celtic Games Show

Type: Conference
When: TBA
Where: TBA
Website: gameswales.org
What’s the deal? The Celtic Games Show is an event dedicated to the growing video game industry in Wales. Developers, professionals and casual gamers alike are invited to take part in the one day program that features talks, workshops and even an afterparty!

WeGeek’s Gaming Utopia

Type: Festival
When: TBA
Where: TBA
Webaite: wegeekninja.com
What’s the deal? WeeGeek is a gaming events company with the mission to foster a community of gamers through their activities. Utopia is the latest of these projects and offers a four-day program filled with interesting options which include gaming tournaments, publisher demos, an orchestra, a sci-fi movie marathon, lightsaber classes (!) and much more.

Note: Check out WeGeek and four other agencies in our ‘Event agencies to look forward to in 2018′ post.


Type: Talk
When: Unfortunately, VideoBrains is on hiatus right now. Keep an eye on their website for new developments.
Where: At London Gaming Bars
Website: videobrains.co.uk
What’s the deal? Catered towards the more “intellectual” gamers out there, VideoBrains is an initiative by several professionals in the industry who organise monthly talks on different subjects related to the sector. Anyone, regardless of their background, is welcome as long as they’re willing to take a look at video games from a different angle.

LionZDen Gaming

When: TBA
Where: TBA
Website: twitter.com/lionzdengamin
What’s the deal?: LionzDen is a tournament organised by Ozzy the Liono that gathers gamers to prove their skills on games like FIFA and Tekken and the action takes place on — wait for it — a real boxing ring.

Back to top.

T-shirt Printing for eSports

Thanks to our five years of experience in the apparel-printing industry, we were able to design a platform catered towards the needs of specialised events such as eSports. Printsome’s T-shirts are produced locally and from the best-quality garments.

From the moment you get in touch with us, you’ll receive the Printsome treatment. One of our printing experts will answer your questions and keep you informed each step of the way. Our delivery services work all over the UK and can adapt to most deadlines. It doesn’t matter if it’s 15 or 15,000 T-shirts. Printing garments has never been this easy.

Why worry about inventory or logistics when we can take care of that? We deal with the boring stuff so you have more time to do everything else. To find out more, simply visit our website.

    1. Post

      Hi Craig, I believe if you visit the website of the events, you’ll find the information necessary to purchase tickets. Let me know if you need anything else.

    1. Post
    1. Post
  1. ‘Play Expo Glasgow promises to bring top notch video game entertainment to the Scottish capital.’

    That will be Edinburgh then?

    1. Post

      Sorry about that. We have fixed it. Thanks for pointing it out – I obviously don’t know anything about the UK’s geography.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *