Featuring: Adam Savage | Wil Wheaton | Paul and Storm

w00tstock Multi-day Festival?

You may have noticed we’ve only done one w00tstock this year. It’s certainly not for lack of demand–every time we announce a w00tstock show, we get an avalanche of e-mails and comments asking us to bring it to their town. But until Adam quits Mythbusters (as if!), Wil shuns acting (LOLno), and Paul and Storm turn their minds exclusively to event production (uh-uh), it’s just not feasible to tour with it on a regular basis.

Then the LED lightbulb went off above our heads: instead of just doing w00tstock as a bunch of small shows in theaters, why not do ONE BIG HONKIN’ ANNUAL MULTI-DAY w00stock FESTIVAL, and pull out all the stops?

That’s precisely what we’re planning to do. More specifically:

  • Multiple full days (probably three) of geeks and music in a big, comfy indoor space that has wi-fi (you didn’t seriously think we’d ask you to put your iPad down in the grass, did you?)
  • Performances and appearances by familiar w00tstock favorites and even MORE of the biggest bands, actors, comedians, writers, artists and other creators and performers from the geek/nerd and related universes, on a REALLY BIG STAGE.
  • Other stuff that nerds love: panels, signings, a place for exhibitors to show off their cool crap, and space to gather and game.

But the w00tstock festival will not be a convention in the traditional sense. It will be a high-energy, geeked-out concert festival experience.

At its heart, a w00tstock festival will be a “normal” convention turned on its head: instead of spending all your time waiting in line for panels, you’ll have a guaranteed spot for the Main Stage performances, where a parade of the geek/nerd world’s best and brightest will do their thing like rock stars ALL DAY LONG for MULTIPLE DAYS.

We already have a pretty good idea of when (2nd half of 2012), and a number of possibilities for where, but we want to hear from you before we nail it down—and we want to know what your perfect w00tstock festival would look like. So please take a couple of minutes to answer the quick polls below to help the w00tstock festival goto AWESOME right out of the gate.


  1. BrerScientist
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    A venue to consider is the South Point Hotel/Casino in Vegas. I was there for TAM, and it worked really well. They have a ballroom with an actual stage that seats at least a thousand people. Other benifits:
    – Its close to the strip, so non-geek family have something to do
    – It has everything (dining, gambling, pools) so you never need to leave
    – Its cheap to get there from just about anywhere
    – Its cheap to stay: ~$60/night for decent rooms
    – Plenty of smaller rooms for gaming, panels, etc.

    Adam Savage has been there for TAM, so can comment on it from a performers point of view.

  2. Andrew
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    I would recomnd anyone to catch a w00tstock anywhere.
    I made the journey from Northern Ireland to comic-con this year, and I was lucky enough to get to see w00tstock 3.0 at comic-con. It was easliy one of the highlights of my trip.

    I love the idea of a w00tstock festival but think that, for me anyway, comic-con whould not be the same without a night of your kind of nerdery and awesomeness.
    Maybe you could run the w00tstock festival in San Diego during the run up to comic-con?

    Thanks again for making a long trip so good, and so worth it.


  3. adelheid_p
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    I’d request that it not be anywhere around San Diego Comicon or Worldcon.

    From where I am located in Pittsburgh, PA, I would be willing to drive to Chicago, IL or New York, NY and possibly Boston, MA to attend such an event.

    I’d consider flying to Las Vegas, NV for it, too.

  4. Cory
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been to only one w00tstock, but that is not for lack of trying. If there was something like this, I would be there. Just how it is. I would budget, plan, attend.


  5. Nick H
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    BrerScientist above made some good points. Las Vegas would be a great location to hold this festival, since this event will take place indoors. I can’t wait to attend if w00tstock becomes a reality.

  6. AJ
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    w00tstock in Boston was easily my highlight of the year it was here and I would love to have it come back here but I know that’s difficult. I can’t really justify traveling a good distance for a single show, but for three days? I’d make it happen.

  7. Kristina
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    I would love to go to something like w00tstock, but since I’m only 17 and have to ask my parents for permission to do this kind of stuff I never get to go because their always so far away and they are not willing to fly two teenagers to places like LA.

