San Antonio’s newest music festival isn’t centered around Tejano, hip-hop or metal. Instead, it’s all about celebrating life’s geekier side.
Super Bitfest, which makes its debut Saturday, March 14, at a trio of near-downtown venues, is hosting a homegrown 12-band showcase devoted the all-inclusive world of nerdcore music.
For the uninitiated, nerdcore is an umbrella term for any type of pop music highlighting geek culture, from video games to anime. And we do mean any type. The fest’s inaugural lineup will run the gamut from hip-hop and metal to a mariachi act that performs video game themes.
The fest’s debut comes hot on the heels of January’s PAX South, a mega-sized gaming expo that takes place annually in San Antonio.
“We are stupid nerdy here,” said Super Bitfest organizer Joseph Devine, also who plays guitar for SA-based nerdcore metal band Bitforce. “That’s why PAX does so well. That’s why the comic cons that come through did so well.”
Bitfest will take place across three adjacent venues, the Rock Box, Vibes Event Center and the Underground, all located on East Houston Street.
In addition to Devine’s outfit, the event will include a performance by SA-based Mariachi Entertainment System or M.E.S. — that mariachi band we mentioned earlier, whose name happens to be a play on the iconic N.E.S. gaming system. EyeQ, a Florida-based rapper who released an entire album dedicated to the anime Attack on Titan, will also perform.
EyeQ, whose real name is Chris Allen, said he was encouraged watching Devine and his team build Super Bitfest. The rapper also underscored the importance of seeing more people of color in geek-centric festivals.
“Seeing this culture become cool — when most of my life I was made fun of because of it — I think is awesome,” Allen said, “because it’s showing that it’s starting to become more mainstream.”
In addition to the live music, Super Bitfest will include a cosplay contest, Smash Bros and NFL Blitz tournaments and a Pokémon Snap simulator game. Attendees will also get to meet San Antonio-based indie game developers and demo new Nintendo games with an official company rep.
Allen said videogames are a bonding part of nerd culture, which explains why there’s a surge of musical acts that draw inspiration from them.
“That’s the thing we all have in common,” he said. “Being able to play through this imaginary world and being able to forget the world that I was in. … That’s important because everyone needs something to take them away or inspire them or make them feel like they’re still important, or that they’re still alive and that life, even in it’s all challenges, is still worth living.”
Tickets, which run from $7 to a $30 VIP pass, are available — along with a full lineup and schedule — at the event’s website: superbitfest.com.
Get our top picks for the best events in San Antonio every Thursday morning. Sign up for our Events Newsletter.