Nerdfest comes to the Quad Cities with ‘Pokemon,’ ‘Dragon Ball Super’

Local News

Hundreds of activities will be part of Nerdfest 2021 set for Aug. 27-29 in the Quad Cities. 

Celebrating and supporting all the different “nerd, geek, and fandom cultures,” NerdFest 2021 will take place at the RiverCenter and other close venues in downtown Davenport, a news release says.  

Participants can play at the hundreds of trading card games and tabletop games, featuring Audio Dungeon. There will be tournaments and casual play for “Pokemon,” “Magic: The Gathering,” “Yugioh,” “Digimon” and “Dragon Ball Super,” along with “Dungeons & Dragons,” “Pathfinder,” “StarFinder,” board games.  

The video game section will have most major titles for competitive and casual play, with competitive speed runs. 

Organizers are partnering with QC Co-Lab to create the world’s largest Dice Tower with 100% of the proceeds going to charity.  Dive into the interactive world of Lego Robotics and S.T.E.M. with the Davenport Community Schools CTE program, which will present interactive and family-friendly activities.   

Participants can meet well-known cosplayers such as Sunny Doom, Vampy Snow, Papa Bear, and Orangegofis at the All-Star Cosplay Corner. Saturday includes a red carpet cosplay contest and on Sunday is a Jr. Nerd cosplay contest at 1 p.m. followed by a family-friendly cosplay parade. 

Attendees will hear live music entertainment from rapper Erik Stephen, who describes himself as a “dad, husband and pop-culture fanboy. My favorite things to rap about are Jesus, my family, and superheroes.” 

Friday night includes an outdoor live music concert, Live @ 5, at the River Music Experience in downtown Davenport from 5-7 p.m. sponsored by NerdFest, followed by the kick-off party 7-10 p.m. for pass-holders. 

“We are excited for all of the plans coming together, including so much for kids to do,” said NerdFest co-founder Kevin Hurt said. “We’re ready to welcome fellow nerds to our event with safety protocols in place. Mike Byers [co-founder], myself, and our team at Nerd HQ know our passion is to celebrate the nerdy lifestyle we cherish and to strengthen the Quad Cities.”

In addition to concessions at the RiverCenter and downtown restaurants, food trucks will be available outside the RiverCenter. 

NerdFest organizers are taking these safety precautions: background checks on staff, hand sanitizing stations throughout the facility, use of UV sterilization wands, pre-packaged sealed card product when possible, 20-foot walkways between vendors with eight-foot pipe-and-drape separators, and masks encouraged. 

New items will continuously be added to the NerdFest schedule, which is on the website at and Facebook page  

Tickets are available at  With the “early-nerd” special, three-day passes are $60. VIN (Very Important Nerd) Passes are available for $100 and include exclusive access, early entry, and NerdSwag. 

Also on the website at, information can be found about vendor booth space, volunteering, sponsoring an activity, and artist submissions. 

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