Ladies and Gentlemen, I was wrong. When I first heard about Chris Hardwick’s ID10T fest, I laughed and even went so far to joke it would be the next Fyre Festival. Harsh, I know, but how on earth do you combine a comic con with a music festival? Nerdist founder, Chris Hardwick did it with only a tiny amount of first year hiccups! I am so proud to have covered this event and can’t wait to come back next year!

Day one was very much a “make a game plan”.  When your natural environment is an indoor convention hall, you must prepare. It was a nice weekend out in California so sunscreen and hats were necessary. I first checked out where all the large tents, exhibitors, and vendors were. I have never in my life seen so many booze and food trucks, but they were welcoming when the warm afternoon rolled around. The event went from Noon to 10Pm Saturday and Sunday – the music technically didn’t start till around 3pm so you had plenty of time to check everything out.

I saw so many incredible exhibitors and vendors out at the festival. I had a complete #GirlBoss moment when meeting Proton Pin owner, Rachel. I’ve been obsessed with her pins for while now! Check out her entire line of pins and the Bay Area Ghostbuster chapter she represents. Another amazing exhibitor was Central Curios. I drooled for a solid five minutes over their collection of the hand carved magic wands. They are absolutely gorgeous, and will be featured on our site soon! The Hip Hop Trooper was super cool and his some sick moves!

After figuring out where everything was, I made my way to the Panel Tent.  The panels were hosted in a huge tent that after 4pm turned into the EDM tent with great DJs. On Day One, I managed to hit a few panels from Mystery Science Theater 3000, Con Man, and The Magicians. We learned during Con Man Panel that Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk actually met each other before Firefly just never knew it. Alan was a waiter at a restaurant that Nathan and his then girlfriend frequently went too.

“It wasn’t until we were filming season… Wait what I’m talking about there is only one. We were filming Firefly and realized I had served him for months.” – Alan


Photo Source: Shannon Parola @TheGameofNerds

The Magicians was an absolutely amazing panel featuring, . The cast teases “we aren’t done f*cking with you yet” for the upcoming season. The majority of the panel discussion was on how rare of a show, The Magicians really is. Chris Hardwick compares the series to “the Buffy of this generation” and many fans agreed. Writer Sera Gamble says they wrote this series they wanted it to be seen. So “f*ck” became the secret favorite word and SyFy channel made the exception for their foul language. Gamble says Supernatural was great prep for her coming to The Magicians. Three things I can share about the panel are the following:

  1. You will be hearing more about the Old Gods next season, but they won’t necessarily be seen.
  2. Keeping the continuity of hands moments and spells is very important to the entire cast. Everyone deems that Hale happens to have the “most beautiful hand motions”. He even did a demonstration for the fans.
  3. This was the only panel of actors brave enough to go out of the gates after their panels for pictures. Fans were gracious, kind, and orderly about it. It wasn’t until the next panel started that they ushered the cast away.

I managed to get very lucky that day. I was standing next to a gate getting pictures of the fans interacting with The Magician’s cast when Chris Hardwick pops up near me. I was very grateful to get to speak to him a few minutes and snap a selfie. He never turned down a SINGLE PERSON this weekend for a picture or signature. He was extremely grateful and you could tell he was very proud of this event. As I was trying to calm down from that fangirl moment, I ran into Olivia Dudley who was more than gracious to snap a selfie with me as well. By this time, I was trying to make my way over to the comedy tent but physically couldn’t. There were too many people and mass confusion on what was really going on. I decided to call it a day early and head home. By the time I got home I figured out where the problem was. No one was expecting the Monster Energy Comedy Tent to be that HUGE of an attraction. Unfortunately the Fire Marshal shut it down and made them issue tickets. Many people were livid, BUT Hardwick took it with grace and posted the following to his Instagram account:

So yesterday the demand was INCREDIBLY high for the comedy shows–higher than we anticipated. The fire marshal last minute made us institute a ticket system to control the numbers so if you wondered why we didn’t tell people about tickets, that’s why. We didn’t know either until it had to happen! It was the first day of the first year and there’s always a learning curve so my apologies!! We got as many in as possible (I was told about 1800 for the second show) but we clearly need a bigger comedy tent next year. I never want anyone to feel frustrated or left out so please know that we are doing our very best! Today we’re going to try this: for the 4:30 show, line up at 1:30 at the comedy tent for 2:00 ticket distribution and for the 6:30 show, line up at 2:30 for 3:00 ticket distribution. You won’t have to be in line UNTIL showtime once you have your tix, mind you. I know this seems a little complicated, but I PROMISE we’ll have a better system next year. Yesterday was so beyond my wildest dreams. Maybe I’m biased but the vibe was extra special, ya know? There was a real sense of community there and I want to make sure everyone feels taken care of. Ok see you today! And if you see me and want to snap a pic, the answer is YES! Thank you thank you thank you!!! – Chris Hardick

Now knowing what was happening, I started to game plan Day Two so I could see Michael Che that night. I got to the festival a little later on Sunday since the panels didn’t start till 1pm. My first stop of the day was to figure out what we had to do about the comedy tent that night. I was extremely patient, kind, and thankful for every person I encountered that day. It ended up working in my favor! Ashley from A-12 is a rockstar and extremely helpful in getting some awesome shots of these panels!


