Nerdapalooza 2012: What To Expect and Why You Should Attend

“Nerdapalooza fosters a comfortable environment where it feels more like family than a festival.” – John “hex” Cater, Nerdapalooza Executive Director

Nerdapalooza 2012 is just less than one week away, but there are still a handful of Orlando’s population who are not aware of this very unique music fest. You may have heard the name from Orlando Weekly’s Best of Orlando 2012, as it won Best Local Music Festival for the year, thanks to its Reader’s Poll, but what exactly is the event? On the surface, it’s a weekend long music fest, featuring multiple nerdcore, chiptune, artists, and comedians. If you were to ask Nerdapalooza’s executive director, John “hex” Carter, he would tell you that Nerdapalooza “is more than just a music festival.”

“Nerdapalooza is evolving into a festival to all of nerd culture – a culture that is growing in popularity and strength every year,” hex told me, via email. “Back in the day being a nerd meant you played video games, liked Batman, and obsessed over the latest in computer technology. Nowadays, the lines are blurring between nerds and pop culture with “geek chic” continuing on the rise, and one would be hard pressed not finding something to smile at while attending. At Nerdapalooza, people comment that more than the music, gaming, and art, what they find that really makes them return is a love of the welcoming atmosphere. When you’re surrounded by nerds, no one has anything to prove. You can just be yourself.”

And this is true. Comfort levels for the normally nerdy rises when they gather together, as you may have seen on International Drive every March in Orlando during Megacon. The energy is lively and the crowd motivates each other, creating a giant atmosphere of friendship and positive energy that is unmatched at other gatherings and events. This is a huge plus when watching such energetic bands as Math the Band and The Protomen, who are both playing Saturday night at the weekend music fest.

Math The Band

Nerdapalooza has been held yearly since its 2007 debut, though it hasn’t been as notorious as in recent times. Past Nerdapaloozas have showcased performers such as mc chris (who recently played The Social last Tuesday), MC Lars, Superpowerless, local experimental band Yip-Yip, and multiple other geeky bands and rappers. The fest’s previous efforts were also held in other locations, such as Taste Restaurant and last year’s Orlando Airport Marriott, so it’s definitely noteworthy that this year’s biggest difference is Nerdapalooza 2012 being held at our beloved homebase venues, The Beacham and The Social.

Naturally, hex is very excited to finally have Nerdapalooza being held at a local venue. “There are several advantages to working in a traditional venue setting which the Beacham and Social can provide that a hotel setting cannot,” he stated. “First of which is that we will be working with a seasoned and well-oiled production team who will ensure the event runs like clockwork. Knowing that sound, lighting, and even security would not even be a worry was a herculean weight off of our shoulders. The second is the notoriety that comes with having the event at the legendary Social and Beacham. They both stand as beacons among the venues of Downtown Orlando, as a destination for touring acts, and a goal for local bands to one day perform at. It assuredly garnered more attention for our event.”

The Protomen

The event will definitely be utilizing both venues, as performers will be on both stages of The Beacham and The Social. “Because of the proximity of the two venues, we were able to continue that tradition to get as many musicians scheduled as possible,” hex told me. “We were also able to utilize the Beacham’s balcony with hopes to make our VIP attendees and other special guests truly feel exclusive and appreciated. We also utilized every nook and cranny when planning where to put vendors, the art gallery, and our merchandise booth. With such careful consideration we were able to optimize foot traffic.”

If you’re still doubtful on attending hex, myself, and all of The Social/The Beacham encourages you to come out next Friday, August 3, to check the event out for FREE. Nerdapalooza has traditionally given the Friday of their fest free entry, and as hex explains, “we do this so that anyone that wants to have a free sample to see if the music and atmosphere is for them has the opportunity with no gamble. We will have some of my personal favorite performers on Friday and it’s safe to say it will be an accurate representation of the weekend to come. If you don’t like it, you are none the poorer for it and you at least got in to the Social for a Friday night show for free. If it is something you can jive with, tickets will still be up for purchase and you might even find yourself enjoying the show right next to one of the headliners.”

Tickets for the event range from free (Friday only) or $35 for general admission, to $290, depending on if you would like weekend passes or VIP passes for the fest. All passes could be purchases here, via Ticketfly.

This year’s lineup includes:

Video Game Music:
  • The OneUps
  • Armcannon
  • Bit Brigade
  • Random Encounter (Winners of Orlando Weekly’s Best of Orlando 2012 award for Best Indie Act)
  • Descendants of Erdrick
  • The Megas
  • Metroid Metal
  • The Protomen
  • NESkimos
  • Those Who Fight
Nerdcore:
  • Team Rock-It
  • Tribe One
  • Frog Suit
  • Thought Criminals
  • Dual Core
  • Adam WarRock
  • Schaffer the Darklord
  • Captain Dan
  • The Money Boys
  • YT Cracker
  • Mega Ran
Chiptunes:
  • DJ Cutman
  • Ben Briggs
  • Danimal Cannon
  • DJ Roborob (plus “and friends” set)
  • Sabrepulse
General Nerd Music:
  • Geekapella
  • D&D Sluggers
  • Marc with a C
  • Sci Fried
  • Beebs and Her Money Makers
  • Professor Shyguy
  • brentalfloss and the Cartridge Family
  • No More Kings
  • Koo Koo Kanga Roo
  • Math The Band.
 To learn more about any of these performers, check Nerdapalooza’s official site here.