The community festival SLC Nerd will return for a second year and be held April 20 at The Complex in downtown Salt Lake City from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Tickets are $10. It is an all ages event. Tickets are available in advance at SmithTix.com, PartyTix.com, or at the door the day of the event
“We really want to try and not fall into being a clone of other similarly themed types of events,” said Ben Fuller, one of the producers and founders of the Festival. “The goal is to be more accessible, more inclusive and more affordable, and to deliver as much of that as possible with a touch of personality.”
This year the festival is getting a lot of sponsorship and support from local businesses like Night-Flight Comics and Epic Puzzles and Games. In addition to providing prizes, they are also using their connections to help bring in local and nationally know geek celebs to participate. This includes the participation of New York Times Best Selling Author and Marvel Comics Writer Marjorie Liu (courtesy of Night-Flight Comics) and New York Times Best Selling Authors Tracy and Laura Hickman and their multi-talented musician daughter Tasha Joan (courtesy of Epic Puzzles and Games).
"Also performing will be Wasasquatch – the Bigfoot Rock & Roll Music Experience, a high-octane band of Cryptids that present a family-friendly evening of stadium-style rock in a high energy and fun atmosphere," according to Fuller.
The centerpiece of this year's festival will be the VoxNerd, which, according to organizer Craig Nybo, is “our geeky take on the more staid and serious events like TEDTalks and Ignite!." The VoxNerd will have 12 "certified" SLC Nerds each give a presentation of 10 to 15 minutes about something for which they are passionate.
Fuller added: Included in this years' presenter line-up are Iron Dragon series Author Paul Genesse discussing the best way to tame a Dragon, local author and educator Jaleta Clegg sharing her secrets on how to raise 8 geeky children, and Orem resident and Comic Book Editor for the IGN.com website Benjamin Bailey talking about his thoughts on how Comics can
become a thriving new industry in the digital space.
More info can be found at www.SLCNerd.com.
Here is the story I did last year on the first SLC Nerd:
To be considered for admittance to Saturday's first SLC Nerd, you must first answer these questions at the door:
1 » Do you speak the languages Sarati, Tengwar or Klingon?
2 » Recite Roy Batty's speech at the end of "Blade Runner."
3 » What early bootlegs of Hong Kong action flicks by Tsui Hark do you own?
Of course, I am only kidding. You don't have to be a nerd to attend Salt Lake's version of Comic-con at The Complex on Saturday, March 24. But you might improve your chances of winning the "Magic: The Gathering" card game if you are one.
SLCNerd is a first-of-its-kind gathering for nerds, geeks and the people who love (or tolerate) them, with the event produced by Gangrene Productions and sponsored by Kaysville software-development and digital media service company mediaRif, the people behind the independent Gangrene Film Festival and other unique enterprises. "It's a big prom for nerds," said Ben Fuller of mediaRif.
The idea for this one-day festival came when Fuller and company mate Craig Nybo agreed that all those who believe George Lucas never should have given Greedo a gun needed a fun event to congregate and celebrate fans who have evolved from an underground subculture of Table Top Miniature Wargames into the mainstream.
Organizers aimed to create a family-friendly event where geeks and nerds would engage in their own day-long versions of the Geek Show Podcast, with live bands performing amid comic books, game tournaments and a Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Benefit silent auction. "It's a day for Ben to be happy," said event emcee and "Monty Python" buff Jon Clark (a music-playing comedian whose guitar is stickered with the battle cry "Real Ewoks Don't Blink").
Fuller, Nybo and Clark are self-proclaimed geeks who know that "table-top gaming" isn't another term for ping-pong, and who can distinguish between geeks and nerds. "Geeks revel in things they are passionate about," said Fuller, an aficionado of obscure comic books. "Nerds are trapped by it."
"A geek would haze the nerds," added Nybo, a zombie fanatic whose favorite current TV show is "The Walking Dead." He was quick to say that both geeks and nerds are invited, as well as those who don't consider themselves in either camp.
The organizers are excited about the event lineup, which includes The Utah Improv All-Stars, the Utah Rocket Club, The Hello! Sweetie Podcast hosts, and Larry Correia, New York Times- bestselling author of the "Monster Hunter International" series, the Grimnoir Chronicles , and the fantasy thriller Dead Six . Correia will play an exhibition game of "Legend of Five Rings" with the Writer Nerd Game Night Group.
"Security" for the event will be provided by Real Life Superhero Red Voltage and his allies in the Black Monday Society, and attendees are encouraged to dress up as their favorite anime characters or a Steampunk outfit, or anything else that strikes their fancy.
As for the question of the estimated ending time of 11 p.m., after the event begins at 2 p.m.: Doesn't that seem excessive?
"For a lot of these people, nine hours of Dungeons & Dragons is nothing," said Clark, who knows. His wife and daughter are addicts of the game, which isn't as bad as it appears, he said. Clark hasn't had to see a chick flick in years.