MAGFest is an event I’ve had the pleasure of attending annually for the better part of the past 5 years. For those unfamiliar, here’s the dark of it: 4 days of non-stop, round-the-clock concerts, games, panels and partying inside of a giant hotel / convention center in the D.C. area. Accent on the partying.
While I usually steer clear of videogame cover bands and “fan” events in general, there’s some key differences that continue to make MAGFest worthy of my time, and yours. Now in its 10th year, it is one of the few long-running events of its type that is built from the ground up with a shoestring budget and zero corporate sponsorship. As a result MAGFest is diverse and open-minded — more of a community-oriented DIY music meetup / game space / rowdy hotel party than a “convention” — and has built its reputation on being exactly what it was intended to be.
Recently, the formula has helped bring about a number of big changes: Namely, moving to a much larger space (by necessity, as last year’s attendance went beyond max capacity) and attracting big-time videogame industry composers and developers. In the past they’ve had folks like Secret of Mana composer Hiroki Kikuta and simulation games pioneer Sid Meier. This year, they’ve managed to bag Final Fantasy series composer Nobuo Uematsu and his new band, Earthbound Papas.
My involvement this year includes a 2-day showcase of chip musicians and visual artists featuring Jake “Virt” Kaufman, Danimal Cannon, Knife City, Disasterpeace & more. I’ll also have a few of these guys for sale in vendor area:
Come by and say hello if you’re making your way down to D.C. this weekend, or follow Original Sound Version for live updates.