NEON News Synthwave News

NEON Retrofest Returning For The First Time Since 2018

The NEON Retrofest is returning April 14-16, the second overall outing and the first since its scene-historic 2018 weekend. Instead of suburban Providence, Rhode Island, though, it’s in the sun-splashed city of Tampa, Florida. But like that first one, it’s all happening in one place. A variety of ticket packages are on presale right now.

For the uninitiated, NEON served as kind of a family reunion for the synthwave scene, at least in part because so many people from all over gathered for some captivating performances. This time around there are some familiar faces returning — longtime synthwavers Betamaxx, Robert Parker, and Let Em Riot, in addition to Bonggita— along with newer delights like Von Kaiser, genre pioneer and Girlfriend Records founder Sferro, the ever-popular Phaserland, the talented Vampire Step-Dad, the stunning Arcade High, and some up-and-coming artists like Starfarer. (The roster, which I’ll update periodically as news hits, is below.) The festival was originally supposed to return in 2020, but of course the COVID-19 pandemic put the kibosh on that.

In addition to a full slate of artists, the festival will also bring back all the complementary fare that helped make the event one glorious, complete package: guest-speaker panels, classic-console gaming and arcades, a film festival stacked with genre fare, loads of vendors, and an “aesthetic” lounge that is all things vaporwave (the last time around it was yacht rock-themed). All of this is happening at The Hotel Alba, which is stacked with amenities. All in all, you won’t have any reason to leave the premises.

For more information, including a link to the discounted block of rooms at the hotel, dive right in. They’re still lining up more vendors and artists, so keep an eye out for that.

Let Em Riot
Let Em Riot brought the NEON RetroFest to a whole new level on Saturday, Aug. 25. Photo by Andrew B. White.

Neon Retrofest 2023 Artist Lineup

If any more acts will be announced, I’ll update this article accordingly.

%d bloggers like this: