Monday, June 08, 2009

Pay it Forward

Let me start off this missive by saying that, in case you've somehow missed it, Nerdapalooza is a good time. Moreover, it's a good time for a good cause. While I don't have an exact figure handy, I know the sum of money thus far raised by the event for Penny Arcade's Child's Play to be an impressive amount.

But beneath the fun and the camaraderie and the music and the aforementioned charity, there lies a dark underside. I am referring, of course, to the dreaded logistics.

As much as Orlando, Florida is a hub for geeky music and culture, it is not the sum total of our empire. Thusly, to make this annual event truly epic we must fly in our best and brightest from the farthest reaches of nerdom. From the Heartland, the Pacific Northwest, even the Old World. And that shit ain't cheap.

With the economy in shambles, independent artists are finding it harder than ever to cover the out-of-pocket expenses inherent in taking the proverbial show on the road, and Nerdapalooza is no exception. While the festival has secured financial support from fine, nerd-friendly establishments like A Comic Shop, these sponsors alone aren't enough to keep the project completely afloat. To supplement this funding, Nerdapalooza turns to the community itself.

There are a variety of ways to help sustain this blessed machine, and, believe it or not, not all of them involve cash money. For folks looking to throw their support behind this yearly charitable celebration of nerd life, there is a trio of possible options.
  • Spread the Word:
    The easiest thing a fan or fellow scenester can do to support Nerdapalooza is to simply talk about the event. Mention it to your gaming group, at your comic shop, on your blog, through your social networking site of choice or in your favorite BBS. Link to the official event blog or the Nerdapalooza Twitter account. Remember what Bob Geldof taught us, raising awareness is sometimes as important as raising money.
  • Spread the Love:
    You can also help lessen Nerdapalooza' s financial burden by volunteering at the event. In exchange for pledging 3 hours of your time each day selling merch, corralling bands and helping set up the stage, you get free access into the event. You also get the chance to interact directly with the featured acts, and Hex and company are more than willing to make sure your volunteer time doesn't interfere with you catching your favorites as they perform. For more info on the volunteer program, email
  • Spread the Green:
    The most obvious way to help Nerdapalooza is, of course, to hit them with some dough. The event has its own donations page ready to accept Paypal contributions of any size. Those looking for a potential return on their investment should also check out Game Music 4 All's "Get to Nerdapalooza" fundraiser. This raffle contest offers you a chance to win CDs, specialty swag and even a dinner date with the lovely Lo Tech (of "Dungeons & Dragons Rap: Part One" fame.) And if you're looking for an even more unorthodox approach to financially supporting Nerdapalooza 2009, I'd even suggest hitting up your favorite act from the confirmed artists roster and asking if you can donate directly to their travel fund.
In the end, there's no wrong way to support Nerdapalooza. Whether with time, money or goodwill, whatever you give will surely be greatly appreciated. And, most importantly, it will ultimately help our community continue to support children in need.


MPFM said...

I usually couldn't travel to out of state shows because of this exact problem. I DID however find a site that specializes in flights to FL. It's called My round trip plane ticket cost me $150 after taxes. Hope that helps!

Z. said...

I will pass that one, Steffo. I'm sure that'll help a lot of potential attendees.