Photo by Andrew Wells, courtesy of Go Media.
Although it may feel like just yesterday, it was eight years ago that Cleveland-based design firm Go Media debuted Weapons of Mass Creation Fest. Since its inception, the weekend-long, late summer festival has grown, evolved and become the region’s premier design conference. Moving this year to Mahall’s in Lakewood, WMC Fest brings artists, designers, illustrators, art directors, freelancers and students to Northeast Ohio for three days of inspiration, networking and exchanging ideas. However, as more guests discover each year, you don’t necessarily need to be an industry insider to enjoy your time at this design conference. Each year, the event attracts more than 1,000 attendees.
“We're thrilled to be moving this year's event to one of Cleveland's coolest venues, Mahall's, this year,” says WMC Fest event director Heather Sakai. “Mahall's has the humble, grassroots vibe that feels authentically WMC. We're going to be taking over the entire venue, our attendees inhabiting every nook and cranny, participating in workshops and art experiences, interacting with speakers, listening to bands, battling it out on the bowling lanes, tasting specialty cocktails, talking to vendors, screen printing merch, socializing with new friends. We've curated a lineup and branded the event to feel truly special for this, our eighth year.”
Whether you’re a casual attendee with no design experience or a professional designer, WMC Fest can and will inspire your own passionate creativity, after days spent listening to experts from Cleveland and beyond discuss the topics they are most passionate about. This year’s speakers and panelists include: Irwan Awalludin, Jason Carne, Jamal Collins, Corey Favor, Erin Guido, Stephanie Irigoyen, Dustin Lee, Lisa Lorek, Nick Nawroth, Shannon Okey, Frank Oriti, Scotty Russell, Ken Schneck, Amy Shock, Marshall Shorts, Snakes + Acey’s (Hannah Manocchio and Anthony Zart), Reina Takahashi, Laura Wimbels and Sarah Yeager.
These diverse presentations cover a variety of topics, and have been described as TED Talks of the design community. Plus, this year’s WMC Fest includes the return a full lineup of bands performing throughout the weekend.
“After a small hiatus, we're bringing bands back to Weapons of Mass Creation Fest, and we couldn't be more excited,” Sakai says. “We are including a diverse line-up of musical tastes, so we hope that there is something for everyone this year. We kick off Friday's events with Cleveland favorites MuAmin Collective, as well as Mike St. Jude and the Valentines and Slug Fest. Saturday and Sunday midday, we're featuring Miss Macy and the Low Pay Daddy's and Punch Drunk Tagalongs. Our Saturday evening 90's Dance Party will feature Sunday Morning and the Bloody Mormons.”
WMC Fest 8 takes place from Friday, Aug. 18 to Sunday, Aug. 20. The weekend commences at 10 a.m. Friday morning with a Cleveland Studio Tour (additional registration required), and continues Friday evening with Ink Wars, a live drawing competition pitting eight artists and illustrators against each other. Each artist is given an eight-foot canvas, some markers and an hour time limit. Ink Wars takes place from 8 to 10 p.m. on Friday. As usual, tickets, especially three-day passes, are expected to sell out quickly. Weekend passes are $110, individual day tickets range from $40 to $65 and some workshops require an additional fee. For tickets, more information and a complete schedule, visit wmcfest.com.
(Weapons of Mass Creation 8) 13200 Madison Ave.,Lakewood, 216-521-3280, wmcfest.com.