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Status Active
Genre Video games, video game music
Venue Gaylord National Convention Center[1]
Location(s) National Harbor, Maryland
Country United States
Inaugurated 2002
Attendance Approximately 17,000+ in 2015
Organized by MAGFest INC

MAGFest (Music and Gaming Festival, originally the Mid-Atlantic Gaming Festival) is an annual festival held in the Washington metropolitan area that celebrates video games and video game music, as well as their surrounding culture. MAGFest's primary features are a large open video gaming room, a hall of arcade cabinets, concerts by chiptune artists and video game cover bands, and a Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC) LAN Party.


MAGFest's arcade hall is open 24 hours a day.[2] The exhibition hall contains hundreds of full size arcade cabinets, and even pinball machines that are donated for the event from local collectors and vending companies. All arcades are set to play for free on admission price, and are monitored 24 hours a day by a maintenance and technical staff. The arcade hall is decked out with specialty lighting, laser lighting, and music to bring back the golden age of arcades. The game selection ranges from 1970's vintage black and white games, vector monitors games, Cathode Ray Tube games, modern/Indie arcades; as well as contemporary Japanese candy cabinets and Japanese dance/music games like Dance, Dance, Revolution and Taiko No Tatsujin. Arcades range from various manufacturers like Atari, Nintendo, Taito, Midway, Williams, Capcom, Sega, ICE, Rock Ola, and Exidy. Games challenge various abilities including driving simulators, shooting simulators, labyrinth games, and just plain fun games. There are multiple events and tournaments that occur during the event that allow you to challenge dozens of others for prizes and fame. They also host a ten game tournament that spans the entire event which allows players to openly compete on 10 classic arcade games to work on getting the highest scores possible with the ultimate prize being given to the player who scores the most points total on all games.

There is also a console hall open 24 hours a day that houses over a hundred televisions and attached game consoles, where guests are invited to play at will and each station's game is periodically swapped with a different one from a game library. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own controllers or fighting game pads to compete with. Consoles range from vintage Atari 2600, Intellivision style games all the way through the years to the most current and up to date Xbox/PS/Nintendo systems and games. Even steam titles are playable and indie game developers have been known to introduce or beta test new games at the events. Tournaments are performed frequently throughout the event on several platforms and game types for prizes.

The concert areas host nightly performances in multiple rooms simultaneously of famous and up and coming bands. Music is themed, but not limited to; Chip Tunes, video game music, and related works. Many luminaries of video game music fan culture have performed at MAGFest. Previous bands include Machinae Supremacy, The Earth Bound Pappas, Minibosses, Powerglove, the NESkimos, the Advantage and Chromelodeon.

Other major attractions include guest panels from the video game industry such as Sid Meier, Jon St. John[3] and Nobuo Uematsu,[4] celebrated composer for many of the games in the Final Fantasy series. In addition, the fan remixing community is well represented with sites such as OverClocked ReMix. Filmmakers such as X-Strike Studios, Main Moon Productions, PBC Productions, and There Will Be Brawl have also appeared at the event. MAGFest has also included intellectually driven panels such as "Game Studies 101" where attendees were given a basic introduction to the manner in which scholars study video games.

Additionally, MAGFest features DJ battles, a jam space, an open mic stage, a large LAN party environment, a film screening room, a tabletop gaming room, vendors, contests like "name-that-tune," and a video game "challenge booth" where players can "try to tackle insanely difficult gaming feats for prizes of all sorts."[5]

