When Nerdapalooza died, there was a great void left in the nerd music community. Fortunately, a group of experienced con-runners and musicians have stepped up to fill that void with an all new concert event called Orlando Nerd Fest. And boy, have they rounded up some great stuff for us to enjoy!
Let me begin by simply quoting from the press info:
Orlando Nerd Fest is a Music Festival that will be held in the convention area of the Orlando Airport Marriott, August 7th – August 11th 2014. This is a large event going from Friday at 11am to Monday at 1am. There will be over 60 musical acts performing over the 5 day span of the festival. We will be showcasing some of the best artists in the Nerd Music Genre, consisting of DJ’s and LIVE bands who play nerd culture inspired music, ‘Chiptunes’ dance music, and ‘Nerdcore’ Hip-Hop. We also have panels, an art gallery, video games, and video game tournaments throughout the weekend [there will also be cosplay and burlesque]. Our larger panels are to be held on stage earlier in the day and in our main panel room at night, with meeting rooms located away from the performance area that will see several other usages in a convention style.
And now let’s get to the music. First up I’ll mention some of the big names. If you’ve ever played any of the Final Fantasy games, then you’ve almost certainly heard the name Nobuo Uematsu. Just in case you haven’t, he’s the composer of the music. And he’ll be one of the headliners of ONF! And if one video game composer wasn’t enough for you, Jason Hayes, composer for World of Warcraft, will also be headlining with his band Critical Hit. I haven’t played WoW, but I’m a huge Final Fantasy fan, so this alone would be very exciting.
But of course, there’s more! Also headlining will be MC Frontalot, Johnny Yong Bosch and Eyeshine, ViViD, and Steam Powered Giraffe. Only two of those are known to me, and I already know Front puts on a great show. I’m really looking forward to seeing Steam Powered Giraffe; just based on the videos I’ve seen, it looks like their show should be awesome!
Speaking of awesome, the bands that I’m most excited to see are practically neighbors up in the opposite quadrant of the US from Florida: Kirby Krackle and The Doubleclicks. One of my biggest regrets in life (seriously…) is that I missed KK at Nerdapalooza back in 2010. Thankfully, I’ll have the opportunity to see them, this time with the full band! And The Doubleclicks, too… I can’t believe all these terrific bands!
And I’ve barely gotten started! There’s Marc with a C (and Claire and the Potatoes), Professor Shyguy, Richie Branson, Wordburglar (another one I’m particularly excited about), Sci-Fried, Devo Spice, the great Luke Ski, MC Lars, Schäffer the Darklord, Dr. Awkward (who I saw in 2010 but didn’t really know at the time, and he’s only gotten better since then!)… The list just keeps going on and on!
I always enjoy finding new music at events like this, and this year promises plenty of bands that I’ve never heard of (some of which have already been mentioned above): The Detectives, Tyler Danger Boyco, M.I.L.D. Fleet, The Delegation, Luciopro, and others. I’m pretty sure that if I listed all the bands, I’d be writing forever.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention the Kickstarter that’s running currently to raise funds for a CD and DVD of the show. Rewards run from simple Special Thanks ($5) all the way up to Brought to You By: You ($5000) with plenty of cool stuff in between. Highlights include signed games and instruments by game designers and composers, copies of the CD and/or DVD, and even a meet and greet with Nobuo Uematsu or Jason Hayes. I’m going for the $55 level which includes both the CD and the DVD. They have an ambitious goal of $10,000 to raise by July 18, so here’s hoping more people get in on it.
With five days’ worth of music and other geeky stuff, there’s sure to be plenty for geeks of any stripe to enjoy. Tickets are only $50 for a 3-day pass (individual days can also be purchased; Thursday and Monday are actually both free, with Monday’s events being held at A Comic Shop’s Geek Easy, with shuttle service from the hotel for just $5 each way), and the hotel has special rates for the event (having stayed in the hotel in 2010 for Nerdpalooza, I do have to mention that there isn’t much choice in food inside the hotel (unless things have changed in four years, which seems unlikely), and there isn’t much within walking distance. I try to miss as little of the music as possible so I don’t usually drive around if I can avoid it. That may not be a big deal to you, but I figured it was worth mentioning anyway). One person staying in the room even gets a 3-day pass for 50% off!
So come down to Orlando for a few days and see what Nerd Fest has to offer you; I know you won’t be disappointed!