Insomnia Gaming Festival | A Celebration Of Gaming


What is Insomnia Gaming Festival?

Founded in 1999, the Insomnia Gaming Festival originated as the i-Series; a small LAN (Local Area Network) event where gamers could come together and play together as part of one community. Today, our focus on bringing the community together is just as strong, as we welcome 40,000 visitors to Insomnia and our LAN parties have grown to the biggest in the UK, seeing 2,800 gamers in one space for a weekend of non-stop, 24-hour gaming. 

Expanding from the LAN, Insomnia is a diverse show for gamers of all backgrounds, identities and ethnicities to come together and celebrate everything that we love about video games and popular culture. From brand new and upcoming releases, Cosplay, Indie games, tabletop games, gaming content creators and much more, Insomnia Gaming Festival isn’t just a gaming expo, it’s a celebration of all things gaming.

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!


When and where is Insomnia Gaming Festival?

The next Insomnia Gaming Festival will be #i70 held at the NEC in Birmingham. The expo will be open Friday 7th until Sunday 9th while the LAN Party (BYOC) will be open Friday 7th until Monday 10th.

BYOC Plus, Premium and VIP will have access to the LAN hall from the afternoon of Thursday 6th. See the opening times below for more detail!


Why is the Expo not open on Monday?

We spent a lot of time thinking about this one. In previous years, the Monday of Insomnia has been an interesting day. We understand that everyone wants to have as much time as possible to explore and game but looking at feedback from our community as well as from our surveys, the majority of guests that are with us for the full weekend usually head home either Sunday night or early Monday morning. We would much rather bring 3 days of the best experiences possible than stretch it too thin and leave people disappointed with a lacklustre final day.


Where can I find all the latest info and announcements?

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


Help! I can’t find the answer to my questions!!!

Woah, woah, take a deep breath, we’ll get through this together. If you haven’t already, we have an extensive FAQ around tickets, BYOC loyalty and the event in general on this very page! Jump to a section or search for something specific above, or if you still can’t find what you’re looking for, give us an email at [email protected] and I’m sure we can help with anything you need.


I’m a creator/press/industry/indie developer person (I’m very multi-talented), will you have applications like previous events?

We will indeed! You can find them in the main menu in our website header under the section “Applications”. If the application you’re looking for isn’t open yet, we’re working on it, stay tuned for updates!

All the information you need about Insomnia Gaming Festival is available on this page but if you have questions that aren’t answered here or need to speak to someone there are a few avenues to help.


For Ticket Enquiries

If you have any questions or need something from our ticket provider See Tickets, the best way is to contact them directly via:


This includes topics such as:

  • Transferring one ticket type to another (priority upgrades, weekend to BYOC, etc)
  • Missing tickets
  • Refunds

See Tickets customer service is available 24/7. Response times will vary based on the current workload of See Tickets Customer Service and they will respond as soon as possible.


For General Event Enquiries

If you need something answered directly by the event organisers there are a few avenues to contact us:

Please be aware, by using these channels you will be speaking directly to the event organisers and not an external Customer Service team. We will endeavour to respond as soon as possible but this may be delayed due to our working hours of Monday-Friday, 09:00-17:00.

Insomnia Gaming Festival tickets are exclusively sold through our official ticket vendor See Tickets. Any tickets found on alternative vendors are unofficial and are not affiliated with Player1 Events or Insomnia Gaming Festival. Please avoid these 3rd party vendors to avoid the risk of purchasing non-valid tickets or price-hiked (scalped) tickets.

For all ticket queries please contact our ticket agent by visiting https://supportcentre.seetickets.com/?Website=insomnia_gaming_festival They can help with lost tickets and any issues you may have with attending our event.

For carer tickets, see the Accessibility section below


Do I need to print my ticket? 

When you get to Insomnia we can scan your ticket from your phone/tablet/laptop/PC*/Kindle/Zoon (is that still a thing?). So no need to worry about printing!

*Please don’t bring your tickets on a PC and try setting it up in the entrance hall to display your ticket. Security might shout at us.


I bought a family ticket, does this have to be 2 adults and 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 contact See Tickets via https://supportcentre.seetickets.com/?Website=insomnia_gaming_festival for more information.


Do I need to bring an 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


Do you provide disabled/carer/companion 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 see the process outlined in our accessibility webpage.


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. 


Do I need to be with my child inside the event?

Due to the nature of the show being very busy and loud, we ask that any children under the age of 16 are accompanied by an adult.


Where do I buy camping tickets?

Camping tickets are purchased as an add-on to either a BYOC or Weekend Festival ticket. You will be given the option to purchase them when buying your tickets, or they can be purchased at a later date.


Does a Priority Ticket give me free camping?

No. All camping tickets must be bought separately. Weekend Priority or BYOC Plus/Premium/VIP tickets allow you to set up your pitch and stay on Thursday in conjunction with a separate camping add-on.


What is your ticket refund policy?

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


Can I resell my tickets?

Unfortunately, as per See Tickets’ terms & conditions, point 2 under “Purchasing Tickets”:

Tickets you purchase are for personal use. Except as we may agree, you and your party must not re-sell or transfer (or seek to re-sell or transfer) the tickets in breach of the applicable terms. A breach of this condition will entitle SEE or the Promoter to cancel the tickets without prior notification, refund, compensation or liability.

