Big Adventure Makes Its Big Debut!

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The 1st annual Big Adventure Festival presented by Alt 98.7 was held at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa November 3 & 4, 2018.  Over 16,000 people attended the festival which featured musical performances, stand-up comedy, interactive experiences and panels.  VIP tickets included a dedicated festival entrance, an exclusive viewing area, seating in the first three rows for the comedy shows, VIP restrooms and exclusive VIP dining options.

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Entertainment and comic book panels kicked off each day of the festival, including live recordings of the Nerdin’ Out, Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend and Cool Playlist with Eliza Skinner podcasts.  Comic book panels touched on topics such as “Music Influencing Comics”, “Mainstream vs Independent” and “Breaking Into Comics”.

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Additional daytime entertainment was provided by top stand-up comedians, and hosted by Marcella Arguello.   A few of the stand-up comics who performed were: Patton Oswalt, Jim Jefferies, Kristen Schaal, Natasha Leggero, Emo Philips and Maria Bamford.

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The first live music performance on the first day was NVDES, which was followed by performances from Echos and Phantogram.  Empire of the Sun was the headlining act, and they put on an amazing show.  I’ve attended electronic / dance music shows before, but no one puts on a show like Empire of the Sun!

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While the live music on the first day was focused around electronic music, the second day was more focused around alternative rock.  Performances by Party Nails, Allie X and Cold War Kids warmed up the stage for the second day’s headliner, Modest Mouse.  Compared to the previous day’s headliner, Empire of the Sun, Modest Mouse’s performance seemed quite relaxed and laid back.  Modest Mouse’s performance was different, but equally enjoyable!

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The festivities concluded each night with a huge dance party which featured more than four hours of continuous music.  A few of the producers and DJs attendees had the opportunity to see were: Rusko, What So Not, Bro Safari, Bonnie X Clyde, Feed Me and Luca Lush.

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Other highlights of the Big Adventure festival included The Geek Gatsby Cosplay Contest, classic arcade games and a lounge in the Machinima area, a zombie shooting range, and LARP battles presented by The Belegarth Medieval Combat Society.  There were also a number of famous cars from television and movies, including the DeLorean from Back to the Future, the Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters, the Shaguar from Austin Powers and the Pizza Planet truck from Toy Story.  When artists weren’t participating in panels, they could often be found at their booths sketching, and chatting with fans, in the Artist Alley which was presented by Image Comics.

Often times with large events, like Big Adventure, there is too much down time between performances, or performances are missed due to overlapping with another performance.  The Big Adventure Festival had enough going on at all times to keep people entertained, yet not too much going on at any one time.  I had a great time at Big Adventure, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for next year!

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