The Five Points Festival is coming to NYC’s Lower East Side this weekend and we had the chance to hang out with Morgan Spurlock, host of the Designer Toy Awards, as well as Josh Kimball and Peter Tatara (organizers of the festival) to discuss the development of the festival and what they are looking forward to.
P!C Grand Central hosted the preview event, showcasing the Five Points exclusive Dunny and showing off the work of creator Justin Alan Volpe from Pop Prolific.
This is going to be Five Points Festival’s inaugural year, grown from the success of the Designer Toy Awards. Josh Kimball of Clutter Magazine and co-creator of Five Points Festival shared that the idea really started during San Diego Comic Con. They had the awards during an offsite event in San Diego and it was successful enough that they moved it back to the East Coast and have had it every year since. With the success of widespread comic book conventions, Josh and his team decided to take their idea a step further.
That’s where Five Points Festival comes in. Peter Tatara of Left Field Media, the group helping to organizing the event itself, said they wanted to do a fan convention but put the focus back on the creators. From there they began to tackle the question “How do you reboot a fan-con?” and began to build Five Points Festival from the ground up. Of course the Designer Toy Awards will still be an integral part of the festival, available through the purchase of VIP tickets, but it is going to be so much more.
The most admirable thing about the Five Points Festival is its commitment to a long term creator community. Peter pointed out that they did not want to do another fan-con where Doctor Who, or some other big character would take the main stage. They wanted to break it down to the core components and celebrate the creative community that produces the content people know and love. With that in mind they set to work to create not just a community, but a home.
Josh summarized it best:
The community of creators that exists is out there and what we’ve tried to do is create a home so there’s a place in New York City that’s catering to these creators that makes them feel wanted and valued and we’ve tried to include them in putting together the festival as much as possible. You know, we’re open to feedback and that’s where we’re coming from. So I love that you [Peter Tatara] keep saying that we’re making a community, but we’re making a home.
This goal played an important part in the decision to host the festival on the Lower East Side. There was already a thriving artist community there that desired greater cohesion and a vehicle through which to share their work. Again, Josh wanted to make a home, and as a gift to the community on the Lower East Side there will be a four story mural to immortalize the importance of art in that community.
Okay, so we heard about how they got here and what they want to achieve, but what will the festival itself look like? There will be over 200 creators there spanning toys, comic books, food, and beer. There will be, as Peter put it, “art for your heart, body, and soul.” In particular there are going to be a number of exclusives found only at the convention. The first is the previously mentioned Dunny, which was previewed during the P!Q preview event.
The other big reveal was a partnership with Sixpoint Brewery out of Brooklyn. They have collaborated with Five Points Festival to provide a festival-exclusive beer called the “Mad Scientist.” It will have a limited release during the festival and will be available only in the beer garden. Not only will there be exclusive beer, but the team have brought together their favorite food carts, which should have a variety of festival-themed fare to satisfy everyone who attends.
At the end of the day it sounds like no one will be going home disappointed.
What’s up with Morgan Spurlock?
Oh, you mean the Oscar-nominee known for his documentary Super Size Me? He hung out with us during the P!Q event and shared a little bit about his connection to the festival and his love of toys. In case you needed another reason to snag a VIP ticket to get into the Designer Toy Awards on Friday, May 19th, Morgan Spurlock will bring his wit and charm as host of the awards that night. How did he get roped into the festival? Through his love of toys, of course!
Morgan shared with us that his obsession started when his friend Ron English created the “Fat Ronald” vinyl figurine in honor of Spurlock’s successful documentary Super Size Me. From there he was hooked and began to see not only the fun, but the art of toy creation.
When asked about his favorite piece he shared that he had an exclusive Gund’ama which he explained was essentially a “Gundam Obama,” because it does not get any cooler than that. He also shared his excitement about the festival, giving it his full endorsement as an event no one will want to miss.
To end the interview we asked each of the guys to give us their best “elevator pitch,” asking them what they would tell a stranger in an elevator if they have thirty seconds to pitch the convention. Here’s what they said:
Josh Kimball: Best designer toy artists from around the world – Japan, Singapore, England, all over – the best comic artists, and beer. We’re going to drink cold beer and have a good time.
Morgan Spurlock: It is going to be the coolest festival in Manhattan. If you don’t come, you’re going to cry like a baby.
Peter Tatara: Designer toys, comic art, street art, beer, New York.
The Final Details
How do you get tickets? Check out THIS PAGE. Tickets are available as single days for Saturday and Sunday, a weekend pass for both, and a VIP pass that includes Friday night’s Designer Toy Awards hosted by Morgan Spurlock and sponsored by Lagunitas Brewing Company. You’ll get a lot of bang for your buck.
How do you get there? Trains, planes, automobiles, but in reality it is going to be at Pier 36 which is in an area with ample parking options and a short walk from the F Train.
What if I want to know more? Check out the Five Points Festival website, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter for the latest updates. You can also follow us @Nerdophiles and we’ll do our best to keep you updated and answer any questions you might have about the festival.