For the fourth iteration of the Con Nooga multigenre fandom convention, programming director Jeff Hickey wants guests to be overwhelmed by their options.
With more than 200 events ranging from sci-fi-themed "Jeopardy" trivia to a panel discussion on how to survive a zombie apocalypse, Hickey said he's confident attendees won't be bored during the three-day celebration of all things pop and niche culture.
"We always want something going on the entire weekend," Hickey said. "That was our main focus for Con Nooga, to have so much programming, so much to do, that you had to choose."
Registration begins today at noon at the Chattanooga Choo Choo. Based on the number of advance registrations as of Monday, Hickey said he is confident the convention will top last year's attendance of about 2,000.
Looking back at last year's event, Hickey and the other organizers of the event made a number of tweaks this year, including scrapping the all-night film festival in favor of showing movies throughout the day. The Centennial Theater, which in the past served as the con cinema, is now slated to host eight bands, a burlesque show and other live performances.
Although Con Nooga will host a number of events aimed at literary fans, Con Nooga has, since its inception, focused on offering events covering a wide range of genres or "fandoms," including horror, science fiction, fantasy, tabletop role-playing and Japanese animation.
Hickey attributes the event's continual growth since its inaugural year in 2008 to that broad appeal.
"(The Chattacon convention) is handling the literary aspect of it," Hickey said. "We wanted to bring in more of everything else.
"Thankfully, people keep coming year after year, and they seem to enjoy it. They all seem to walk away happy."
IF YOU GO
* What: Con Nooga.
* When: Noon today-2 p.m. Sunday.
* Where: Chattanooga Choo Choo, 1400 Market St.
* Admission: $40 for three-day adult pass, $15 ages 6-13. Single-day prices are $25 (today), $35 (Saturday) and $10 (Sunday).
* Phone: 872-2529.
* Website: www.connooga.com
Note: A complete schedule is available at www.connooga.com
* "Repo: The Genetic Opera" (midnight-2 a.m. Saturday): Watch Testify, a cast of actors from Nashville, perform live in synch with a blackly humorous movie about organ repossession as it plays on a screen behind them.
* Shock Theater presents "Hauntsville" (6-7 p.m. Saturday): The characters of the iconic local TV show from the 1970s present an hourlong musical detailing the timeline after "Shock Theater" went off the air.
* Bella Morte (midnight-2 a.m. Sunday): The Charlottesville, Va.-based industrial goth rock quartet returns to Con Nooga after a well-attended concert at last year's convention.
* 6:30-7:30 p.m. Leticia Wolf
* 8-9:30 p.m. Radio Cult
* 10-11 p.m. Husky Burnette
* 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Jennifer Teeter
* 1-2 p.m. Radio Cult
* 4:30-5:30 p.m. Hazmat
* 5-6 p.m. Bella Morte (acoustic)
* 7:30-8:30 p.m. The Unsatisfied
* 9:30-11 p.m. MC FutureBoom
* Midnight-2 a.m. Bella Morte
Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...