Some would say it doesn’t get any more pop culture than zombies. AMC’s The Walking Dead is a perfect example of this. The show practically became an instant cult favorite upon its debut in 2010; eventually being awarded two Emmys and a Golden Globe. Here’s another example, it was feared that Brad Pitt’s zombie apocalypse film: World War Z was going to be a financial disaster due to production troubles, multiple rewrites of the script, etc. However, the naysayers were wrong. According to Box Office Mojo, World War Z has earned $538,536,145 worldwide. The budget for the film is estimated at $190 million. The word is, the studio is planning on turning World War Z into a trilogy.
Now, some people may try and argue that zombies are passé; that they are so 2009. However, from the success of the earlier mentioned examples, it’s apparent that people still have an appetite for zombies—pun unintended.
Well, for anyone fitting into that demographic from Lakeland, Florida, the 2013 ZombieFest is right around the corner. Yes, on October 12th the undead will be unleashed into the streets of downtown Lakeland.
What is the ZombieFest? This is how their website describes it: “Picture a zombie apocalypse…with live music, food, (just food- not “live” food) zombies that won’t actually eat you, and a festival atmosphere.”
Furthermore, ZombieFest is set to include “a zombie walk, food vendors, music and dance performances, costume contests, an “avoid the zombies” course, kids’ activities, prizes,” etc.
According to the ZombieFest website, during the event Munn Park will act as a “safe zone” where the zombies affiliated with ZombieFest will not be allowed to enter. This will include an area for kids which will feature activities for them to enjoy. However, the ZombieFest organizers can’t guarantee that there won’t be any patrons of ZombieFest in Munn Park dressed as zombies. Parental discretion is advised.
In addition, there will a costume contest, as well as make-up artists available “to help you in your undead transformation for a nominal fee.”
ZombieFest will be free to the public. However, “many of the individual events within ZombieFest will have a fee. These include- but are not limited to- many of our scare zones, children’s bounce houses and etc.”
I recently spoke to Netza Rodriguez, owner of Central Florida multimedia company: Studio Time. (www.studiotimeradio.com). Through Studio Time, Rodriguez has focused on promoting the art of the underground electronic dance music scene. This includes photographing and videography of the DJs, producers, and dancers who together form the underground dance music community.
Rodriguez was involved in last year’s inaugural ZombieFest and will be heavily involved this year. I had a chance to speak to him briefly about his plans for this year.
How are you involved with ZombieFest?
I initially became involved with ZombieFest in 2012 as a Studio Time DJ with LKLD TV.
In 2013, ZombieFest asked me to be their official ZombieFest DJ. I help with anything that relates to music, dance, film, web, design, and just about anything media related (as long as I have the knowledge). My main expertise is that I can pull together a good show for any type of event; due to being networked to so many artists around Polk County. The ZombieFest team has given me the opportunity to not only DJ, but also to showcase some great talent this year.
What do you have planned for ZombieFest?
My plan this year is to organize a great lineup of varying acts that will entertain before and after the sponsored video shoot. I’m personally set to DJ some old school music at different points during the event.
What genres of “old school music” will you be playing?
I’ll be playing a lot of old school breakbeats and old school Hip Hop.
In addition, I’ll have a kid’s tent setup for people to challenge their skills at throwing a brain towards a moving zombie target.
Also, FYI, anyone who plans on attending needs to participate in our raffle for prizes before and after the event. The goal is to have a ZombieFest mobile app completed by the event date for free download. My plan is to allow the patron an opportunity to gain an extra raffle ticket if they download the app on the spot. This way we can send the winner a message via the app, to their ticket number, and they will know they won regardless of whether they stayed for the event. My goal is to get the app downloads so I can charge for advertising of course.
Well, it was a pleasure talking to you today Netza; thanks for your time.
The pleasure was all mine. Thank you for the opportunity to discuss my plans for the event. Everyone please come out and see me at ZombieFest 2013.