We're Dominic Cerquetti, Nick Marinelli, and the rest of the MAGFest team. We run the East Coast's biggest gaming and music festival, MAGFest. AMA. Ask us anything about rampart!
My short bio: MAGFest, Inc. is , a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization dedicated to furthering the appreciation of games and video game music. MAGFest Inc.'s main method of achieving this goal is to create events which provide a means for people to enjoy games, as well as musical concerts. We hold several different events throughout the year, including Bit Gen Gamer Fest, MAGStock, and our touring concert series Game Over.
My Proof: https://twitter.com/MAGFest/status/690232857944547328
Approved MAGFest staff members on reddit: /u/bds002 /u/binary1230 /u/suuperquarky /u/miss404 /u/cybersenshi /u/radrac
Watch us answer your questions live on Periscope
What can you expect to see at MAGFest? Check out the five reasons to go!
Edit: Alright that's for today! Come rock out with 20,000 smelly dirty nerds at MAGFest 2016, this February 18-21 in National Harbor, MD. Also feel free to continue the discussion in /r/magfest and /r/magfestlan.
Give us 10 millions dollars so we can invite every band we ever want to have every year!
What is the official stance on elevator parties? A) Awesome B) Amazing or C) Both?
They are only allowed if Nobuo Uematsu is present on the elevator. If you are not Nobuo Uematsu, do not hold an elevator party.
In past years there have been some issues with rooms being cancelled by the Gaylord. Every year my biggest fear is being turned away by the hotel even though I booked my room months before (happened to a few friends last year). Are their steps to ensure that attendees that booked rooms actually get them?
Last year was a HUGE issue due to some massive clerical error, that we are painfully aware of, and took huge strides to ensure that mass room cancellations would never happen again. I can't speak for those weird oddity one-offs, but if you made a reservation, and got your confirmation e-mail, I can't think of a reason that your room would be unexpectedly cancelled.
Jesus that room thing was a nightmare last year. That's a mistake you only let happen once, I'll tell you that much.
I am relieved to hear!
JUST TO BE SAFE I would give them a ring this week to check in on things.
Have loved MAGFest ever since first attending M5, and of course, it's great to be able to meet some many OC ReMixers and fans at the event. Wish I could go this year (baby times!), but the OCR staff, ReMixers, and community will be out in full force per the usual. :-)
QUESTION #1: Which VGM composers, game devs, or personalities would MAGFest staff like to get as future guests? Koji Kondo? Tim Follin? Hideo Kojima? Keiji Inafune? What somewhat practical/obtainable potential guests have staff or fans brought up a lot?
QUESTION #2: What's an underappreciated aspect of MAGFest that you wish more attendees were aware of or took part in?
Thanks for a great event as always! -Larry
EDIT/P.S. Love the One Must Fall 2097 mix in the background of the Periscope feed. Nice choice!
CONGRATULATIONS LARRY OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG!
Future wants- Dom - I am an idiot and think that scott pilgrim was a documentary, so I want a duel between stages. Nick - JDK Falcom band! Steph - I WANT UEMATSU AGAIN
Underappreciated things: Dom - JamClinic. Also the really hard decisions like date moves and hotel contracts. Steph - Pathfinder, Bridge simulators, Robotics, and LARP Nick - How painful the guest and music booking process is, since there are an infinite number of amazing candidates
also REGISTRATION, and our custom event management software UBERSYSTEM. Without these, the event would fall about.
What can be done to stop the insane killing spree Wes Johnson has been on at past MAGFest events? Can someone please tell him he isn't really Lucien Lachance? Thanks~!
A recent study in scientific american showed that the amount of wes johnson contained in a single wes johnson is greater than every single wes johnson combined.
Who is your favorite non-video game related guest, and why is it Super Art Fight? :)
Super Art Fight is an amazing crew! They've been holding amazing shows over many many years, and we're proud that they're Baltimore locals just like us! WHEEL OF DEATH!
When do we find out who will be at the Indie Game Showcase?