Dates Location Attendance Featured performers
September 27–29, 2002
Holiday Inn Tanglewood
Roanoke, Virginia
265 Everyone, The Minibosses, The OneUps
MAGFest 2
October 31–November 2, 2003
Clarion Hotel
Williamsburg, Virginia
375 The Minibosses, The Smash Bros., Wave Theory
MAGFest 3
October 1–3, 2004
Clarion Hotel
Williamsburg, Virginia
500 Inheretics, Chromelodeon, The Jenova Project, The Minibosses, The NESkimos, Temp Sound Solutions, The Smash Bros., Wave Theory
MAGFest 4
January 13–15, 2006
Doubletree Hilton
Charlottesville, Virginia
750 The Minibosses, The NESkimos, Parasprinter, Powerglove, Search Snake, The Smash Bros., Sprite Slowdown, This Place Is Haunted, Wave Theory
MAGFest 5
January 4–7, 2007
Sheraton Premiere
Vienna, Virginia
950 Armcannon, Chromelodeon, Parasprinter, Powerglove, The Smash Bros., Temp Sound Solutions, This Place Is Haunted, Wave Theory, Year 200X
MAGFest 6
January 3–6, 2008
Hilton Alexandria Mark Center
Alexandria, Virginia
1050 The Advantage, Armcannon, Powerglove, Select Start, The Smash Bros., Temp Sound Solutions, This Place Is Haunted
MAGFest 7
January 1–4, 2009
Hilton Alexandria Mark Center
Alexandria, Virginia
1350 Armcannon, Armadillo Tank, Entertainment System, The Megas, Metroid Metal, A_Rival, Rare Candy, Temp Sound Solutions, The Smash Bros., This Place Is Haunted,[7] Year 200X
MAGFest 8
January 1–4, 2010
Hilton Alexandria Mark Center
Alexandria, Virginia
2200 Armcannon, Armadillo Tank, Entertainment System, The Megas, Metroid Metal, A_Rival, Rare Candy, Select Start, Temp Sound Solutions, The OneUps, The Smash Bros., This Place Is Haunted,[7] brentalfloss
MAGFest 9
January 13–16, 2011
Hilton Alexandria Mark Center
Alexandria, Virginia
3000+ (Capped) The Protomen, The Minibosses, The OneUps, Metroid Metal, Armcannon, Bit Brigade, The Megas, Year 200X, X-Hunters, Entertainment System, This Place Is Haunted, Rare Candy, Dj CUTMAN, A_Rival, Powerglove, brentalfloss
MAGFest 10
January 5–8, 2012
Gaylord National Convention Center
National Harbor, Maryland
6100+[8] Earthbound Papas,[4] Armcannon, Bit Brigade, Descendants of Erdrick, Dj CUTMAN, The Megas, Metroid Metal, The OneUps, Temp Sound Solutions, This Place Is Haunted, X-Hunters, Year 200X, Krieger, Random Encounter
MAGFest 11
January 3–6, 2013
Gaylord National Convention Center
National Harbor, Maryland
9000+ Yuzo Koshiro, Armcannon, Benjamin Briggs, Bit Brigade, bLiNd, Brentalfloss and The Cartridge Family, Dj CUTMAN, Mega Ran, Metroid Metal, Powerglove, Protomen, Rare Candy, The Megas, The OneUps, Those Who Fight, Video Game Orchestra, The World is Square
MAGFest 12
January 2–5, 2014
Gaylord National Convention Center
National Harbor, Maryland
12,000+ Machinae Supremacy, The OneUps, Love Canon, Bit Brigade, Urizen, X-Hunters, The Megas, Knight of the Round, Random AKA Mega Ran, MegaDriver, Super Guitar Bros., Those Who Fight, On Being Human, This Place Is Haunted, Armcannon, Rare Candy, LONELYROLLINGSTARS, Gamechops DJ Battle
MAGFest 8.5
September 12–14, 2014
Hilton Alexandria Mark Center
Alexandria, Virginia
1,500 Arm Cannon, Temp Sound Solutions, Professor Shyguy, You Bred Raptors?, Steel Samurai, Eight Bit Disaster, The Protomans, The World Is Square, Those Who Fight
MAGFest 13
January 23–26, 2015
Gaylord National Convention Center
National Harbor, Maryland
17,000+ Yuu Miyake, Machinae Supremacy, Yoshihito Yano, The Protomen, Powerglove, Bit Brigade, LONELYROLLINGSTARS, The Megas, Random AKA Mega Ran, Super Guitar Bros., Kirby's Dream Band, Viking Guitar Live, Super Soul Bros., Rare Candy, Urizen, On Being Human, The Tiberian Sons
September 11–13, 2015
Hilton Alexandria Mark Center
Alexandria, Virginia
1,345 Crunk Witch, Sam Mulligan, brentalfloss, Zantilla, Professor Shyguy, James Landino, Chipocrite, Discocactus, Radlib, Triforce, Quartet, Super Guitar Bros, You Bred Raptors?, Super Art Fight!, Starship Horizons
MAGFest 2016
February 18–21, 2016
Gaylord National Convention Center
National Harbor, Maryland
20,000 + (Capped) Ippo Yamada with Inti Creates Sound Team, Ninja Sex Party, Psychostick, Bear McCreary, The OneUps, I Fight Dragons, Rekcahdam, Trev Wignall, coda, FamilyJules7x, Ap0c, Sammus, LITTLE PAW, Eight Bit Disaster, The World Is Square, Metroid Metal, You Bred Raptors?, The Living Tombstone, Shirobon, Chipzel, Random Beats Showcase
September 9–11, 2016
Hilton Alexandria Mark Center
Alexandria, Virginia
1,315 8-bit Mullet, Bit Brigade, CHRONOWOLF, DJ Super Sonic, explosion sound, Flexstyle, Insane Ian, Inverse Phase, The Megas, NESkimos, Overclocked University, Search Snake, Stargate, Steel Samurai, The Yordles, You Bred Raptors?, OverClocked ReMix, Super Art Fight
MAGFest 2017
January 5–8, 2017
Gaylord National Convention Center
National Harbor, Maryland
TBA The Protomen, Triforce Quartet, Makeup and Vanity Set, goto80, cTrix, Awesome Force, Monodeer, Dj Jo, A_Rival, Grimecraft, Dj CUTMAN, The OneUps, Videri String Quartet, Bitforce, nml styl, Richie Branson, Voia, Fearofdark, Knight of the Round, Danimal Cannon, URIZEN, Machinae Supremacy, Arc Impulse, Mikal kHill, Gemanon, Corset Lore, 1-UP, (T-T)b, D&D Sluggers, Armcannon, Kadesh Flow, Galaxy Tour Guides, The Returners, EMAR, Schaffer the Darklord, Bit Brigade[9]


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