Insomnia66 | The UK's Biggest Gaming Festival


Insomnia returns to the NEC, Birmingham on 10th-13th April for its biggest show yet. See your favourite YouTubers from across the globe, play some of the latest games, experience virtual reality, relive the past in our retro zone, and try a new level of gaming in the tabletop zone and so much more all under one roof! 

On this page you can find everything you need to know about the show! From check in times & how to get to the show to ticket information and FAQ’s!



All the latest information about our event can be found by following our social channels: Twitter @IGFestUK, Facebook/IGFestUK, Instagram @IGFestUK & Youtube/IGFestUK.

All ticket queries please contact our ticket agent: 0871 220 0260 or visit https://www.seetickets.com/CustomerService.  They can help with issuing carers tickets, lost tickets and any issues you may now have with attending our event.  Full event T&Cs HERE

I bought a family ticket, does this have to be 2 adults 2 children?

No, a family/group ticket can apply to any 4 individuals and isn’t governed by age.

I’ve given my tickets to someone else but it is my name on the ticket, will that matter?

No, we check the barcode on the ticket and not the name so this won’t matter.

I’ve paid for my ticket but haven’t received an email what do I do?

If you received a confirmation email your tickets should be attached to the email. If you still haven’t received them you can call See Tickets on 08712200260 or alternatively head to https://www.seetickets.com/CustomerService for more information.

Do I need to bring ID?

Day Visitors – you do not need ID to check-in, only to purchase alcohol on site.

Weekend & BYOC visitors – ID is required to ensure you have the correct wristbands.  If you are unable to provide ID you will be given an under 18 wristband.

Proof of age documents we will accept can be found here

I’m bringing a child, do they need a ticket?

We operate a “babes-in-arms policy herein if your child is unable to walk then we do not charge a ticket. Tickets for children up to the age of 6 are £1. We advise that children under the age of 16 are accompanied by an adult.

Do you provide disabled/carer tickets/discounts?

We do not provide concessions, however, we can provide a free carer ticket for those who receive Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payments. In order to gain a carer ticket, please contact our ticket agent with a scan or picture of the attendee’s DLA/PIP letter, the attendee’s order number (found on their eticket) and the carer’s full name and email address. Please call 0871 220 0260 or email accessibility@seetickets.com to find out more information.

I’m a parent with no interest in gaming, do I still have to buy a ticket?

Yes, anyone coming into the event needs a ticket. For those who just wish to wait or pick up from the event, there are public areas with seating outside the hall. 

What is your ticket refund policy?

Our refund policy can be found here: https://insomniagamingfestival.com/terms-and-conditions/

Is the event wheelchair accessible?

The NEC is a wheelchair accessible venue, and our event is designed to accommodate wheelchair users. Insomnia features two main 6m aisles, has 3m aisles between stands, and our feature zones are designed to allow wheelchair users easy access to all content. The Main Stage has space among the seating to accommodate wheelchair users, and volunteers on hand to help guide you to the nearest suitable space. Be advised that our event is very busy, so there will be a lot of people to navigate around.

We advise that some of our exhibitors’ stands may not be wheelchair accessible, with raised floors or standing desks. Unfortunately we do not have access to this information beforehand.

What are the light levels like in the event?

There are a variety of light levels throughout the event. The main Expo hall (Hall 3) is brightly lit, with the light levels set lower in Hall 3a. The Main Stage and BYOC halls are both kept dark, and feature moving lights. We do not use strobe effects in our show.

How noisy is the event?

Our event has two stages, and many of our exhibitors broadcast activity or play music on their stand. Along with the volume of people in the event, this makes the show as a whole very noisy.

We do not provide quiet spaces within the show, but the NEC’s main concourse has an Atrium with seating which is usually quiet.

Do you provide disabled/carer tickets/discounts?

We do not provide concessions, however, we can provide a free carer ticket for those who receive Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payments. In order to gain a carer ticket, please contact our ticket agent with a scan or picture of the attendee’s DLA/PIP letter, the attendee’s order number (found on their eticket) and the carer’s full name and email address. Please call 0871 220 0260 or email accessibility@seetickets.com to find out more information.

Can we bring food & drink into the event?

You are welcome to bring food & drink into the event, as not all dietary requirements are catered for with on-site food options. Some stands may ask you to package food away before using their equipment to avoid damages.

What temperature is the venue?

The NEC halls are climate controlled and are kept at a medium temperature, be advised that areas such as Camping & BYOC can get cold overnight as the level of people varies.

