Most of the time, cinephiles and pop culture junkies who can’t make it down to Austin, Texas for a super-cool event taking place in that fine city bemoan their inability to make it SXSW (music! film! bad hats!) in March or Fantastic Fest (a steady diet of movie food! blood!) in September. But when it comes to festivals I’m personally heartbroken to be missing, it’s all about next month’s inaugural Forever Fest.
Created by Brandy Fons (PR whiz) and Sarah Pitre (lead programmer for the Alamo Drafthouse), Forever Fest “is a celebration of girlie pop culture, a weekend for fans of female-centric films, books and television to come together and enjoy their obsessions without shame.” It’s basically the dream festival for ladies (and dudes, too!) who still feel a connection to the cheeseball movies of the nineties, freely dive into the rich YA culture of today, and aren’t so shabby at karaoke no matter what sort of jams they are belting out. Forever Fest is the type of festival that a lot of people probably fantasize about conducting via sleepover in their own home, without ever thinking that it could actually be launched at a movie theater over an entire weekend. But it can! And it is! Forever Fest will kick off on November 1st, and it will utterly consume the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz in Austin for the next three whole days. Pack your coziest pajamas, kids.
After the break, take a looksie at the seven Forever Fest events we’re (fine, me, just me, lone girl editor) seriously bummed to be missing out on (these events are the wholly metaphorical BE FRI to our ST ENDS, and I’m super-sad I won’t be in Austin to get my glitter on for this awesome weekend). Maybe next year, gals? For those of you lucky enough to be in Austin for Forever Fest, ticketing information is also available below.
1. Original Cut of Empire Records in 35mm and Rex Manning Day Party
Forever Fest is breaking out the big guns for its Opening Night – the festivities will kick off with a screening of the original cut of cult classic Empire Records (honestly, we didn’t even know there was an original cut) at the Ritz, followed by a Rex Manning Day Party at the InterContinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel. No, Rex won’t be there (sexy Rexy), but there will be a cover band playing hits like “Say No More, Mon Amour” (points if you can name another “Rex Manning hit”), an Empire Employee Costume Contest (just be judicious when cutting up your apron), and a Rex Manning photo booth.
2. Young Adult Book Panel
Saturday afternoon’s centerpiece is a panel that is, hand to God, the sort of panel I may have actually had dreams about. Featuring Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (the Fug Girls, who manage to make celebrity fashion snark both very funny and very well-spirited), along with Kristen Smith and my favorite YA author, Megan McCafferty (author of the beloved “Sloppy Firsts” series), this should be one hilarious and enlightening event. If you can get any news from McCafferty about that “Sloppy Firsts” movie, we would be forever grateful.
If you’ve ever thought that karaoke was missing one big thing – actually good dancing – Saturday afternoon’s Danceoke event is for you. Given the spirit of Forever Fest, I’m guessing you can probably go just for fun and not have to actual sing or dance (my favorite way to experience karaoke), but if you’re feeling adventurous, you can get on stage to sing while classic dance movies and music videos play behind you on the big screen.
4. Sixteen Candles
On Saturday, Forever Fest attendees will have two chances to catch the John Hughes classic on the big screen, along with an audience Q&A with costars Liane Curtis (Randy) and Debbie Pollack (Marlene “Lumberjack”). Perhaps Hughes’ wackiest teen film, Sixteen Candles features some of the filmmaker’s funniest bits and his hottest teen dream hero. Who is better than Jake Ryan? Doesn’t that guy make furniture in the woods now? Dreamy.
5. Forever Fest ‘80s Dance Party
You didn’t think that Forever Fest was going to happen without an eighties-themed dance party, did you? The dance will feature eighties jams spun by DJ F*ckin A (greatest DJ name ever?) and a costume contest. Now’s the time to break out your best scrunchies, lace, leggings, the list goes on and on.
6. Wild Brunch
Like duh Forever Fest’s last day will include a booze-fueled Sunday brunch that centers on catcalling (cardboard cutouts of) Ryan Gosling, Channing Tatum, Taylor Kitsch, Ryan Reynolds, Patrick Swayze, George Clooney, Joe Manganiello, and many, many more.
7. Something Else Awesome That Has Not Been Announced Yet
Just block out some time on Sunday afternoon. We’ll tell you more later.
Tickets for each Forever Fest event will go on sale to the public on Monday, October 14th through the Alamo Drafthouse.
Backers who have pledged $100 or higher on the Forever Fest Kickstarter will have access to purchase tickets beginning Wednesday, October 9th at 12:00PM. The Kickstarter is open for pledges until next Friday, October 25th with backer rewards that range from Forever Fest swag and makeover parties to a script consultation by Kirsten Smith.
Are you going to Forever Fest?