  8. Linda
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    SouthPoint in Vegas is a great idea. Everything is there, rooms are inexpensive, food all over, good coffee etc. Flights for peooke would be reasonable & it’s a pretty easy drive for most in the Western States!

  9. Sarah
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Dealers? Panels? No! I’m going to w00tstock, not a con!

  10. Posted August 5, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    If you’re going to expand it to a 3-day event, I recommend looking into an unconference format (see also SciFoo or BarCamp) rather than creating Yet Another Con. I wouldn’t go out of my way to see PAX Southwest Featuring W00tstock-like Content™, but I would spend a few days around w00tstock proper in small DIY creativity sessions with people like Marian Call, Paul and Storm, Molly Lewis, or (more importantly) their awesome fans.

    The “nerd vaudeville” thing has worked really well for you, so please don’t change the main stage act much. You could probably break it out over three nights, with the last half hour of each dedicated to the Captain’s Wife’s Lament Parts 1, 2, and 3, with big TO BE CONTINUED signs between them.

  11. Posted August 5, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and Vegas would be acceptable. That is all.

  12. Posted August 5, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    I’m pledging my company to the cause if it ends up in NH/relatively close.I can do that, sorta.

  13. Matthew Coleman
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    I was fortunate enough to get to see W00tstock when they came to NYC. It was one of the greatest concerts I’ve ever been to. I just pray that this festival will be held on the East Coast. California gets half of the W00tstocks, and we need some love also.

  14. Summer
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Hotels and Flights to Vegas are cheap from nearly anywhere. I’m much more willing to travel further if the flights from here in the middle of the country are an affordable, and Vegas is usually only a couple hundred compared to other places which are much pricier.

  15. Posted August 5, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    JoCo Cruise Crazy for land-lubbers? Excellent idea!

    Las Vegas would be good – there’s a direct flight from the UK on Virgin Atlantic for £670-ish (next June, I can’t look any further yet :-). This would certainly make the festival achievable as far as cost goes.

    One thing to consider, if this goes ahead, is that we might need a dedicated W00tstock community forum e.g. to arrange room shares.

    Open Mic show? Please?

  16. Lisa Hertel
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    You may want to contact an SF fan group who runs conventions (localish to your venue, once you figure out where that is). They’ll have expertise you can’t buy. (For example, in LA, it’s LASFS, who runs LAcon; in Boston, it’s MCFI or NESFA; and so on.)

  17. JJinVenice
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    An idea for a side panel, ‘Lean the Ukelele with Molly!’ That would be the best panel ever. And if Paul & Storm were sitting up in the rafters offering color commentary like those old dudes from the Muppets, that would be hysterical.

  18. Anne
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Also went to TAM this year and the South Point in vegas worked well. Would be ideal for me travelling from Europe if the two events were back to back so I could do both ;)

  19. Posted August 5, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    I agree with the vegas suggestions if you’re unable to do it somewhere within about 5 hours of Houston. I lived in Vegas for many years, and much of my family still lives there, so it would be way easy to make it an all-inclusive trip to visit and have fun at the event.

  20. Heather
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Have it in Austin, TX! Centrally located (smack in the middle of the country), reputation for fabulous live music, friendly people, great restaurants, plenty of hotel rooms to support visitors (we do host SXSW every March, after all), and a BIG geek community!

  21. Posted August 5, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    I’m hoping for a Boston area w00tstock. 2.8 was an awesome time. Several nights of mayhem would be a great idea.

  22. John M
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Please, for the love of all that is holy and a few things that aren’t, NO OPEN MIC!

  23. trajan
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    i’d totally go. just make sure it doesn’t conflict with PAX prime, PAX east, dragon*con, SXSX, SDCC or ECCC.

  24. Andrew Cali
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    You guys are in Virginia right? Why not there, kinda around DC? Nice centralized east coast spot.

  25. Clare
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Yes, yes yes yes YES! Oooh, this excites me so much! I’m thinking that this is prolly gonna take the place of SDCC for me next year, since THIS will be filled with all the stuff I LOVE! Hurrayyyyyy! PS – As long as it is in the continental US, I am THERE.

  26. Greg
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    HAVE W00tstock in D.C

  27. Crickett Hutchinson
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    VeGAS! VeGAS! VeGAS!

    We’re in Silicon Valley, and Vegas would be great for us, since the Grandparents live near there, and would be THRILLED to take their grandchild for a 3-day weekend!