Full See Tickets terms & conditions can be found at https://www.seetickets.com/content/partial/terms-and-conditions

Weekend Expo Opening Times

Friday – Sunday
10:30* – 18:00

*Priority/BYOC tickets grant entry at 10:00

LAN Opening Times

BYOC Standard:
Friday 10:00 – Monday 16:00

BYOC Plus/Premium/VIP
Thursday 18:00* – Monday 16:00

*The LAN hall will open at 16:00 for pre-security checks and queuing

Camping Opening Times

Friday 09:00* – Monday 17:00

*Weekend Priority, or BYOC Plus/Premium/VIP tickets grant entry from Thursday at 13:00

How do I check in?

Day & Weekend check-in will be from the hall signposted in the NEC, with queuing opening from 09:00

BYOC Check-in is available from the specified BYOC Check-in area that will also be signposted on:

Thursday 12:00 – 22:00
Friday 10:00 – 20:00

Outside of these hours, you will be able to check in from the LAN Helpdesk inside the LAN hall. Please present your ticket to security at the hall entrance.

Your ticket with a 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.

Our questions relating to the accessibility of Insomnia Gaming Festival have moved to its own page for ease of use. 

All of our event and venue accessibility information can be found at https://insomniagamingfestival.com/accessibility/


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, feel uncomfortable, or believe someone has violated our Community Guidelines please contact a member of staff on-site who can help deal with the problem, or escalate to NEC security, as required. The Community Guidelines page also contains a form that you can fill out anonymously or otherwise to let us know of any incidents at Insomnia.


I have questions that aren’t addressed in this FAQ

Please contact us by email at [email protected] and we will do our best to help.

How old do I need to be to attend the Insomnia BYOC?

Everyone is welcome to the Insomnia BYOC! However, be aware that attendees under 18 will need a parental consent form filled in prior to the event and attendees under 16 will need parental supervision at all times as well as a completed consent form. The under 18 form can be found here.


BYOC – What do I need to bring?

    • Tower/console/laptop + Monitor
    • 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 Rentals

Don’t fancy bringing your kit to the event? Have a look at our PC rentals! 


What is the BYOC Seat Picker?

In order to attend the Insomnia BYOC, you will first need to assign yourself a station that you will be using for the weekend to set up your PC and spend your time gaming. You can use the seat picker to create clans for yourself and your friends, to make sure you’re sat together. 

    • If you have purchased a BYOC ticket and need to select where your station will be. BYOC seat picker will be available soon.


My friends are in the BYOC but I have a day/weekend ticket. Can I go with them to the BYOC hall?

You will need a BYOC Guest wristband to enter the BYOC. You can get one of these by heading to the BYOC helpdesk with a friend/family member that has a BYOC ticket.


What size/how many monitors can I bring?

Only 1 monitor per person please. As for fancy ultra-wide monitors – if it fits on your desk, you can bring it! Standard BYOC desks are 3ft long, VIP desks are 4ft.


What are the rules on alcohol at the Pub Quiz?

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


How does the BYOC loyalty system work?

We want to make sure that our community is recognised and rewarded for attending multiple Insomnia LAN events. So we have the BYOC loyalty system to make sure that happens! Click here to find out more.

What does my camping ticket include?

With your ticket, you are allocated the relevant space; this can be for a tent, airbed, camp bed, roll mat. We request that 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.  


What is the age restriction for indoor camping?

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


How much space do I get with a camping ticket?

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


Allocation of spaces

Spaces are allocated on a first come, first served basis. 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 camping hall with a small communal area to change in; there’s also toilets available at the venue where you can change clothes. 


Where do I buy camping tickets?

Camping tickets are purchased as an add-on to either a BYOC or Weekend Festival ticket from the same ticket page.

I have a full cosplay planned for the event, how should I travel to the venue? 

If you are planning to use public transport to the venue, we would advise that you wear normal clothes and any cosplay weapon props 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. 


What are the facilities/security procedures at the venue?

Once you arrive at the venue, you can change there; 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 be placed discreetly out of view of the general public.


What are the storage facilities for costumes and props?

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


What are the rules on weapon props?

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 rules are;

    • ‘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 was 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 precautions 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 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 blocking 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 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.

Please contact us to check if you are worried about your costume dimensions at [email protected]. If there is any doubt, please send photos and a description of the prop.

NEC Address:

North Ave 
Birmingham B40 1NT 


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.

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.


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.

How do I book parking? 

Parking is in the East Car Parks. A parking permit costs £5 per day and is only available to book online. More information can be found on the NEC website. Book parking here.

How far is the parking from the event?

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

For all things relating to the venue, including any disabled support you require, we recommend that you head to www.thenec.co.uk

Is there catering at the show?

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.
    • More information can be found at www.thenec.co.uk

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 that 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

What is the check back/re-entry system?

Upon entry to the event, your ticket will be validated and you will be provided with a wristband (weekend and BYOC customers) or a hand stamp (day customers). Venue security will be checking these credentials to allow re-entry.

Any BYOC customers attempting to leave the venue with any hardware (keyboards, mice, PC’s, etc) will be checked to ensure their hardware is stickered and that the unique number on the sticker matches that on their lanyard.


How will the NEC and/or Event Organisers keep me safe?

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 is 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 ongoing, 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 checkpoints
    • Hostile Vehicle Mitigation protection

The NEC 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 you see both uniformed and plain-clothed officers in and around our venues.

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 cooperating 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.’


Please see some forms and guides to help you with some of key features. Any questions please email us at: [email protected]


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. (Coming Soon)


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

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