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Rockage 2.0 Brings More Local Music, Gaming Action to San Jose

In Culture, Music

Classic video games at the first Rockage Festival. Photo by Jessica Shirley-Donnelly

The first iteration of Rockage last year was a two-day festival that drew 400 people and included live music, video game tournaments, a food truck caravan, and panels of independent game developers and artists.

This year promises to kick it up a notch, adding an extra day (Friday) dedicated to local bands and featuring more artists, more gaming and more prizes. The Silicon Valley Roller Girls will make an appearance, along with the SJSU Game Developer Club, which built game cabinets for the event that they plan to wheel down the street to the venue.

“The genius of the way Rockage is set up is that gaming and music exist in tandem,” says Payne, who was a dual performer at last year’s inaugural event, playing as Matthew Joseph Payne and then with his old group, the Glowing Stars. Hardcore and casual gamers alike are attracted by the event’s nostalgia-inducing arcade games like Street Fighter II and console games like Mario Kart.

Music enthusiasts jaded by the semiannual Taylor Swift shows at HP Pavilion will find something new and different in the lineup of local and national underground artists. Inevitably, music fans end up getting involved with a video-game tournament, and gamers discover new music to download.

As one of the seminal figures in the Bay Area chiptune movement, Payne co-hosted a chiptune panel at Rockage last year to explain the direct link between gaming and music.

“I met plenty of gamers who came to the event for the arcades and wound up discovering a new band, or hearing chiptune for the first time,” he says.

So what are Fanali’s plans for the future? “Right now, Rockage is what I’m focused on. But overall, I want to support San Jose. I believe in this town,” he says.

If he’s successful, Rockage 2.0 will draw fans from all corners of the valley—and maybe even siphon off a few from that city up north.

Rockage 2.0
Feb. 8–10; $20 daily; $30 weekend pass
San Jose Woman’s Club

Rockage 2.0
Music Lineup

Friday, Feb. 8 (3–11pm)
3:00pm – 5:30 DJ Camo / Seabright
5:30 – 6:00 The Albert Square
6:10 – 6:40 Hello, The Future (keynote)
6:50 – 7:20 San Jose State University Dev Club
7:30 – 8:00 Bit Brigade! (Contra)
8:10 – 8:20 Make A Scene San Jose
8:30 – 9:00 Curious Quail
9:10 – 9:40 Cartoon Bar Fight
9:50 – 10:20 San Francesca
10:30 – 11:00 Good Hustle

Saturday, Feb. 9 (noon–11pm)
Noon – 2pm DJ Mr Smith
2:00 – 2:30 Cartoon Violence
2:40 – 3:10 rockage Q & A (panel)
3:30 – 4:10 Jean Baudin
4:20 – 5:00 indie game dev (panel)
5:10 – 5:40 Gnarboots
5:50 – 6:00 Silicon Valley Roller Girls (panel)
6:10 – 6:50 Slime Girls
7:00 – 7:40 Shinobu
8:00 – 8:40 Bit Brigade! (MegaMan 2)
8:50 – 9:30 crashfaster
9:40 – 11:00 Minibosses

Sunday, Feb. 10 (noon–8pm)
Noon – 12:30pm DJ Coco
12:30 – 12:50 Dr. Awkward
12:50 – 1:30 Mega Ran
1:40 – 2:10 Dog Party
2:20 – 3:20 Jazzybosses
3:30 – 4:00 Psycho Donuts (eating contest)
4:10 – 4:50 Urizen
5:00 – 5:20 TheMADE (panel)
5:20 – 6:00 chiptune 101 (panel)
6:00 – 6:10 Meerenai Shim
6:20 – 7:00 Matthew Joseph Payne
7:10 – 7:20 Prizes / Thanks
7:30 – 8:00 Bit Brigade! (Castlevania)

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