  28. Grahm
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Would this gigantor festival be in lieu of occasional W00tstocks dotting the countryside? I’m hoping that you’d do a yearly big show (presumably in CA) and then a handful of traditional shows in Chicago, NY, etc for those of us too poor to fly around and live out of hotels for days at a time. Also, I can bring my family to a Chicago show but not so much to the coasts (for $ reasons).

  29. Gene
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    I flew from Texas to Seattle for my first W00tstock and didn’t regret it. (Ok, my brother lives in Seattle, but that’s just a side benefit.) Ten got to see W00tstock in Dallas. I would go just about anywhere in the US for this.

    If you do pick Vegas, try and pick a month when the temp isn’t over 100 degrees. :D

  30. Brett Glass
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    “Burning Nerd?” I’d come every year.

    As for location: Vegas has cheap airfares, but the venues are tough to deal with and are not nerd-friendly. (Cigarette smoke is particularly bad, because there’s no clean indoor air law.) Denver has the advantage of being right in the center of the country, with direct fights to everywhere. The Washington, DC metro area would be on your home turf (well, Storm’s anyway), but hotels would be pricey.

  31. Posted August 5, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    OK, here comes the curmudgeon. As an older parent nerd (38) my opportunities for flying somewhere and adding 3 nights of hotel are very limited. And while I may see it as a good idea to hang out with y’all for three days, there are other people that depend on me for food, clothing, shelter, etc. Yeah, yeah, Paul has kids. But this is how he earns a living, and he has made that choice to do so. Him going away for a week hopefully brings in enough money to support his family. Me going away tends to lessen the balance in the accounts. If I was 20 and single, hell yeah, mother f… well you know what I mean, but I wouldn’t mind still seeing the individual one night shows around the country.

    Don’t get me wrong, I can see the advantages, I can see the possibilities, I can understand it from an organizer and performer standpoint. I’m just stating a personal preference. If it works out, I will do my best to get there (Minneapolis is very centralized) but I have a feeling I will be disappointed.

    That being said, I love you guys, keep up the great work, and if this is the best plan for you guys so that you can continue making a living doing your thing and providing us with tons of entertainment, then good luck and I hope I can get there!

  32. Brett Glass
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    You might also want to consider venues such as the Asilomar conference center in Monterey, CA or the Chaminade resort in Santa Cruz, CA. This would make the setting more like a “retreat” than a con, combining all of the the best elements of w00tstock and JoCoCruiseCrazy.

  33. Peter Ho-Sing-Loy
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    I love the idea of a 2 or 3 day concert/festival event where there aremain stage acts and also side shows a la Free Molly at 2.0 I’ve been lucky enough to see the show at the con 2010-11…it was easily one of the highlights…along with Hammer Don’t Hurt Em…if you could bring it all together I would fly/drive to vegas…though I would miss you all at the con next year

  34. Diana anderson
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 4:02 am | Permalink

    Loved it at san diego along with comic con. I think that is the best choice. Vegas is a good idea and a good value. Show would need to be in hotel on strip. Flights are cheep. Would go any where in the USA to see it. Even pigeon forge tn and especially Boston. Thx

  35. Dan
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Boston/New England would be cool. NYC or NJ would be fine. Other than that you probably have to focus on what’s inexpensive to go to. Orlando and Vegas can always be done pretty cheaply (usually low air fare and hotel rooms) and they are used to having conventions in town so you can get some cheap ‘convention rates’

  36. Julie Martinez
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Yes yes yes, this possibility excites me to no end! I went to the w00tstock in Boston and I still think it was one of the best nights I’ve ever had in my entire life. As long as I could afford to make it to a multi-day w00tstock, meaning if it were on the East Coast somewhere (where I could drive to) or somewhere that’s cheap to fly to, there is nothing that could stop me from going! Please make it somewhere I can afford going!

  37. Darzog
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    I would be SO down for this to be set in Vegas! Perhaps Mr. Wheaton could be talked into hosting a poker tournament!

  38. Thomas Forsythe
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Three words: Wootstock at Woodstock.

  39. Thomas Forsythe
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    And a hell yes to color commentary from Paul and Strom!

