Arkansas Anime Festival

Several thousand anime and gaming fans are expected to converge in Northwest Arkansas this weekend for the Arkansas Anime Festival. The largest event of its kind in the state will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the 25,000 square foot convention center at the Bentonville Clarion.

There will be a free pre-convention party from 8 p.m. to midnight on Friday, with DJ Nemi and DJ Six Echoes. The convention will kick into full swing with vendors, speakers and entertainment at 10 a.m. Saturday. Activities will continue nonstop through Sunday night.

Special guests will be anime voice actors Vic Mignogna, Chris Ayres, Todd Haberkorn, Wendy Powell, Maria Vu and cosplay costume designer Ex-Shadow. There will be panels on a wide range of topics, tabletop gaming, cosplay combat, video games, tea parties, an artists alley and a nerd poetry slam, just to name a few of the many scheduled activities.

DJ Nemi of Memphis will be playing a mix of Japanese techno underground, happy hardcore, psytrance, industrial, drum ‘n’ bass, remixed anime themes and internet meems. Fayetteville’s DJ Azrael, DJ Chaos Kitty Extreme and DJ Six Echoes will also be performing along with the NWA band Oneiroi.

Tickets are available at the door and are $30 for adults and $20 for ages 5-11 for a weekend pass, or $20 for Saturday and $17 for Sunday. For a schedule go to

Diversity Dominates Music Scene

ffw-highlights-2-3-4-10There’s a diverse musical slate that will appeal to music lovers of all kinds this week in NWA. Here are the highlights.

Tonight and Friday night the Starr Theater — the smaller room at the Walton Arts Center — will be filled with gypsy jazz by the British group, Zum. Zum — prounced zoom — is pianist David Gordon, violinist Adam Summerhayes, bassist Jani Pensola, Eddie Hession on accordion and cellist Chris Grist. The individual members have impressive musical backgrounds and their music reflects it. The group’s latest CD explores the music of prolific Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla.

Friday night is a good night to catch two super singer songwriters. NWA’s own Shannon Wurst will throw a CD release party for her new album “What’s More Honest Than a Song” at Smoke & Barrel. Wurst recently left the band 3 Penny Acre to hit the road on her own. She be leaving town for a while touring with the Swamp Family Band. That same night at GoodFolk, seminal Nashville (via Texas) songwriter Dana Cooper will take the stage. If you’re not familiar with Cooper’s

music, we’ll guarantee that you won’t be disappointed.

Saturday night George’s is bringing in Mix Master Mike. The San Francisco DJ may be best known for dominating the DJ scene in the ’90s and for his work with the Beastie Boys. Get out and witness a legend.

The other show to know about is

Asleep at the Wheel at Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla. on Saturday night. The Western Swing band is as good as it gets with a pedigree that is too long to even get into. Tickets are $20 at Buffalo Run is a two-hour straight shot north on I-540 and west on I-44. Freeway all the way.

Categories: Legacy Archive