Upcoming Nerdy Memphis Events
Ed. Note: Nerd culture is in. Here’s Aisling with some events we’d traditionally think of as “nerdy”. I’d love to add more to this list, so leave me a note in the comments or better yet, submit your events here.
I grew up reading Asimov, Bradbury and Tolkien, and watching Buck Rogers, the original Battlestar Galactica, and Cosmos with Carl Sagan. I was the kid who asked Santa to bring me telescopes and encyclopedias for Christmas, and who later voluntarily took four years of Latin.
I’ve been hooked on Star Wars since I was six, when my dad took me to see Return of the Jedi in the theater. I was, by most accounts, a pretty nerdy kid.
In Ireland last year, my daughter and I visited Game of Thrones and Star Wars filming locations, and the previous year we’d traveled to Disney World for Star Wars Weekend. I was in college by the time the first Harry Potter book was released, so my kid is now schooling me in all things Hogwarts and I’m digging it.
So, by all accounts, I’m still pretty nerdy. I even share a name with a faerie from Magic: The Gathering, so there’s really no escaping it. Kindred spirits, here are ten upcoming Memphis events to celebrate our nerdom:
1. Mid-South Renaissance Faire, USA Baseball Stadium Millington, August 26 – 27, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., $10 adults/$12 kids 6-12//under 6 free
The theme of this year’s faire, held in the Shire of Shelby, will be the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Learn Elizabethan dances, be knighted by the Queen herself, browse the merchant rows, enjoy the performers, sail the seas with the Mid-South Buccaneers, and cheer on your favorite jouster.
2. Game Night with 901 Comics, Memphis Made Brewing, August 27, 1-7 p.m., Free, Kid-Friendly
Memphis Made Brewing and 901 Comics present Game Night at the tap room on Cooper, next to the I Love Memphis mural, with board games, role-playing games, a pop-up gaming shop, gaming workshop and more. Bring the whole fam.
3. Nerd Night 8, Rec Room, August 30, 7-10 p.m., Free, 18 and Up
Rec Room is pretty nerdy. Tron, ping pong, Trivial Pursuit….it houses all the treasures cherished by every boy I had a crush on in the eighties. So much nostalgia. Nerd Nite is held each month in more than 90 cities across the world. It’s a networking event for nerds featuring speakers delivering brief presentations about different topics, and there’s booze. Make sure you arrive early….Nerd Night fills up fast.
4. Magic the Gathering Booster Draft Tournament, 901 Comics, September 1 at 6 p.m., September 3 at 4 p.m.
Midtown Magic fans, keep an eye on the 901 Comics Facebook page for news about more gatherings.
5. Harry Potter Trivia Night, September 7, The Arcade (7 p.m.), Canvas (8 p.m.), Pimento’s Kitchen (6:30) and Memphis Made Brewing Company (6:30), Free, All Ages
Cerrito Live hosts trivia nights at venues across the city, with theme nights focused on everything from Star Wars to Game of Thrones to Bob’s Burgers. Although it’s free to play, teams are required to register for themed trivia nights. Harry Potter Trivia Night is so popular it requires four simultaneous locations. Shout out to my fellow Hufflepuffs!
6. Potterfest, Rec Room, September 10, 12-9 p.m., $5-$10, All Ages
PotterFest is a celebration of everyone’s favorite school of wizardy and witchcraft, featuring performers, costumes contests, wand making, transfiguration, and live onstage sorting!
7. Memphis Comic Expo, Agricenter International, September 16-17, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., $20 Adults/$5 Kids/Free for Kids Under 6, All Ages
This convention focuses on comic creators from across the Mid-South. It’s a family-friendly event featuring a cosplay contest and guarantees fun for everyone, regardless of your knowledge of comics.
8. Star Wars X-Wing Miniature Tournament, Comic Cellar Cards, Comics and Games, September 16, 1-5 p.m., $5
Comic Cellar hosts monthly X-Wing tournaments and new players are encouraged to participate. Bring your favorite ships and characters, prepared to do space combat.
9. Lord of the Rings Trivia, Tamp & Tap, September 27, 7 p.m., Free, All Ages
Cerrito Trivia also calls upon you to muster the Rohirrim, light the beacons and head Downtown for LOTR Trivia Night. If I’m a Hufflepuff, I guess that would make me a hobbit, too.
10. Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention, Guest House at Graceland, November 17-19, $15 – $40
The Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention features three glorious days of geekery. There will be panels, gaming, costumes, and visiting artists and writers. Schedule TBA.
One more thing – you’ll want to subscribe to the weekly, Memphis based Black Nerd Power podcast via OAM Network for insight on sci-fi and fantasy from a black perspective.
About the Author
Aisling Maki is a freelance writer, editor, and public and media relations specialist with awards from The Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists and Public Relations Society of America, as well as several awards for fiction writing. Her work has appeared in publications in more than 20 countries. You can usually find her cheering on the Grizzlies, doing outdoorsy things, or traveling with her daughter, Brídín. They live in Cooper-Young with a dog, a guinea pig and a pair of pet mice.