The Post UK Pinfest 2019 Pondering of a Permanently Partially Pissed Person

UKPinfest has a special place in my heart. Last year I had attended my very first one, being someone relatively new into the scene. Times had changed though, I knew more people, understood more about the scene and this year I was really looking forward to it. This is a community that’s is easy to fall in love with. It’s also easy to feel a part of. Last year I knew very few of the names and faces – this year I knew I could sit and have a beer with quite a few people. Which was exciting – but also meant I would possible have quite a few beers. Here’s how I remember UK Pinfest 2019.

Some images have been supplied by James at Majestic Pinball – thank you for letting me use them. I am useless sometimes in remembering to take pictures.

Pinfest Main
The view from “Backstage – Friday Night”

Thursday Night

Thursday night was a bit of nightmare for me – it has to be said. I had to pack everything up in a car to get to Pinfest. I promised that I was going to take my Tales from the Crypt and take it I did. Along with my streaming gear – I was all ready to go. It was a struggle, but it all went in. I was going on an adventure.

Tales from the crypt all loaded up for UK Pinfest 2019

Friday – Arrival Day at UK Pinfest 2019

The arrival was super smooth, with so many people on hand to support. Like many of us would be later that night, everything flowed like a well oiled machine. The pin was taken out for me and positioned and the team got to reconnecting the head allowing me to set up my streaming gear. I am no expert, but these guys really were. I cannot thank them enough. Watching these machines effortlessly be positioned, put together and bought to life was incredible. Like a majestic dance or the most amazing toys you have ever seen. Slowly, as I unpacked and set up – the room filled with more and more treats. The team were calm, focussed and organised. I, however, was like a kid in a chocolate factory. Pun intended.

Friday Night

A hop in and have a quick shower, some phone calls I needed to make and I was back in the pin filled room. The Friday night session was the VIP session. As I wondered in to the room, just before the doors opened, I actually felt a huge twinge of excitement. The countdown was over – UK Pinfest 2019 was here.

The Friday Night Live Stream for me was of Alice Cooper – I found it to be an incredible game – genuinely so much fun. I heard many rumours that the licence was only for 300 units. If that is the case, this is going to become a rarity and hugely sought after. It has so many shots and yes, because of that some are challenging. When you hit them though – wow. So satisfying.

Players lining up at UK Pinfest 2019 to play Alice Cooper
Andy Foster up at the bat on Alice Cooper

Some top players joined the stream throughout – Wayne Johns (pictured), Andy Foster, Rich Mallet, TUX and the winner of the competition. Martin Ayub. Thanks once more Spooky Pinball for the prize!

Feedback throughout the event was hugely positive for the game – and I have to echo that once more. It delivers in so many aspects, the artwork is sublime, the animations are top drawer, the callouts are second to none and the modes are fun.

Good times with Great people

I spent the entire evening streaming, and drunk quite a few beers. I got to play a few games which was nice, but mostly, I got to chat with some top top people. Friday night came and went in all a bit of a blur. A great one however. I managed to get some pictures with some friends too – which was always good.

UK Pinfest 2019 Drunk
Streaming Selfies Friday Night

Whilst I wasn’t lucky enough to get to spend too much time with him – I even managed to drop in on Tim from Pinball Live – he was clearly having some fun too.

Tim from Pinball Live - At UK Pinfest 2019
Pinball Live – Tim and his Broadcast Level Equipment

Saturday at UK Pinfest 2019

Saturday Morning

On the Saturday morning I knew it was going the be the day that was for sure the busiest. I started with a great breakfast from hotel, by which I mean the usual, sausage – egg, bacon, toast, hash brown. The works. By this time, my head was buzzing a little. Had I overdone it the night before, I couldn’t remember so the answer was probably yes.

I wondered through into the main hall to begin to move around the streaming gear onto the Addams Family and the buzzing in my head wouldn’t stop. I took a couple of paracetamol. After a while the buzzing even sounded like a Dremel – in fact… it was a Dremel. Which brings me on to these guys.

The Pinball Amigos at UK Pinfest 2019
Pinball Amigos at UK Pinfest 2019
The Pinball Amigos at UK Pinfest 2019

When I say these guys are F’ing crazy – they know it is said with much love. Oh, and these guys – they are f’ing crazy. When I went over to ask what the noise was, they delighted in telling me they were just adding some lights to their Dispicable Me pinball machine “on the fly”. It was nuts, but they got it to work. Their answer to why they were doing it.. was something along the lines of…

What we do, it should be fun. If it doesn’t work – it doesn’t work, but we try. If it breaks, we fix it. That’s what it’s all about.

The Pinball Amigos

Epotech managed to get a stream of this incredible machine – you can check that out by clicking the link below.

The Pinball Amigos Take Over at UK Pinfest
The Pinball Amigos Take Over from Epotech

Having spent quite some time chatting to the guys over the weekend, I got an all access tour of their next game – The Crazy Mansion – when it is ready, it is going to be absolutely nuts, there is so much going on here. The smoke and the fans is just simply, ridiculous. i won’t spoil this for them, it’s their story to tell and for you to all see, if you can get to a show and see this in the flesh though, you won’t help but be impressed.

Forbidden Planet

Epotech also had his incredible Forbidden Planet at the event, I took loads of pictures but none of them do the game justice, and I don’t want to game a disservice. It looked unreal in the flesh. There are some out there, I don’t want to steal them as that isn’t right either. Go find them. This thing is custom throughout – and I mean top to toe. Trust me it’s like nothing you have seen. You can see a live stream for it here.