We anticipate no later than the first week of february! Most of the qualifying entries have accepted their invitation, and we need to put the polishing touches on the lineup anouncement.
Why does Registration spend all its time trying to eradicate any source of fun?
its time trying to eradicate any source of fun?
Because they hate the heads of the LAN Events department. Come on Deast, get on your game here.
Many mainstay bands were not accepted to come to MAGFest this year. Triforce Quartet and Bit Brigade come to mind. It's disappointing to see that many are not there this year, but I would imagine this is to keep the lineup fresh and interesting. Is that the case, or is there some other reasoning?
Speaking of, it seems that bands have been kept in the dark about being accepted/rejected to the fest until a few weeks before the fest, at least based on my own findings. I would imagine that would make things very difficult for bands to plan around and get their logistics in order to attend. Were there specific reasons around doing this?
I recognize these are probably more serious questions that aren't as fun as some of the others in here, but I hope they are not interpreted as disrespectful. I appreciate your efforts with organizing MAGFest. It's one of the most unique festivals around, and I'm excited to be bringing friends along for the ride this year. I look forward to roaring with you guys in a few weeks time!
Triforce Quartet and Bit Brigade are AMAZING bands, but unfortunately there is no such thing as a mainstay band at MAGFest. We only have so many slots, so much space, and so much money, so we have to rotate out bands every year to make room for new blood, or oldschool returners.
We tried a new application system this year whereby we told all applicants that if they had not heard from us by a specific date, that their application was not accepted. The chiptunes=win people have used this method before with pretty decent success because form "rejection letters" are never fun to receive, and the sheer number of applications we receive prevents us from providing meaningful personalized feedback to each band. Since we get soe many amazing appliations, we usually provide any majorly useful feedback as to a why wasn't picked other than that other bands were chosen other them.
Hopefully all bands should have been contacted by october, though some delays on our part fowled that up. Strictly speaking, no band was contacted to say they were declined, because like I mentioned, the notice was that if they hadn't heard from us by a certain date, we weren't able to accept their application.
I heard a rumor that MAGFest may sell out this year. Is there a chance that my friend may be turned away if she comes for a 1-day pass on Saturday?
It's certainly a possibility! We're going to sell passes at the door, provided that we don't sell out during the pre-registration phase, but we can't guarantee that we won't sell out during pre-reg, nor can we guarantee that we won't sell out at the door.
The safest way to get in would be to pre-register your pass as soon as you can, and if you're looking to save to money, consider doing a group reg. One-day passes are unfortunately not pre-sold.
Also, AhhDOOTnnDOOTnn DOOT doo DOOOGGGHHGHGGH! Ohhhhh Oh OH ohhh! OH OHHhhhhh, na na naaaaaa!
Where do you see MAGFest in 10 years? also ily
In 10 years, we see MAGFest as more of an umbrella organization that is here to help power the video game music and gaming community. Picture 3 large scale events, and tons of other smaller independently managed events that are able to exist with our support.
Nick, can you use more exclamation points?
A few questions from a long-time MAGfest attendee (Since MF6).
A. Is there a possibility of Jon St John returning? I've head that he and one staffer got into a argument and now he won't be asked back. I think it's super immature and he should return, he /is/ the declared King of MAGfest and possibly the most fun guest the con ever has.
B. Will we see a return to early January? Last year's placement at lat in the month really put my friends and I in a bit of a rough patch and this year is really pushing it. I know the date change this year was because of the Gaylord but I really hope it doesn't stay this way.
