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Live out your favorite stories at these experiential fan events
And bring on the Bingo with a free, unofficial Gilmore Girls-inspired "GILMO" card
Like much of millennial and Gen Z life, entertainment has been reshaped by a generational push for great experiences over great product. It’s not that we don’t love quality merchandise; my Stars Hollow-inspired poster collection from Etsy puts a big smile on my face every morning as I make my coffee coffee coffee! It’s just that we’ve all seen many a commemorative Looney Tunes glass around the country land squarely on the shelves of Goodwill stores to gather even more dust than they did at Grandma’s house. Besides, you’ll never have to death clean your precious vacation memories.
While media giants like Disney and Netflix have turned their focus to immersive experiences recently, fans have been creating their own ways to live out their favorite stories forever. Still, we can appreciate that there have never been more exciting options for fans to live out their dreams and build community with one another, in-person and virtually, through official or unofficial channels. These fan experiences are a few of our 2022 favorites:
1. Turn things Upside Down with a night at Netflix’s Stranger Things: The Experience
Whether you wish you could fight Vecna 💭💀🤺 or simply love the nostalgia of vintage mall culture (helllllo, Jazzercise and Orange Julius 🍊🧋), Stranger Things: The Experience brings you back to the 80s like no other event. You can participate in your own Stranger Things story, interact with characters, enjoy the special effects and incredible design elements, and chow down on some Surfer Boy Pizza 🏄♀️🍕. While it’s an official Netflix project, these sorts of big budget marketing concepts have been a boon to local theater communities around the U.S. One night in Hawkins, and you’ll never look at Eggos 🧇🧇 the same way again.
2. Run, walk, or cycle your way to Mordor with The Lord of the Rings: Virtual Challenges
If you find it hard to commit to a long-term fitness plan, you may just need the help of four Hobbits, two Men, an Elf, a Dwarf, and one really pissed off Wizard who told you so! about the Mines of Moria 🧙♂️💥. That’s right, you can sign up for The Lord of the Rings: Virtual Challenges and run, walk, or cycle the distance to Mordor in exchange for some shiny medals 🚴 🌋 🏅! If none of those activities are your thing, you can use their conversion chart to turn other activities (kayaking, martial arts, putting on the One Ring and experiencing the emotional weight of 50,000 Dumbbells) into miles for logging.
3. Meet cast members and crew from the TV show Gilmore Girls in a New England setting at The Fan Fest Society
The Fan Fest Society doesn’t just put your favorite celebrities in a convention center and then tack on an expo hall like a con; it’s an intimate, interactive experience that makes your favorite stories feel real. Founded by and for fans of the TV show Gilmore Girls, The Fan Fest Society is expanding into other experiential fandom events, but GG is our favorite so far. At past Fan Fest Society events, we’ve sailed away on a jazzy tune with legendary Liz Torres at a piano bar 🎹, performed improv comedy with Nick Holmes and Shelly Cole, hosted a Remarkist brunch with John Cabrera, and won prizes for our amazing GG-inspired constumes. This year’s Fan Fest Society main event will take place in Ogunquit, Maine, so be sure to pack your finest lobster bib before you hit the road 🦞🚙!
4. Go all out on a 2-night Star Wars adventure on Disney’s Galactic Starcruiser
Living like a Jedi isn’t as cheap as it seems 💡🗡, but if you’re a Star Wars fan with six grand to shell out, Disney’s Galactic Starcruiser may just be the adventure you’re looking for 🚀. Over a two night stay, you’ll live out a bespoke Star Wars experience, interact with characters, enjoying “exotic galactic cuisine”, and complete a special mission when you’re not snoozing it all off in your spaceship cabin. Fans of live action role-playing games (LARP) are sure to appreciate how Disney has taken this type of experience to the next level.
5. Attend a Major League Quidditch game (or try out for the team) for some unofficial HP fun
If you’re a big fan of Harry Potter and want to see what Quidditch looks like in real life, you can go to the Major League Quidditch website and find a schedule of local Quidditch games around the world 🧹🥅. You won’t actually get to see anyone fly, but real-life Quidditch is a well-organized sport with its own rules and regulations, like soccer or baseball, except you won’t look strange rolling up to the pitch in your finest robe and wizard hat.
6. Scour event sites for themed bar nights
If you love a craft cocktail and meeting new people from your favorite fandoms, you can check out sites like Meetup, Eventbrite, and Time Out to find pop culture-themed watch parties and trivia nights at your favorite local bars. Back when I was living in Washington, D.C. and was new to town, one of the first things I did was check out the Friday night Star Trek Happy Hour at the Black Cat, complete with a watch party, a “Vulcan Blood” cocktail 🍹🖖, and plenty of post-show mingling. Get on out there and make some new friends… just try not to violate the Prime Directive while you’re at it.
7. Go on a pilgrimage to your favorite filming locations
Whether there’s an official studio tour, an unofficial tour with transportation included (Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes a la Carrie Bradshaw, anyone?🧁🧁🧁), or simply a self-guided walking tour, nearly every city known as the location of a beloved TV show or movie is ripe with possibilities for fan activities. Among our favorites are the One Tree Hill Walking Tour in Wilmington, North Carolina, Scranton, Pennsylvania’s The Office Walking Tour, the Warner Bros. Gilmore Girls Holiday event in Burbank, California, and New York City’s Gossip Girl pedicab tour.
You can also simply create your own immersive fan events!
If all of these options sound too expensive or require travel, fear not. You can build out your own fandom events, with special party games, costume contests, and other experiences, such as a Dungeons & Dragons-style campaign (D&D) based on your favorite TV shows or a dinner where you watch Binging with Babish and recreate your favorite on-screen meals.
On the Remarkist app, you can even host virtual watch parties, create and collect Mementos from your favorite franchises, play games, and even sometimes meet and chat with cast and crew members from iconic shows and movies.
And now, another freebie for the Gilmore Girls fan community:
Want to get started on an immersive experience that’s fun, accessible, and doable in your own town? If so, then a themed-Bingo game and experiential scavenger hunt might be right up your alley. If you’re a fan of the show Gilmore Girls, challenge yourself and your friends to collect unofficial, Stars Hollow-inspired experiences wherever you are. Download this free BING—er GILMO-card and start knocking stuff off the list! How fast can you shout “GILMO?!”
Not a Remarkist member yet? Here’s how to get started:
Step 1: Join our beta as an early adopter and grab your unique @membername. Install our app using the instructions here, and be one of the earliest to collect our KRNL token while earning rates are high. KRNLs fuel Remarkist’s fandom economy of events and collectibles.
Step 2: Join our Remarkist Clubhouse Club—Clubhouse is a separate mobile app on iPhone and Android that we use right now to meet and watch content together. You’ll need it to actually join us for our real-time events, and you’ll need to be a member of our club there to see those chat rooms.
Step 3: Join our Discord Server—this is where hundreds of Remarkists are geeking out over the shows we love 24 hours a day, and it’s where you can get the latest developments on the project.
Step 4: Check our website at remarkist.com for a splashy birds-eye view of the biggest stuff happening in our ecosystem.
Step 5: Subscribe to future newsletters so you can stay up to date on all the exciting stuff coming to Remarkist in 2022!