What do I do if I am being harassed at the event?

We endeavour to ensure a safe, welcoming environment for our audience. Anyone of any disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, body size, age, race or more should be able to enjoy the event free of harassment.

If you are being harassed, or feel uncomfortable, please contact a member of staff on-site who can help deal with the problem, or escalate to NEC security, as required.

I have questions that aren’t addressed in this FAQ

Please contact us by email at events@player1events.com and we will do our best to help.

Cosplaying at Insomnia 

We would advise that if you are planning to use public transport to the Venue that you wear normal clothes and any cosplay weapons you are planning to bring with you are discreetly out of view of the general public until you arrive, this to ensure you do not cause unnecessary panic or distress on your way. Once you arrive at the venue you can change here although we do not have changing rooms we do have a number of toilets. Any weapons may be checked by a security manager once you attempt to enter the event and they will be tagged to show the weapons are safe. Once you leave the venue any cosplay weapons should once again placed discreetly out of view of the general public.

Insomnia does not provide storage space for bags or costumes, but the NEC provides a cloakroom facility next to the halls to store items of clothing & bags. For more information, including charges, see the NEC Visitor FAQ

Weapons and props must be approved by security staff before being allowed into the convention. This may include checks which will be carried out by the cosplay team. Decisions made by the venue security and staff are final and these rules serve as a guide only.

The general rule is;

‘If you were hit with the prop, would it break before you do?’

If your answer is ‘no’ then it means that someone could get hurt were this to happen. In which case, we would recommend you leave it at home just so you are not disappointed.

When outside of the convention hall, please make sure you have a safe way to transport your props and that they are sufficiently covered. Take extra precaution when travelling through high traffic areas such as the airport and railway stations, so as not to cause alarm or issue to others.

Live weapons (deactivated guns, Airsoft, metal knives, swords, axes, live bows or slingshots, bokken, hanbo) are expressly prohibited, whether sheathed or piece bonded.

No exceptions will be made regardless of any special licences, training or memberships!

No pyrotechnics, gas canisters, explosives (including cap-guns) or incendiary items.

No weapons that can fire any sort of projectile, including foam darts or water. Unless it can be shown to be empty, with a visible brightly coloured safety tip and/or that only some parts have been used for the prop.

No sharp points, protruding points or sharp edges, make sure they’re sanded, rounded, padded, covered or otherwise protected adequately.

Props made out of wood cannot be too heavy, large or unwieldy (I.e blocks corridors/doorways or is likely to hit, hurt or inconvenience others.)

You cannot perform any action which may lead event staff, attendees or members of the general public to believe you are in possession of a real live weapon.

In all cases, the weapon or prop must be no longer than 1.6 m (5’2”).

Large elements, such as wings, exceeding over two meters, must be collapsed when on the convention floor. (Please contact us to check if you are worried about your costume dimensions at cosplay@costumeandplay.co.uk)

Please be aware that these rules are here to ensure we have a safe event for both staff and attendees. If you have been asked to put your prop away, please do so. In an extreme case you may be escorted from the event.

If there is any doubt, please send photos and a description of the prop to cosplay@costumeandplay.co.uk.

Parking Information 

You pay for the car park on exit so no need to book but you can pre-order and pre-pay from the NEC website if you wish i65 Parking at the NEC

It will be £5 either way but please note that if you’re in the BYOC and camping you’ll only pay when you leave the car park after the show.

Parking is on the NEC complex and not far to walk from the customer car parks to the Halls and there is also a free shuttle bus if you prefer.

We recommend for all things relating to the venue including any disabled support you require please head to www.thenec.co.uk

Food and drink

There are ample catering facilities onsite catering for all customer needs.  If you have specific dietary requirements we recommend you bring this with you to the event.  

Is there anywhere to leave/store luggage?

Yes, there are cloakrooms which will charge £1 per item and will be open during show hours.

Items cannot be left overnight, any items left at the end of the day will be transferred to lost property.

If our indoor camping doesn’t sound like your cup of Red Bull, Travelodge is offering festival attendees a 5% discount on their next stay at any Travelodge in Birmingham! If you’d like to take advantage of this, check out this page here for your discount. If you want to have a look at further information on each Travelodge hotel, click here

For promotional T&C’s, click here.

BYOC – What do I need to bring?