C. Last year, something really truly bugged me. It was the GamerGate panel. Now I'm not here to defend any side, as I'm neutral in the whole thing but that business with Mr Chu's panel was pretty bad. You had him running around spouting how the panel was going to be Anti-GamerGate and trying to stir shit up, meanwhile the MAGfest staff didn't try to either stop him or tell him to calm down and tried to write it off as a different panel entirely. I saw tons of people from both sides try to explain that they felt uncomfortable (even the dude running the panel said he felt uncomfortable) and yet MF staff ignored it and let it happen. Of course when the panel did happen, it was awkward and security had to be upped in that one room in case something did happen. I feel like this whole situation was handled extremely poorly and so do a lot of friends and other folks who attended the con I have talked to. My question is will you try to improve this behavior in the future? The staff KNEW it was going to be a total mess and still let it happen. For what purpose? Just so one guy (who also felt uncomfortable while also trying to stir shit up online) can stand on a soapbox? I think your panel policies or general interactions with how your attendees feel should be improved.
Sorry for the copypasta:
A. One day! He came for five years in a row, and was a great guest to have! We try to rotate out guests every few years to bring in new blood since we can't afford to have everybody back every year. Keep a look out for more guests at our events as we start to expand westward.
B. We're contracted for early January dates from here on! Barring unforeseen circumstances, we'll be sticking to those dates, though unforseen circumstances are what caused the date move this year....
C. Strictly speaking the panel was about online harassment, not specifically about gamergate. MAGFest strives to help build a world where gamers from all walks of life are welcome, and sometimes extremely difficult discussions must take place in order for that progress to be made. Having watched the panel, all stated uncomfortableness from the panel organizers was exactly because of the difficult but necessary discussion that had to take place. The president of MAGFest made sure to specifically say to keep it civil and friendly, and people respected that. When you have bomb threats against other events for addressing similar topics, it's not out of the question to add a little extra security, but we were all very proud of the MAGFest community in that it was all handled in a very adult and mature manner, even continuing onto two followup roundtable sessions.
Just letting you know we're here and will answer this! You submitted it just as we said we were closing up shop :P
Will Jon St. John ever return to MAGFest? I miss him like dessert.
One day! He came for five years in a row, and was a great guest to have! We try to rotate out guests every few years to bring in new blood since we can't afford to have everybody back every year. Keep a look out for more guests at our events as we start to expand westward.
What is the penalty for performing the Colossus Roar this year?
Sunny won't let you pet her.
So honest curiosity: Ever since MAGFest X (my first) I fell in love with the Colossus roar, and the feel of the community. I understand the awkwardness in such a nice hotel to disturb non-MAGFest attendees, but outside of the signs, I've been noticing more and more lulling of the idea, trying to downplay it more and more. Do you feel it hinders the community feel of the convention at all?
Hey, who are we to stop people from having a good time as long as it doesn't fuck up other people's sleep schedules who have rooms connected to the atrium. You are still young and wide-eyed, and appreciate the roar, but you may one day be a grizzled veteran who is tired of it all ;)
If you want to roar, do the roar, just don't do it in the atrium :P
Also, please feel free to do the roar literally anywhere outside of MAGFest as a batsignal to find other MAGFest fans.
I couldn't believe how fast the Gaylord sold out this year, is there any more explanation other than people just really got in there quickly and Magfest has become more popular? Will you guys have to move to a bigger venue in the coming years?
People are getting more and more aware of how tight space has become, especially with the big overbooking incident last year. So yeah, basically people really DID get in that fast! It's insane, it blew us away too.
Regarding bigger venue, here's some copypasta from another answer:
Keep an eye out for the answer to this one: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/42165v/were_dominic_cerquetti_nick_marinelli_and_the/cz6qsti But long story short, we decided that, in order to maintain the vibe of the event, we don't want MAGFest to get any bigger than the Gaylord. Once it fills it up, we're going to start expanding horizontally instead of vertically, which means more MAGFest events all over the country!
What's your criteria for guest selection? I know magfest has their regular guests that people will always appreciate seeing but was curious on how it's chosen or what would look better for an aspiring guest!
Big fan and i'll see you guys in a month!
There's no magic formula, but we try to pick guests that would be applicable and appreciated by our community, how interesting their content is, and have some amount of draw that they can sell tickets without having so much draw that they're not able to walk around the event un-escorted without being mobbed by fans.
Obviously there are some exceptions to that, such as game grumps or ninja sex party, but we really do try to host an environment where the guests can mingle with the attendees in a casual setting.
