Yet again, FragRadio arrived at the NEC for another of Multiplay’s famous events, Insomnia 61. The Insomnia Gaming Festival events are the UK’s biggest gaming events to date with tens of thousands of gamers, of all calibre, from all around the UK come together for this legendary event. Attendees enjoy meet and greets, indie games, tournaments, retro games and much more. The festival is hard to not hear about these days with increasing popularity every year due to the backing of big brands and YouTubers alike.

Insomnia 61 ran from the 25th – 28th of August with the Summer event taking place in the Summer bank holiday every year. The event ran from 10:30 – 6PM every day with early access ticket holders being able to beat the queues and take part in the festivities from 10AM every day. The event is absolutely huge, spanning over 5 halls of the Birmingham NEC. Attendees will find themselves spoilt for choice on what to do at the event with stalls to buy goods, booths to play and try video games, drone racing, gaming chairs, supplements, a bring your own computer hall and much more.

The event started every day with the opening ceremony at 9:30, at the main stage, whilst attendees waited to be released to the event. The main stage hosted a variety of shows daily for the audience to watch and enjoy whilst having the opportunity to take part and interact with the hosts. Large YouTube influencers such as DanTDM (Minecraft YouTuber with over 10 million subscribers) hosted their own shows as well as other YouTubers taking part in challenges and gaming battles for the audience to enjoy. The player stage ran all day over the course of the event showcasing eSports tournaments, panel talks, game publishers and much more. The UK Masters CSGO Tournament ran all day Friday seeing Team Endpoint take home the £5,000 grand prize.

Multiple shows and events took place after the event hours with Insomnia’s world-famous pub quiz being a huge success yet again, sold out very soon after tickets were released. The well-established YouTube group, the Yogscast held their show as well as comedian John Robertson back for The Dark Room. The industry party also took place on the Sunday night with representation from many brands attending.

Multiplay hosted the Robot arena where event attendees could take part in battling robots from TV and games as well as the best roboteers going head to head against each other. Alongside robots, iSeries Drone Racing was back and better than ever featuring a stunning indoor race track complete with some of the best pilots in the world.

The Exhibition and retail zone, undoubtedly the most packed part of the event hosted many names in the gaming spectrum with big and small brands all receiving a lot of attention. There were many gaming companies such as Game, Corsair and MSI running booths which allowed attendees to play and try out lots of different games as well as learn more about their products. Stands like these as well as Multiplay themselves hosted meet and greets with YouTubers where fans could take a picture with their favourite YouTubers and chat to them briefly. Fanfiber, a merchandise company for smaller creators, ran many of these for a lot of smaller YouTubers attending the events. There was an opportunity to play some pre-release blockbuster games such as Call of Duty as well as indie games. The Tentacle Collective, a group of indie game developers ran by Payload Studios, exhibited yet again with many attendees enjoying indie games such as Gang Beasts and TerraTech. We’ve had the opportunity to work with the group at the Tentacle Collective in the past and would highly recommend checking out the various publishers. The well-known gamers’ charity, SpecialEffect were at Insomnia61 showing gamers what they do to help gamers with disabilities enjoy and play again. Multiple retail brands were selling products to consumers and making a name for themselves. Multiplay were even selling their very own Insomnia merchandise at the game and Insomnia merchandise stand. We personally checked out the products and they are amazing quality that lots of gamers purchased from the event.

Belong by Game and RAZER both had large stands at the event with lots to do at them. They managed to pack tournaments, free-play, live streams, merch, gaming gear, tournaments and virtual reality all into their booths. The two had a pure gaming experience with amazing atmospheres and provided everything a gamer could possibly want and were two of the key players in Insomnia 61’s success.

The pinnacle point of the festival for FragRadio was the Monday of the event from 12-2PM. We teamed up with the guys at RAZER to run a Shotgun Farmers tournament. Shotgun Farmers is a Steam early access game which is an online multiplayer shooter where your bullets grow the guns. A fully immersive game on RAZER's latest top of the line gaming peripherals allowed players to learn more about the game whilst competing in or out of the FragRadio tournament. The free-to-play tournament consisted of qualifying rounds in which anyone could take part in. The tournament was run on free for all mode and all participants received a free RAZER lanyard as a thank you for taking part. The final was the top 10 players from the qualifying rounds who battled it out to win the RAZER Naga Chroma mouse, the best MMO Gaming mouse on the market. The tournament was streamed on Twitch and it was extremely successful. We would like to thank Nick Haywood and the team at RAZER for the opportunity to host this tournament.

Insomnia 61, as a whole, was a thoroughly enjoyable event for the FragRadio team and the tens of thousands of attendees. We have attended the past 15 Insomnia Gaming Festival’s and by far this was best with so much on offer. All the staff, attendees, exhibitors, guests and press were friendly and welcoming creating such an amazing environment for regular attendees and those which Insomnia 61 was their first event. There is something for everybody to enjoy at the event emphasised by the diversity of the attendees. The price of the ticket is well worth the cost for the huge amount and variety of things you can expect at the event. FragRadio will definitely be back for Insomnia 62 in Easter and we cannot wait!

Check out the coverage from the event on our website and social media outlets;