The Competition

Early on, on the morning of the competition, it became clear there was an issue with the software to be used for the tournament. That could have been an absolute nightmare. I mean – tournament ending. However, Wayne and Paul had a backup and executed it perfectly. Through all the drama, would Cinderella go to the ball? I passed by the competition area a few times and it was heaving. Things were going up and it was working. They had managed to pull it off. A huge credit to those two on doing that. Simply – wow.

The UK Pinfest 2019 competition was really fun, I had my reservations about the format, which I have outlined before – but I have to say. Yes, I really enjoyed it. I only entered with £20 – and my major issue is that some people did much much more. I don’t have an issue with “pay to win” – but more so, an issue with knowing when to cut people off. In my mind, some people may be chasing the high – and that should be monitored.

Games – Games – Games
Pinfest Main
Machines at UK Pinfest 2019

As I said, Saturday was the busy day and there were games to be played – here is some gratuitous pinporn.

The Addams Family Challenge Stream

The first of two streams was the Addams Family Challenge – “The Moose” was an incredible help and support in getting this organised and I have to say – thanks once more buddy for supporting. I had a really great time in doing this stream as it was something completely different.

I will have to do a clip section of people’s reactions to the game, because it was absolutely incredible. The game shocks at random times. Left handle, right handle, both and with added smoke, it was a beauty to stream. After hitting the chair – it also reverses the flippers – which was great fun. You can view the full stream by clicking the image below.

Of course, there were also prizes to be won. I would like to say a big thank you to Col’s Pinball Mods for the extremely generous first prize of £50 to spend on the website.

Metallica – High Score Stream

Not to just leave something there, I managed to get another stream in too – which was golden. This time on an absolutely gorgeous Metallica. I mean – check this beauty out.

Metallica High Score Competition at UK Pinfest 2019
Metallica High Score Competition at UK Pinfest 2019

The stream, which you can rewatch below – was really good, and once again a special guest came by to destroy my rig. Now I am not one to speculate on espionage and diplomatic destruction. but Pinball Live might have destroyed my first mic stand “finding the tilt” – so apologies for the sound issues at certain points.

Once more there were prizes to be won. Yet another huge thank you to Col’s Pinball Mods for the extremely generous first prize of £50 to spend on their website.

When I say stall – you say BALL!

By this time – the beer was in full effect. Now I am no expert, but I think if you have a listen to the audio on this stream, you may just be able to hear Phil enticing people to play. By this point the evening was in full swing and Neil from Domino Arcade had done a great event with some top top prizes.

The UK Pinfest Stall Ball Competition
The UK Pinfest Stall Ball Competition

I didn’t really get to dip into the stall ball, simply because my stream over ran and the length of the queue, even on VIP night – was insane. So I gave it a swerve. As you can see it went down really well though.

The Saturday Night Chill

There was some really relaxed pinball to be played Saturday night, with some beers and some chat – which is always amazing. This was the kickback time and people were all just relaxed and enjoying it. The pins usually had one or two people waiting to play them during the day. Which wasn’t bad – but in the evening, at the VIP sessions, that’s just not the case. So you can grab your beer from the bar and onto a pin. Perfect.

This was my relaxing time, not too many beers, I wouldn’t want to do anything silly.

Sunday at UK Pinfest 2019

Sunday – Packup and Tournament

The Sunday was all about packing up for me, but so much pinball was being played by others it was unreal. The machines were not heaving and I focussed on the tournament before heading out – thoroughly enjoying what was an incredible weekend. You can check out the incredible stream right below – just click the image below.

UK Pinfest 2019 Tournament Final
UK Pinfest 2019 Tournament Final
Summary

I don’t think that you can say just how much effort goes into one of these events – the crew just never stop. The people are some of the very best. The pins were top drawer and the beer was great value and plentiful (mostly) – £3.50 a pint was incredible.

The show had a huge number of pinball machines. So many classics, some good modern games (notably from me Batman ’66, Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper and Black Knight: Sword of Rage) – all of which I am sure got their fair share of plays.

The vibrancy of the homebrew section, which included Forbidden Planet, The Matrix and the absolutely bonkers Pinball Amigo’s added an extra dimension. These guys are all passionate about pinball and just about crazy enough to make these things for us to enjoy – yet rarely play themselves. As the work is never done.

Neil and Tim did awesome work with their streams, they are truly dedicated to what they do and produce some top level content in the pinball community. Let alone the fact that I didn’t really even mention Neil’s other tournament, Fight Club as I didn’t even get to complete it.

This year, Pinfest felt like the UK’s pinball answer to Disneyland – there was something to do everywhere – you were spoilt for choice, the fun never stopped and no matter how hard you try, you cannot do it all in the time you are there.

I am hoping there will be an announcement in the near future on UK Pinfest 2020. I am 100% in. To see people I now call friends and make some more along the way. If you have any other memories of UK Pinfest 2019 you would like to share, please leave them in the comments below.

6 comments

  • Yep really enjoyed it see you all next year.

  • Completely agree with the Disneyland analogy, would loved to have got in on that fight club as well but didn’t get the time. So many great machines, couldn’t play them all though I tried my damnedest! Looking forward to next year, outstanding event 🙂

  • fabulous show as always and really looking forward to next year. Always good to meet friends old and new

    Cheers

    Kev (Newdos)

  • Good read mate. Great show.
    Bloody smoke machine taking its ball home 😂

    • Cheers Moose,

      I did just have a little chuckle to myself at that. That blinking smoke machine!!!

      It’s gone again – “well… it can stay gone”

      😛

  • Was my first time at any pinball event, I was overwhelmed with the sheer number of machines, and how shockingly bad I am on real pinball, it must be over 30 years since I last played on an actual table. Props to all who organised the event, hope to play again soon.

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