Also, congrats on getting your panel, AK!
Will the Journey Live performance be a one day event? If so, do you know which day it will be? We want to attend but can't make it for the full four days of MAGFest.
It's currently scheduled for Saturday afternoon, and it SHOULD remain at that timeslot, but consider this a disclaimer that the schedule is not finalized. Hope you can make it out to see it!
If when registering we put in the incorrect spelling for the 4day pass on one of my friend's names by mistake. Will this be a problem at all? I can PM details if needed.
The name on your registration should match the name on your ID. E-mail [email protected] to get that fixed up for you.
First off, huge fan of magfest and my buds and I have been coming for three years now. Having such a colossal event, it's incredible how it always still feels like a bunch of friends coming together for a giant party.
My question is, magfest usually has awesome, super friendly and fun security for the event. Though last year, security seemed way more tense and high-strung. I totally get how hard it is managing a bunch of shouting man-children, but the sheer difference in attitude from magfest 12 to 13 made me wonder if maybe this was due to being combined with PAX east last year?
Great question! Our security force is a great team of people that usually handle sci fi and furry conventions, so they're actually able to effectively separate weddings and nerd conventions that have been poorly booked in the same venue.
The security folks have an unfortunate job of trying to find the very delicate balance of allowing the free and fun atmosphere of the event, while also preventing jerks from doing jerk things, including being belligerent or gaining access to staff only areas.
If you have had a poor experience with security, please let us know the details of the incident so we an use the feedback to ensure a fun event for all, because we really do want to make sure that the event stays laid back and safe at the same time.
How are y'all so fly?
Followup: will MC Frontalot, Lars, or Schaeffer T Darklord make an appearance ever?
We stepped into a teleporter pod with jeff goldblum.
Also, they may show up one year!
Will D&D Sluggers ever play the main stage again?
Does the pope shit in the woods?
What can be done to help get Rampart (or any other specific game) into the arcade? Three-way Trakball battles are in high demand.
Man that would be great! Our arcades are actually bought by a network of arcade collectors in the mid-atlantic area. If you happen to know a collector that has the game, let them know that we have ways to bring their collection to MAGFest.
With how popular MAGfest has become (the Gaylord rooms sold out in 24 hours this year!) are there future plans involving a bigger venue?
Keep an eye out for the answer to this one: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/42165v/were_dominic_cerquetti_nick_marinelli_and_the/cz6qsti
But long story short, we decided that, in order to maintain the vibe of the event, we don't want MAGFest to get any bigger than the Gaylord. Once it fills it up, we're going to start expanding horizontally instead of vertically, which means more MAGFest events all over the country!
Can I have a preview of how awesome this year's supporter badge is? Splurged and got it this year and excited for the collectable.
Here's a preview for you. It's a secret to everyone! http://imgur.com/EuUL2Ee
What is 1449? And how are they related to MAGfest?
They're a crew of people that have room parties at many events; they're not intrinsically tied to MAGFest specifically. I think they're mainly bemani community people.
Are there any guests in particular that you would like to see appear at MAGFest in the future?
I would love to see the Ace Combat series composers, however i'm pretty sure I'm the only person who cares about them.
Hey! What are your favorite and least favorite aspects about running MAGFest?
One of our favorite parts is that MAGFest Inc is really in essence just a shell corporation that everyone else gets to create content for that we pay for. People have amazing ideas, and MAGFest events are a great place to give people a chance to show those ideas off. Jamspace, games on film, the music department, the computer museum, our indie showcase MIVS, and every other department at MAGFest gets to do amazing things that THEY want to see, not that a sponsor wants to see.
Least favorite aspects: Taxes, insurance, competing needs of security vs vibe, jerks who are jerks to other at event. Also, everyone at magfest basically works a 9-5, and then comes home and works 6-11 on magfest, so we do miss nights, weekends, and our families (Tell them we love them).
What do I have to do to get Crush 40 at MAG so we can run around at the speed of sound?
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