Photo Source: Shannon Parola @TheGameofNerds

The Panels for that day were absolutely amazing. Futurama, Animanaics Live!, and Portlandia. There was a Dan Harmon Panel as well, but I had to head over to the comedy tent at that time. The Futurama panel was full of great back stories on the series. Chris Hardwick refers to it as “the un-killable show”. Some tidbits from the panel included:

  • Maurice LaMarche explaining how he blew his original for the Simpsons by being under the influence. So when he came to audition for Futurama, he didn’t want to mess it up.
  • Hermes was originally not Jamaican or named Hermes. He originally was Dexter but Matt Greene realized her had to many “er” names so it got changed to Hermes. The accent didn’t come until Episode 4 and so they had to go back to re-record the first three episodes.
  • Voice Actors really love doing their voices for fans! Maurice LaMarche is throwing around an idea where voice actors get together once a month for “Dinners with Your Childhood”.
  • One tidbit from table reads is that, “Everyone does their version of the Professor or Zyoberg, but NO ONE can do Fry.

The second panel was Animaniacs Live! I managed to catch the end of this panel and it was so nostalgic. It’s amazing to think how many voices are housed in single person. I spent a lot of time recording and shooting this panel. The fan question part of panel was one of the best part. People wanted to interact with Maurice LaMarche as the Brain. Rob Paulsen got the job as Pinky based on his famous phrase “NARF”.  One of the major highlights of the panel was when a young man had gotten up and started repeating one of Yakko’s fastest songs in tempo with Rob. By the time they got to the end, everyone was on their feet cheering. Anamantics Live! will actually be touring the US so check and see if they are coming to city near you!


Photo Source: Shannon Parola @TheGameofNerds

The final panel I got to attend was Portlandia and it happened to be the best seats I got out of all the panels. Fred Armisten and Carrie gave us a lot of insight into the show and their writing processes. Season 8 of Portlandia will be the final season of the show. Both of them wanted control on how it ends. They said though there will no big story arc for the season.

“Not everyone must get pregnant or die.” – Carrie

Carrie says that writing and directing is her way of life now after this season as well. When asked their favorite characters they have played, Carrie loves Lance and Fred loves the Goth character. Good News for those who love the bookstore couple. They will have a new job in Season 8! When asked what’s their favorite quote they have created, both had the same answer “A O RIVER!” Carrie stated that she can’t post a single picture of water on social media without someone commenting that. The panel in all was very insightful and great for fans.

By this time I had to start heading over to the comedy tent to get ready for the shows. As stated before there was a ticket system and those lines were LONG! As you can see by the photos the comedy tent was MUCH smaller than the other tents. The ended up taking out the back rows for standing room only. April Richardson was hosting the entire weekend for the comedy tent. The first comedy show was great. It featured Natasha Muse, Marcella Argeullo, Brian Posehn, and Garfunkel & Oates.  All the acts were amazing in this set. Chris Hardwick made a surprise pit stop to apologize for the insanity again and do a little bit. Brian Posehn’s bit about his rescue dogs had me in stitches. Garfunkel and Oats was hilarious and fresh. Their sound check took them a little while so we were shorted some song, but they made up in their adorable personalities. Now the second show was a completely different story. Everyone had to exit the tent and even longer line was ushered in. The second set was a bit different. Marcella made a repeat appearance for the night. She had to check for some material because so many people had decided to come again. Which was totally fine because she killed it. Mike Phirmen and Brent Weinbach were okay. I’m still trying to figure out what the hell Brent’s slinky dance was about. Now, the main event Michael Che was amazing. Did you know he has his own hype man, DJ Cipha Sounds, and we had to sign karaoke in order for him to come on? Yes folks it’s true. But let me tell you, he was well worth the wait. Towards the end, Michael was actually upset that he couldn’t go longer. It was a great experience to see him live on stage after seeing him behind the Weekend Update desk on Saturday Night Live. My final stop for the night was to check out the music just to say, I did. The EDM tent was off the hook. It was amazing to see that many people dancing together in the Floating Tent to the point it was spilling out of the tent and into the exhibits. I made a walk over to the amphitheater to check it out as well. The day before it wasn’t open till after I left so I didn’t get a chance to see it.


EDM Portion of the Festival. The Panel tent was converted after 4PM.  Photo Source: Shannon Parola

All in all, I was very impressed with the festival. It definitely was a combo of two different worlds. At a certain point in the day you could see the tides changing. A lot of people came for the panels, exhibits, and comedy tent in the early afternoon then left. Then there was the other group of people who were interested in the comedy tent and music so they came later in the evening. One of the biggest complaints I heard was how the VIP section wasn’t very VIP-like. You can see in pictures, there isn’t much difference other than the non-VIP section had shade. With so many food trucks, I didn’t see many catering to allergies. It was hard enough carrying a bag packed with gear through 80 degree day, but to add food on top sucked. There was no in or out privileges either. So when your done, your done. Plus on Sunday the weather went from hot to cold really fast. So if you didn’t pack accordingly for the entire day, you were freezing. All in all, I had a great time at the festival. I will definitely be back next year with my family and friends.