  • Tower/console/laptop · Monitor (just one please unless you have a VIP ticket!)
  • Keyboard
  • Headset (no speakers please!)
  • Mouse and mat
  • Kensington Lock (highly recommended for both PC and Monitor)
  • A surge protected four way power strip
  • ID – Please see general FAQs above for accepted ID
  • Insomnia BYOC ticket

BYOC Seat Picker

If you have purchased a BYOC ticket and need to select where your station will be please click here https://seatpicker.seetickets.com/

For a guide on how to use the Insomnia seat picker click here

Indoor Camping

With your ticket you are allocated the relevant space, this can be for a tent, airbed, camp bed, roll mat. We request you bring the correct size. If you are outside your allocated area we will ask you to take down your tent to bring you in line with the area size you have purchased.  

How much space do I get with a camping ticket?

The space allowed for each camping ticket is 2.6 x 1.6 meters.

Age restrictions for indoor camping

Camping is available for anyone who is 16 and over, we do not allow anyone under 16 in to camp. You are required to bring ID in order to collect your indoor camping wristband. Please see our terms and conditions on ID requirements here

Allocation of spaces

Spaces are allocated when you arrive for the best chance to pitch by your friends we ask that you all arrive together

What are the showering/changing facilities?

There will be individual electric showers available in the Indoor sleeping area as well as communal changing facilities.

Alcohol at the Pub Quiz 

You may bring sealed and unopened Q-Jacker purchased alcohol into the Pub Quiz. No other alcohol will be permitted into the quiz. There will also be a selection of bars inside the quiz serving a variety of drinks. Alcohol may not be taken out of the hall.

Loyalty levels will be set when the early bird discount comes off sale and then the loyalty scheme will kick into play.

Loyalty rules of accrual

One level is added to a customer’s loyalty for each event they attend.

Old scheme numbering vs new loyalty ranking


NEW – the numbers are for the information guide only so people will know where they are ranked

26 +

Diamond 10

23 – 25

Diamond 9

20 – 22

Diamond 8

13 – 19

Gold 7

10 – 12

Gold 6

8 – 9

Gold 5

6 – 7

Silver 4

3 – 5

Silver 3


Bronze 2


Bronze 1

New Scheme – BYOC Loyalty is set into 4 ranks spread over 10 levels

  • Bronze Rank is the starting rank given to all new customers at level 1.
  • Silver Rank is reached when customers hit level 3
  • Gold Rank is reached when customers hit level 5
  • Diamond Rank is reached when customers hit level 8

Example: A customer who has attended 5 events will become a Gold customer but will not be able to use the benefits of a Gold discount until they come to book their 6th event.  

Loyalty discounts

  • Bronze – No discounts
  • Silver – £10 off an Insomnia ticket (any BYOC ticket, Standard/Priority/VIP) per event (only 1 discount instance per person on 1 ticket only)
  • Gold – £15 off an Insomnia ticket (any BYOC ticket, Standard/Priority/VIP) per event (only 1 discount instance per person on 1 ticket only)
  • Diamond – £20 off an Insomnia ticket (any BYOC ticket, Standard/Priority/VIP) per event (only 1 discount instance per person on 1 ticket only) – if a Diamond level customer purchases a ticket during the early discount period they will receive a free upgrade to a BYOC Priority ticket.


A customer’s loyalty ranking (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond) increases when they attend, if customers are unable to attend events then their loyalty ranking level will decrease, the scheme is designed to reward regular BYOC attendance.  

After each event (up to 5 days) each customer’s loyalty will be updated on their account based on us reviewing who has attended the last event, all attending BYOC customer loyalty will increase.

If you have not attended the event then your loyalty ranking will freeze, awaiting your booking for the next event, after the next event your loyalty will then increase if you attend and all non attended customers it will decrease.  As an example if you miss one event then your loyalty will stay at the same level, if you miss 2 consecutive events then your loyalty will start to decrease and will drop 1 level per consecutive event you do not attend

Can I film/take pictures at Insomnia?

Yes, you are welcome to take pictures or film within the event as much as you like, provided you do not plan to use anything for commercial purposes. However, if you are going to film other people we suggest you get their permission first.

What happens with pictures taken at Insomnia?

By entering the festival site you agree to grant the Event permission to use your image in any publicity, marketing or promotional materials. Please refer to our full T&Cs here

The NEC Group has extensive knowledge and experience in ensuring the safe delivery of events, exhibitions and concerts across its venues, using a wide range of solutions.

The NEC are constantly reviewing their measures to ensure that they remain effective and proportionate.

