Ken Spivey, well-known in Central Florida for his Time Lord Fest events, passed away on January 14. If I try to write about Ken, the man, I will break down in tears and be unable to finish this post, so I’m going to focus instead on Ken, the fan. Here are my memories of him and his legacy, in pictures.
Ken created an affordable, family-friendly Doctor Who event, with an emphasis on entertainment that brought together a wide selection of performers, vendors, and fans. The highlight of each event was the Concert/Masquerade combo, with so many costumed participants they often had to be judged in groups.
The Guardians of Gallifrey were invited to have a Club table at Ken’s first Time Lord Fest event, in Orlando in July of 2011. The first thing I noticed was the high percentage of cosplayers compared to other fan events, a trait that continued in future TLFs. There were multiple Doctors and River Songs, Amys, TARDIS dresses, and Fezzes, to name a few. Lord President Arthur Dykeman, as a Time Lord, posed with some attendees and the Delegate from Alpha Centauri.
Many more fans turned up than Ken had expected, making the event a definite success and insuring future events.
The next of Ken’s events attended by the Guardians (again, with a Club table provided for free) was the first Whovian Singles Night. As a true Whovian entrepreneur, Ken was brilliant at coming up with new ideas to attract and entertain the fans. The Whovian Singles Night was just what it sounds like–an opportunity for like-minded singles to meet others in a fun and safe setting, a kind of DW version of speed-dating. Inside, the Ken Spivey Band supplied the ambience, while vendors outside reflected the spirit of the event. (The Guardians gave out the Kissing Crossword–created specifically for the event–and stickers and bookmarks with Doctor Who-themed pick-up lines.)
In 2013, Ken attended the Guardian’s Wholiday Party–and brought a banana–posing with and in the TARDIS, watching Doctor Who from behind the sofa, and chatting with other fans around the Who tree.
In 2015, Time Lord Fest ticket purchases included an additional ticket to the Fan Boy Expo, where The Ken Spivey Band had a table for selling merchandise to fund future events. That year’s TLF was (as usual) attended by lots of cosplayers, including a very impressive Weeping Angel.
In 2016, The Ken Spivey Band performed at Leesburg Library’s Sci-Fi Day to a packed room, and ran the costume contest for the event.
Time Lord Fest grew and added more guests (Sophie Aldred, Robert Allsopp, Louis Robinson, Marnix Van Den Broeke, and others), performances (musicians, dancers, aerialists, and fans acting in their own original plays or audio dramas), and activities (crafts, “Cyberman Says,” and The Weeping Angel Game). Ken even made it possible for fans who might never have the opportunity to travel to England to see guests from overseas through projected live chats.
Costumer Robert Allsopp Shinobi School DW Aerial Stunt Show
Cyberman Says Weeping Angel game — children, then teens
Ken had a knack for finding usable spaces, including a coffeehouse, a church, and a university. Besides Time Lord Fests, there were also several New Year’s Eve Time Lord Balls, held at a live music venue in Tampa. Hundreds of fans turned out for each Time Lord Fest, many returning year after year, often in costume.
The program for Time Lord Fest 2015 included a Code of Conduct which made it clear fans were expected to treat each other with respect and courtesy. A portion of ticket sales from Time Lord Fests were donated to the North Brandon Family YMCA, to aid in their charitable work. Ken’s high moral character was evident in the way he treated the fans, his guests, and the many individuals and groups who worked with him. He did more to reach out to others active in fandom (and provide them with opportunities to promote themselves or their group) than any other event-runner I have known.
[Crying now, so I may as well continue] I am so glad he found the love of his life, Audrey (his Rose Tyler), and so sad they had too short a time together. He was a good, kind, and generous man, and fandom is poorer without him.
For more information, go to the Guardians of Gallifrey’s Facebook page. Don’t miss tonight’s Mark Who 42 tribute to Ken.