So this is my SOS2011 write-up:
At 5pm GMT+1 me and my dad went towards the Amstel Station in Amsterdam. We were a tad early so we had to wait for like an hout before we were able to board the bus. At 7.30pm GMT+1 the bus departed towards The Hague. It took about an hour to arrive there and the bus waited there for like 15 mins to pick up some more passengers. When those were inside, we went on towards Rotterdam and Breda to pick up some more passengers. At Breda we had a little break (after being 4 hours inside the bus already) and me and my dad went to the McDonalds which was just around the corner. I had a last check on Facebook and ate my hamburger and we then moved on at 22.30pm GMT+1. The bus drove all the way down to Antwerp (Belgium), picked up some more people over there. For some reason the bus driver decided to take a long break, but the passengers weren't allowed to go outside the bus. He turned of the bus' engine and so the air-conditioning stopped, which caused everyone to melt down. I tried to sleep but I was no able to as there was a women sitting next to me coughing every 60 seconds during the whole frigging night. After the long wait in Antwerp we moved on to Calais (France, the other side of the Street of Dover). We arrived at Calais at like 2.30am GMT+1. We all had to go through the UK Border Control which took like an hour and then we were finally allowed to move on towards the ferry at like 3.30am GMT+1. We got informed it would take like an hour and 20 minutes to get to the UK.
The ferry was immense! Really, I have not been on a bigger ship before in my life, nor did I see one! They had all kinds of shops and restaurants and lounge rooms, it really was amazing. I also spotted Angie (Crush40-Fanclub.de) on the same ferry, but since she was asleep I didn't started a conversation with her as I didn't wanted to wake her up. I tried to get some sleep as well but I was too excited to be in the UK and attend SOS for the first time, to actually do so. So at like 4am GMT we had to head back to our buses and get from Dover to London. The sun started to rise and so I got a nice view on beautiful England. It took about an hour to get to London, and another 45 minutes to get to the Victoria Coach Station. I kept looking out of the window non-stop, just to see how fantastic London was. It really was, and I took quite a lot of photos of it. So we arrived earlier than expected at the Victoria Coach Center. We were told we would be there at 6.30am GMT, but in fact we were there already at 5.45am GMT. When we arrived, we had a lot of time left before SOS started. I checked on Google Maps if there was anything to do nearby the Victoria Coach Station, and I found out that the Google HQ was just around the corner. I actually wanted to check that out, but unfortunately I couldn't find it.
So we went to the Victoria Underground Station, which is were I saw the WHSmiths. I remember reading people bought their copy of the GamesMaster Sonic 20th Edition over there, so I had a look. Unfortunately, there were only 2 copies left, both being torn open and missing the gifts. So I hoped to find it for sale at SOS or something. We found out that the Victoria line was closed, so we took the District and Northern line instead to get to Euston. At the Euston station, I saw 2 other WHSmiths-shops. Why they had 2 WHSmiths-shops at one railway station is far beyond me really. One WHSmiths store opened at 7am, the other one at 10am. It was 6.30am at the time we were at the Euston Station, so we waited for a while and got something to eat and drink to kill time. At 7am, we headed back to the WHSmiths and took a look, finding out that they had some mint copies of the GamesMaster Sonic 20th Edition left. My dad suggested to have a look for those at SOS first, and we could always get it there afterwards.
So we went outside and searched for Kings Cross. After a pretty long walk, we finally got there and we then had to find the Camden Center. Luckily we found it pretty fast and thus we joined the queue. I was trying to spot people like Kasey, iwantthatguitar, bcdcdude, Angelidia and everyone else I knew by name and face, but no success. I decided to have a look at the rest of the line behind me and my dad, and I saw that the line went all around the building! After walking towards the end of the line to see if I recognized some people, I accidentally walked into Naka-san and Iizuka-san, and Naka-san greeted me ;D This already made my day, and it barely started yet! I walked back to my dad who was waiting in the queue and proudly told him I saw Naka-san and Iizuka-san and that Yuji Naka greeted me. I then saw Benji standing so I walked towards him. It was really great to finally meet him in person and we had a nice little chat. He introduced me to a few of his friends, which also included Angelidia and Angie. I feel pretty bad about not properly introducing myself to them, but I was really tired of the long bus trip I had that night as I hadn't slept for like 24 hours. This is also the reason why my English was really bad at the day, I often used Dutch words too as I was really knackered after that sleepless night. I also chatted with Angie right there in the queue and I told her I saw her sleeping at the ferry, which made her laugh. After that little chat with Angie, Benji and Gareth started to sing various Sonic tunes. I joined them as well as well as quite a lot of other people waiting in the line.
So at 9.30AM we got to enter the venue. Some people in front of us were not allowed to get inside the venue as they didn't had an admission slip. This made me pretty nervous as me and a few others neither had one because T-Bird kindly put us on his guest-list (for this I am really thankful). We fortunately got inside without any issues, and we were handed some awesome freebies at the entrance. Once inside I rushed towards the merch tables. I bought the SA1 OST Re-release as well as a soft Robotnik-plushie. Throughout the day I met various people. I enjoyed every single stage performance, and I also got lots of stuff autographed. I also tried a Chili Dog, it was absolutely delicious, but it was pretty hard to eat as it was literary collapsing in my hands. I've been chatting with a lot of people, and I think it was really great to be with hundreds of people who share the same passion. I also met Jun during the first Sonic Team Q&A. I took a picture with him and he gave me a Crush 40 guitar pick! Later on the day, everyone of this forums gathered in front of the stage at like 1pm. This was when the JS.com group photo was token. We also got the opportunity to take a picture with Jun and his epic Sonic-guitar alone, and Jun even let me hold his guitar - I feel so honored!! After those pictures were taken, we headed outside to record a message for Martin. I didn't actually knew what to say so I sort of messed it up, but I hope he won't mind that!