  40. Dave
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Darzog just cemented it. w00tstock MUST be in Vegas.

    Ok, aside from the glory of possibility of playing poker with Mr. Wheaton, I really see it being the best place for reasons previously mentioned. I love being close to Denver and all, but the venues where something of this potential size are very limited and pretty expensive. You’re pretty much looking at the Mariott where StarFest is every year or the convention center, which would make everything cost prohibitive. Vegas would allow for very affordable lodging and mean I wouldn’t necessarily need wall to wall programming for all three days. There’s plenty of geeky and non-geeky stuff to do around there, so the pressure wouldn’t be solely on the w00tstock staff to provide entertainment for the entire time.

  41. Steve C
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Mike Lombardo. Mike Lombardo. Mike Lombardo.

  42. Phoenix Mozo
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Venue near New York? Farthest I will drive is Toronto, being that I live in New York City.

  43. Oreo
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Living near Houston I’d vote for the fourth largest city in the country. The city has hosted conventions, a Super Bowl, and the world’s largest rodeo. We’ve got the Reliant Center and the George R. Brown Convention Center. Reliant has it’s benefits, but the GRB has a small coin-op arcade nearby, along with a great public outdoor space called Discovery Green, and is centered between the Toyota Center and Minute Maid Park. We also have 2 large airports and great food. Lesser known I’d the live music scene that, while not as well known as Austin, is thriving.

  44. Nadia
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Oreo! As a Houstonian, it is frustrating to see our city get passed over again and again. We have a thriving nerd community, just go check out the Comicpalooza website. George R. Brown is ideal.

  45. Karla
    Posted August 7, 2011 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    Like the Vegas idea, and LOVING the idea from JJinVenice. I couldn’t think of a panel that would excite me, but Molly teaching the basics of the ukelele could be fun, and almost any panel with a stand-in Statler and Waldorf would be a great idea.

  46. Joseph Camann
    Posted August 7, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Excited to hear about the possibility! I live in Upstate NY, and while there’s no chance it would come here, I would definitely drive anywhere within 5 hours (Pittsburgh, Cleveland, etc). The West Coast (and particularly California)does seem to have received the majority of the W00tstocks…we on the East Coast would love it too :)

    Thanks for all the work you guys are doing to put this together. Wherever it ends up being, I’m sure it’ll be great!

  47. devlyn
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I know a lot of people are rooting for Vegas, but, ungh… Vegas is so damned taxing and is ridiculously expensive. Even if you can get a $60 crappy room, there are additional fees that bring the rates up to well over $85 a night, plus the food and drinks are all overpriced. I was hoping that there could be another w00tstock in Portland, Or. It’s a cheap place for people to come (yes, that includes hotel rooms), has fantastic food and beverage. We could put together food cart tours and brewery tours! The west coast is a large piece of land to combine together, and it would be nice to have something in Portland — Seattle has ECCC, California has, well, pretty much everything else. I would also be up for possibly going to a w00tstock in Boston, but mostly because I like Boston and it has plenty of other things to do while I’m there. Plane tickets from the west coast to Boston are pretty much the same price as plane tickets to Vegas, just as an fyi…

  48. ThomasT
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Paul needs to pull rank and make it be in Philly. Easy & cheap for all easterners, not too bad for others, and a great geek town with lots of creative type who would pitch in to make it happen.

  49. Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I’d fly anywhere in the country for this (except maybe Hawaii due to cost). Vegas would be awesome for me personally as it’s one of my favorite places to travel. Also wouldn’t mind seeing this happen in Minneapolis as that’s my hometown and I wouldn’t have to pay airfare or lodging.

    But seriously, please do this. I’ll bring friends, I promise!

  50. Kristina
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    To P&S: As much as I love “Nun Fight” and “Frogger: The Frogger Musical,” I’d like to hear your other songs played. And please do more of the musician impressions–those are hilarious! Can I get a Rick James on fire hiding in the bottom of a well?

  51. marypeeling
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Portland OR! Centrally located on the west coast, fantastic international airport, amazing public transportation, home of Dark Horse Comics, and an all around geeky city. Plus, I’m pretty sure we can pony up some geek themed burlesque and belly dance shows for evening entertainment.