West Midlands Police and Counter Terrorist Security Advisors work in partnership with them at the venue, often deploying a variety of resources to work alongside those of our team.  These include a number of overt and covert security measures, so whilst you may not see all operational security activity, you should be assured that it is on-going, often behind the scenes to prevent crime and keep you safe whilst you enjoy your visit.

The NEC has multi layered security measures and procedures in place including:

  • State of the art CCTV monitoring and communications centres
  • Walk Through Metal Detector Security Arches
  • Search and screening technology
  • Bag searches at venue entrances
  • A Response and Conflict Management team
  • Behavioural Detection team
  • Dedicated Security Dog team
  • An onsite West Midlands Police team
  • Vehicle check points
  • Hostile Vehicle Mitigation protection

We periodically deploy highly-visible resources to deter, detect and disrupt a range of criminal activity, providing reassurance to our customers, so please don’t be surprised if in and around our venues you see both uniformed and plain-clothed officers.

What can you do to help?

  • We encourage you to arrive at the venue as early as possible, to allow more time for enhanced security checks.
  • It is best for everyone to only bring essentials and note that bags and suitcases may be searched.  Some items and bags of a certain size may not be allowed into some events.  The NEC does have on site storage facilities at an additional cost, but please check event pages on the NEC website ahead of your visit to see if there are any specific bag size policies.
  • Their security teams work hard to keep you safe, please help them by co-operating with their requests.
  • You have an important role to play in helping us by reporting anything that doesn’t feel right, for example any unattended items or someone acting suspiciously. You can report anything suspicious to any of our security officers or the Police. 

Remember: ‘See It. Say It. Sorted.’

Get In Touch!

For more information or if you feel your question wasn’t answered above feel free to get in touch at events@player1events.com

WEEKEND Opening Times


10:30* - 18:00
10:30* - 18:00
10:30* - 18:00
10:30* - 18:00

*Priority tickets grant entry to the main exhibitions hall at 10:00am

BYOC CHECK-IN Opening Times*


09:00 - 23:00**
09:00 - 22:00
09:00 - 18:00
09:00 - 14:00

*If you arrive at the event outside the check-in times listed above, we cannot guarantee you entry to the event. **Thursday check-in will require a BYOC Priority/BYOC VIP Ticket.


You can gain entry into our LAN arena hall from 6:00pm Thursday evening if you have a BYOC Priority/BYOC VIP Ticket. 

  • Your ticket with clearly visible barcode: print the ticket out, or display it on a handheld device like a smartphone or a tablet
  • ID is required for all BYOC ticket holders, and all CAMPERS; and you won’t be able to check-in without it!

BYOC: under the age of 18? Make sure to fill out our Under 18 Consent Form. Indoor Camping will be available to over 16yrs only, ID will be required.


POSTcode b40 1nt

North Ave 
Birmingham B40 1NT 

travel to Insomnia

by train

If you’re heading to Insomnia by train, you’ll find us located less than a ten-minute walk from Birmingham International Railway Station. You won’t even need to step outside. You’ll find many train services connect directly to Birmingham International, however, if you’re travelling from further afield you may need to catch a connecting train at Birmingham New Street, which is only a 15 minute journey away. Barely time for a powernap.

by bus or coach

Coach services are operated by National Express and Megabus, with over 120 daily services from across the UK to Birmingham Airport. From here you can get to the NEC in a matter minutes on the free air-rail link. If you’re jumping on a bus in Birmingham City Centre you can take the 900 service (one every 15 minutes, takes 30 minutes) or the 97 (one every 30 minutes, takes 45 minutes). Local bus services also run every 30 minutes throughout the day to Solihull (service 966) and Coventry (service 900).

by car

You’ll find the NEC and Birmingham International Airport both clearly signposted from all motorways and major routes including the M42,M40 and M6. If you’re using your trusty sat nav to get here simply enter the postcode B40 1NT.

by plane

The NEC is just minutes away from Birmingham International Airport, making it ideal for our many international guests to get here. Simply jump on the free and fast air-rail link to Birmingham International Railway Station which only takes 90 seconds and runs every two minutes. When you arrive just head straight through to the NEC.


Please see some forms and guides to help you with some of key features. Any questions please email us at: events@player1events.com


Check out the Tournament code of conduct if you want to take part in our BYOC tournaments.


Click here to see our guide for the BYOC Seat Picker.


Heading to BYOC and under the age of 18? Please fill in the form below.

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