The cosplay-contest was really cool as well, there were a lot of cosplayers - really, there must have been at least 50 of them! They looked all really awesome, and also some very original ones like Bark the Polar Bear, Scrouge, Human Sonic, Sharah, Eggman Nega and Wave the Swallow.
Nevermind The Buzzbombers was absolutely entertainment at it's best, it was way too funny to see poor T-Bird losing again from Dreadknux, and I also laughed when Dreadknux again gave the wrong answer to the question "What is Tails' Superstar move in Sega Superstars Tennis?".
The Wrecks Factor was really great as well, it was absolutely hilarious to see various talented fans sing songs like My Destiny, My Sweet Passions and E.G.G.M.A.N.
The stage showcase acts were very cool as well as everything else, I think ShadowGirl is really talented and I really enjoyed her short show. Zonic is very talented as well, her vocals to Green Hill Zone were great! Roareye's stand-up comedy show was epic, that guy has some great sense of humor.
Julien-K's performance was really fantastic! They really rocked it hard and I and Matt were lucky enough to be in front row and even get our hands on official JK guitar picks afterwards. There were some technical difficulties during their show, and they suitably closed their show with their song "Technical Difficulties".
During the second Sonic Team Q&A session, questions from the SOS site were asked. These questions included questions by Benji and me, this made me very happy as there were like 1000 questions on the SOS site, and mine was one of the few picked questions
After the Q&A was over, Naka-san, Iizuka-san and Senoue-san went off stage. Before Jun went behind the stage, he teased us all by saying "You will see me later today!", and so he did.
At 18.??, the Sonic (not so) Hour Live started. This was really entertaining and I enjoyed every single bit of it. After the Sonic not-so Hour, Club Sonic started slowly. In the first place, there were not much people singing along, but after Jun attracted everyone's attention towards the stage by playing some short jingles and went off stage quickly, everyone did sang along to the tunes played during Club Sonic. This was really great and it really gave me chills how everybody sang along to every tune. My dearest compliments to the DJ and Svend who both entertained the crowds greatly and kept them going. At 19.30pm, Mr Jun Senoue went back on stage and played a Sonic 4-medley, a GHZ-medley, the new version of City Escape and Live and Learn. Mr AAUK actually provided vocals to L&L, he seemed really surprised by this. It was great to finally see Jun performing live!
I was really disappointed when SOS was over, it was totally a memorable day which I'll never forget. I did went home almost immediately as I was completely knackered after being awake for like 36 hours and I really needed a bed. If I would have stayed a bit longer, I would've collapsed just like my chili dog did. I am very sorry I couldn't say good-bye to a lot of you properly, I hope you will forgive me.
Me and my dad went straight towards our hotel room, I crashed down to my bed and stayed there for like 15 minutes. We then went to a great Indonesian restaurant just around the corner. That was really delicious, but I unfortunately were literary too tired to eat, so I only ate a little.
We went back to out hotel room again, and I went to sleep instantly. The morning after we had to wake up at like 6.30am because we had to be at the Victoria Coach Station again at 9am. We packed our stuff, went downstairs to have some breakfast. We walked into one of the guys managing the breakfast-hall, and he told us there were some problems and thus the breakfast got delayed. We had to wait for half an hour before we could get out breakfast. I decided to try everything they offered as I always wanted to have a full English breakfast. It was absolutely delicious, such a shame we don't eat awesomesauce like that for breakfast here in the Netherlands!
After the breakfast we went back to the Euston station, I went to the WHSmiths to get the GamesMaster Sonic 20th Edition, and we then moved on to the Victoria Underground Station. From there on we walked to the Victoria Coach Station, and boarded the bus again. I was surprised when I noticed we didn't had to go through the French Border Security and we could just move on. We crossed the Street of Dover per train this time, this went a lot faster than per ferry. After a few hours in the bus we had a 45 minute break in Lille (France), followed by another few hours in the bus and then a stop in Brussels. We stopped for like 30 minutes in Brussels, locked up in the bus with the air-conditioning turned off. After those killing 30 minutes, we went towards The Hague, Rotterdam and finally Amsterdam again.
It was great to meet everyone who was there at SOS. Sorry if I didn't mentioned you in this write-up, please don't feel offended, I really enjoyed talking to you as well! I hope everyone who was not able to go this year will be there next year, as I am sure as hell I will! Although it was definitely worth it, I am NEVER going to London with the bus again. I'd rather spend 4 times as much to have some decent sleep rather than eing awake for 36 hours non-stop.
Thanks to everyone who was there, you all made my day! Also lots of thanks and my dearest compliments for Svend, Adam, Kevin and everyone else who helped organizing SOS - you have all outdone yourself and it was the best day of my life!