Minnesota has a vibrant geek community, with plenty of comic-book conventions located in the Twin Cities area. The farther away from the Twin Cities you get, though, the fewer conventions there are. It’s a shame, because when I attended Winona State University I would regularly attend video-game clubs on campus and play board games at my favorite game shop. As a college student, I could barely afford gas so I often went months without attending a convention. Hopefully this will change with the addition of NerdinOut Con, happening on September 8–9 at the Graham Arena in downtown Rochester; I know my friends and I would have attended this convention if it had existed while we were still in school.
I had the pleasure of communicating with Brad Vigesaa, who created NerdinOut Con while simultaneously running the Nerdin Out comic store in Rochester. Brad’s ultimate goal is to get as many people to attend as possible because he knows how strong the geek community is in Rochester. Even though NerdinOut Con is still four months away, Brad mentioned a few of the different attractions to expect: including an arcade alley, face painting, and multiple vendors selling toys, comics, and art. The 501st Legion will be attending in cosplay with a potential for photo ops, along with the Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters.
Besides bringing cash to spend on goodies and support local creators, there will be the potential to meet a few celebrities. Pom Klementieff is the headlining guest, best known for her role as Mantis in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Avengers: Infinity War—I’m impressed that a first-year convention is able to score such a high-profile celebrity to the event. Scottie Thompson, who played Nero’s wife in the 2009 Star Trek film and has acted in recurring roles on several hit series including 12 Monkeys and NCIS, will be another guest throughout the weekend. The other confirmed guest is actor, producer, and cosplayer Leo Camacho. I had never heard of him before, but I checked out his YouTube page and he has over 38,000 subscribers—I ended up subscribing to his channel as I now plan on watching a couple of his videos to prepare for this convention. Brad also mentioned four other contracts have been submitted, but he couldn’t tell me about them yet.
As I scroll through NerdinOut Con’s Facebook page, I realize how passionate Brad is about providing a genuine experience for this community. There are multiple posts asking members of the community about various celebrity guest ideas, and whether or not to offer one or two day passes—I think this interaction will help to make NerdinOut Con a success.
Online ticket prices officially go live on April 1, but the Nerdin Out store is already selling tickets. Early-bird ticket prices are as follows: adult one-day passes are $20, or two-day passes are $35; for kids older than seven, it’s $10 for a one-day pass and $20 for a two-day pass; and kids six and under get in for free. Regular ticket pricing is a little bit higher, but not by much. I personally am not planning on making the drive to Rochester anytime soon, so I’m going to wait until April 1 to buy my ticket. Plus, I’m planning on trying to get a big group of college friends to attend this with me.
The best ways to find out about new guests or ticket prices is to like the NerdinOut Facebook Page, or bookmark the website. This first-year convention needs your help to sustain its growth. Buy a ticket, get a group of friends to go, and spread the word about the awesome existence of this southeastern-Minnesota convention!