NEON RetroFest is a three-day, three-night, non-stop festival dedicated to late 20th century entertainment and all of the iconic sights and sounds that defined it, with an additional emphasis on celebrating a future that never was. Call it "Retrofuturism" if you like, because we do. It is the vision of the future as predicted by the past, and the high-octane nostalgia that comes with that concept.
The first NEON RetroFest was in 2018, and was an extremely good time that is fondly recalled by many. The long-awaited follow up, NEON 2020, is being organized right now from the ground up to live up the high expectations the first show set, and be a paradise for people who dig killer music, retro arcade, computer, and console gaming, evocative art, cult film, all sorts of guests, awesome vendors, and a lot more.
We're just a few event organizers, music producers, arcade game collectors, film junkies, gamers, artists, designers, makers, and creative weirdos who have been running events of many shapes and sizes under the banner of Temple Studios Inc. since 2005. NEON is now our focus, and we're thrilled about it.
Rhode Island, USA--also known as the *ocean* state, home to 400 of miles of beautiful coastline. After scoping out a lot of venues for 2020 in New England and beyond, we came back to one we've often worked with in the past: The Crowne Plaza RI. Their layout has been awesome for live music and large-scale events we've organized, indoor and out, and the adjacent proximity to a major airport, huge amount of space, cool staff we're familiar with, and reasonable room pricing made it an obvious choice.
The venue is also minutes away from Providence (well, in Rhode Island almost everything is minutes away...) which is a pretty damn cool city with a lot to offer people with our interests. Add to that some truly exceptional food and nice beaches, and it's a solid summer destination if you can stand to pull yourself away from NEON for a few hours--or better yet, plan to stay an extra day or two!
Since we want NEON to be as immersive as possible, the more people who dress up in theme-appropriate attire or costumes, the more convincing and interesting the atmosphere will be. It's not required, but it's certainly encouraged! Fortunately, the late 70's to mid-90's covers a wide range of options, so if you want to go Cyberpunk, Miami Vice-style, wear a funny 80's movie, game or commercial reference cosplay, or just channel low-key retro vibes, it's all golden. The most important part is having fun and tapping into NEON's environment in whatever ways inspire your self expression.
If all else fails, we will have official NEON t-shirts and other merchandise attire available through the website very soon!
That's a question we've been asking ourselves for over 12 years as we organized shows and looked for various ways to inject the content we loved into everything we did, whether it fit the theme or not.
In late 2016, we knew it was finally time to stop screwing around and to dedicate an entire event to it. With the success of more and more entertainment deeply rooted in Retrofuturism, Cyberpunk, and the 1980s vibe, as well as Synthwave and related music genres hitting a critical mass, we knew it was time to go all in with NEON.
In 2018 we organized the first NEON RetroFest, built completely on the blood, sweat, and tears of a team of organizers that needed something like this to exist. Loyal fans from around the world saw what we were doing, noticed it was distinctly unlike a lot of retro expos out there, and supported us in many ways, the most important of which was buying lots of tickets and attending.
In 2019 we rested, forging a plan for how to improve on the first event with our eyes toward 2020, the most retro-futuristic sounding year of all. NEON returns August 28-30 2020 with an event that, hopefully, will set the standard all over again.
Once again, hang on tight.
You sure can. If there's something you'd think would make for an awesome addition to NEON, or to inquire as a guest or performer, drop us a line! We're also always looking for badass volunteers to help make things happen on the ground during the weekend. Go here for more info on that.
Well, for starters, hopefully you! As for our musicians, guests, and other big announcements, those are coming after the new year, so we're hard at work building the schedule and getting that all-important lineup booked. Keep checking our front page and official schedule for updates, and follow our Facebook for all the latest.
Our aim is to roll out a truly insane schedule on all fronts, so don't touch that dial.
A lot, we hope. Based on projections and how unbelievably awesome Year 1 was, our goal for NEON 2020 is to sell through every single ticket we have available.
Any help getting the word out is very appreciated! Posters and other promotional materials will also be made available soon.
Let us know using the form, and we'll get back to you. If it's a really good one, maybe we'll add it here!