If you like Batman, Harry Potter, Ghostbusters, Dungeons and Dragons, arcade games, Flight of the Conchords, or zombies, there's definitely an event happening in metro Phoenix this month that'll pique your interest. Here are seven great nerdy things to do during July 2016.
First Friday Invades Bonus Round
As barcades slowly take over Phoenix, Bonus Round has established itself as one of its best nerd hubs. This Friday, July 1, they'll be celebrating with a cookout-style menu for Fourth of July weekend, local artists showcasing their work, and a 15 percent off discount for anyone who uses the light rail to get there. And as always, they'll have their rotating lists of draft beer, their video-game themed cocktails, and their series of arcade cabinets all set to free play. To learn more, check out the Facebook event.
Flight of the Conchords
New Zealand's fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo rocketed to success in the late aughts with two albums and two seasons of an HBO show. But since 2009, the band went quiet as Jemaine Clement pursued a film career and Bret McKenzie composed the music for the two new Muppets movies. Now, almost a decade later, they're back together and playing at Comerica Theatre on Sunday, July 3, at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $39.50 to $55. Find seats at Live Nation.
Crit Hit! 2016
Cons and roleplaying games are both all about socializing through nerd culture and getting to know people, so the Kickstarter-funded Crit Hit! is a match made in heaven. The tabletop RPG convention will take over the third floor of the Hilton Phoenix Airport Hotel on July 9 and 10. Get your game on in themed rooms for fantasy, science fiction, and horror, where you can play the likes of Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, and Call of Cthulhu. Plus, hear talks from game designers, try new games at the game buffet, and more. Weekend-long tickets cost $31 and are available now at Brown Paper Tickets. Tickets will not be sold at the door, so if you plan to go, buy them now. To learn more, check out the Crit Hit! website.
Welcome To Night Vale
If you listen to podcasts at all, you've probably at least heard of Welcome To Night Vale, the twice-monthly news update from the small desert town of Night Vale. But Night Vale is no ordinary town - locals tune in mostly to learn about strange hooded figures on the outskirts of town, omnipotent glowing clouds, and terrifying carnivorous librarians. On Thursday, July 14, at 8 p.m., the show comes to the Ikeda Theater at the Mesa Arts Center, where "the voice of Night Vale" Cecil Baldwin will dictate the horror-comedy-journalism in person. And, of course, the weather will be performed live. To find out what that means, buy tickets at the Mesa Arts Center. Tickets cost $28.
The rebooted Ghostbusters hits theaters Friday, July 15. And whether Paul Feig's take on the classic comedy rocks or sucks, you can certainly have a good time at Bookmans. On Saturday, July 16, at 3 p.m., the Arizona Ghostbusters will host a family event to celebrate the film's release. Build a Ghostbuster survival kit, meet the AZ Ghostbusters and Slimer, and make some fresh slime of your own. Prove you ain't afraid of no ghosts. For more info, check out the Facebook event.
Batman: The Killing Joke Premiere Event
Comic book readers remember Alan Moore and Brian Bolland's 1988 graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke as one of the greatest stories in Batman's history and perhaps the definitive origin story for the Joker. At last, the comic receives its long overdue adaptation into an animated film, and while it releases straight to video on Tuesday, July 26, fans can see it on the big screen for one night only on Monday, July 25. Locals can choose between theaters across the valley in Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Ahwatukee, and Glendale. Ticket prices vary based on location. For the full list of theaters, information about the film, and to buy tickets, visit Fathom Events.
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Midnight Release Party: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Remember the magic of experiencing Harry Potter for the first time? And not just the books themselves - remember all the fun of lining up with hundreds of other Potter fans at midnight to grab copies as soon as possible? Well, now there's a new Harry Potter book of sorts coming out, in the form of the script to West End's Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix will be celebrating appropriately. Hit up First Draft Book Bar within Changing Hands on Saturday, July 30, at 10 p.m. to play tabletop Quidditch, compete in a Potter trivia and costume contests, enjoy some Polyjuice Potions and Butterbeers (which, yes, are alcoholic), and take home your copy at midnight. $29.99 will get you a copy of the book and two tickets to the event. Buy your copy and learn more on Changing Hands's website, and note that there will also be a more family-friendly event the next morning.