Looking Back at Nostalgia: An interview with NEON RetroFest’s Grant Garvin

Over the summer in the town of Warwick Rhode Island, a festival happened. This festival was a celebration of the influence of the 1980s and how it has given birth to a new cultural renaissance in the form of gaming, art, and music. This festival was called NEON RetroFest.

Last month we had a chance to catch up with Grant Garvin, the creator the NEON RetroFest. We talked for over an hour about the planning that went into the event, the retro culture itself, arcades, and his newest project NEON FM.

We also discussed the future of synthwave and Grant answers the most important question of all…

Will there be a NEON 2?


Check out the following to get in on all things NEON:

Official RetroFest website – NEON is a Retrofuturism love letter to late 20th Century entertainment–a new event inspired by the worlds and sounds we grew up with: flickering neon, killer robots, rain-soaked pavement, eternal sunsets, cyberpunk skylines, obsolete technology, and relentless midnight drives.

NEON.fm – Your portal to a retro future that’s better than the one you remember–or heard about. Curated Synthwave and Retrowave culture livestreams, vlogs, artwork, conversations, and much more.

Free Play Bar Arcade – Playful watering hole for the 21+ crowd offering free classic arcade games, beer on tap & pizza.

Dreadphile Cinema Club – Dreadphile Cinema Club is a monthly celebration of cult cinema and b-movies in Providence, RI.

Chroma Council  – Chroma Council is an interdisciplinary design house informed by fine art, ecology and social justice.

Want to read more about the Neon RetroFest? Check out our complete NEON primer article.