  52. Posted August 9, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    A multi-day event would be great. It would be a great opportunity for some smaller nerd bands to get some recognition.

    The Gnome Sorcery Federation! Some dedicated nerd rock.

    (Full disclosure: I’m in the band so this is shameless self promotion, but we’re serious musicians that enjoy writing music about science and fantasy.)

  53. Stephen Webber
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Would love this to be in the Boston area—-a true nerd Mecca. Would love to see the Doubleclicks perform on the East coast!

  54. CharonPDX
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    I second Devlyn’s suggestion – Portland! We don’t have any major geeky events, W00tstock would be a perfect fit. (And Wil comes here enough already to know how good our beer is.)

  55. Kat
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I feel like I’m being greedy that I am hoping it will be in Vegas. The w00tstocks have a very large L.A. fan base who would have little excuse to miss such an event.

    Vegas has tightened its Indoor Clean Air laws, so it’s even more nerd friendly than ever!

    Vegas ALWAYS has somewhere cheap to stay. Even if you can’t afford a room in the chosen hotel, there’s off-strip hotels and motels that are bargain priced. (Vegas wants to keep you there, no matter how little money you have.) Same thing for food. If you want to eat fancy places, sure, it’s expensive, but 5 minutes of driving, stores and restaurants in Henderson are the same as any normal town.

    PLENTY of non-event entertainment. It’s Vegas, come on! In addition to casinos and shows there’s the Nuclear Testing Museum, the Pinball Museum, etc. (RIP Star Trek Experience)

    Just some selling points. I have done Vegas with cheap people who don’t drink, so I know there is something there for everyone.

  56. Dylan
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    I posted this as a comment on the “Where do you live?” poll question, but those comments apparently go to a different place and I’m not sure if they are as likely to be read. +1 for Portland, OR. It would be awesome to have it here. Plus I really want to go, but I am burning up a lot of my vacation for this cruise thing in Feb. next year (hell yes :) ), so if it ends up to far away I might not get to go. //Dylan

  57. Sarah
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    I vote for San Diego, not only because I live there. :) Those of you who make it out for Comic-Con know the weather is nice (this is fairly consistent), and the Gaslamp quarter downtown is full of good noms. Several smaller gatherings also use the Town & Country Convention Center in Fashion Valley, which is outside of the downtown area, but very close to a buttload of hotels & resorts. So there you go.

  58. Cary
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    Portland, OR! I would probably travel to Seattle if I had to, though.

    You NEED to include The Doubleclicks!

  59. Brett Glass
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Kat, I wish that Vegas actually had effective clean indoor air laws, but it doesn’t. Pretty much anyplace with more than a few slot machines can allow smoking. Restaurants are technically supposed to be nonsmoking, but if they’re anywhere near a casino or slots the smoke wafts right in. I had trouble avoiding it last time I was there. For details, see http://www.lvlg.com/faqpage.htm.

  60. Lee Sharpe
    Posted August 12, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Thread Summary: “This is awesome! Please have it in [city I live in].”

  61. Lori Young
    Posted August 17, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    The suggestion of Vegas probably isn’t a bad idea since you can get relatively cheap flights from pretty much anywhere in the country, plus you don’t need a car to get around. What about taking over a summer camp or ski resort in the off season such as the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival did last year in upstate New York? I think the biggest issue is finding a venue that has the proper staging and sound equipment in house. Bringing in that stuff isn’t logistically impossible, but it sure does immediately bring up the cost of putting on an event.

  62. Posted August 19, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    I just went in my pants

  63. Michael Johnson
    Posted August 21, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like a good idea to me. Host it someplace midwest where the hotels are cheap.

  64. Scott
    Posted October 13, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    One suggestion is to do something similar to PAX and have an east and a west. Because you seem to do one annually at comic-con (easy because you’re all generally there anyways) that can be the official annual west w00tstock.

    Then choose another place in the east for people to travel to. Preferably somewhere near or even in ON Canada (but that’s just personal bias due to my own location).

    Either way a possibility to look into, and hope to see you all eventually!

  65. Posted October 23, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Another vote for Philadelphia here. Because I live here and I’m lazy. That being said, I’ll be there if it takes place anywhere I can get to from Philly on Amtrak in under 8 hours.

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