MAGfest PAPA Circuit Event Info 2/18-2/21

The Washington DC Metro area’s PAPA circuit event will be held at the Gaylord National Harbor at 201 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, MD 20745, from February 18th - 21st, 2016.

MAGfest is a huge music and gaming festival with an expected 20,000 attendees over 4 days. And the show is a 24/7 show that doesn’t stop. Pictures and additional information on other tournaments, e.g. arcade game tournaments, pinball side and speed tournaments, and even claw machine tournament, will be posted soon.

Hotel and event tickets are on sale now. Hotels will sell out and the Gaylord is likely already full (2000 rooms) as they were 2/3rd booked within 24 hours. Remind anyone of Pinburgh? There are other hotels within walking distance that are overflow hotels and they will all sell out as well before the show. Those hotels should also be available with the same links via MAGfest or the links above, if not today then this week.

Event tickets are limited to ~20,000 overall, so if you plan on attending, get your event tickets as soon as possible. The cost for 4-day pass is only $50 until 9/30. It continues to go up until the show starts, maxing at $70 (unconfirmed but believe that was last year’s max). But they may sell out this year, so buy ahead of time and do not count on passes being available at the door.

Attendees that volunteer or bring machines receive a free pass to the show. Details can be found (or will become available) on the web-site. If you want to bring a pinball machine(s) or volunteer, please contact Kevin Stone for information (IM alwysmooth on tiltforums, or IM on Facebook).

Tournament details thus far: NO ENTRY FEES

  • Main playoffs will be held Saturday, allowing everyone to enjoy the show and travel on Sunday without worry about delays and travel times
  • Qualifying will be 24/7 Friday into Saturday. We may extend to include Thursday as well, and may provide a cut-off time in the early morning hours of Saturday to prepare for playoffs and allow late qualifiers some sleep time.
  • Format will likely be the common pump-and-dump format, best scores, unlimited qualifying similar to Louisville Arcade Expo.
    HOWEVER - there are NO entry fees for the tournament
  • Therefore, this may be the best pump-and-no-dump format tournament ever.
  • Prizes will be in the form of MAGdollars which are redeemable in the massive marketplace, full of vendors of every type.

DISCLAIMER on Tournament Conditions

  • This tournament will be like no other you’ve experienced.
  • The lighting will be off in the main arcade room and it will be dark.
  • Spot lights will be everywhere providing indirect light.
  • DJs will be blasting music 24/7, but not overly loud.
  • Laser light shows and crazy characters will be roaming the entire show.
  • Machine selections will be based on tournament quality, machine lighting and visibility due to conditions.

MAGfest is a huge show with a modest 4-day entry fee, of between $50-70. The show organizers’ intent is to provide a low cost, everything is included experience. There are no corporate sponsors. A true fandom experience for all.

In addition, we believe that by providing a chance for all pinball competitors a high-quality experience and PAPA circuit event without spending hundreds of dollars qualifying, gives back to the majority of tournament attendees that normally spend a lot of money without expecting any return. Well, this is your return. A great show and tournaments of all kinds without blowing your budget.

Remember to Enjoy the overall show. On Friday and Saturday, expect to see thousands of Cosplay throughout the show. Console gaming, computer gaming, arcade games, and pinball machines. Bands will be playing in the concert hall non-stop, jam sessions and DJ battles will be lining the halls. Panels for gaming, comics, etc. Table tossing, drone tournaments, Star Trek live bridge simulations (a must see), and more. Anyone that has attended MAGfest will tell you it is the craziest show out there.

More details to follow…but book your tickets and get your entry pass as soon as you can if you want to participate in the MAGfest PAPA circuit event. Or just to enjoy a great fun filled weekend!


So whats the format for this music blarin’-lights off-stroble-light tournament?

Side tourneys for best score on Strobe and Hypnobeam multiballs!

Whats the format of the main tournament?

Main tournament qualifying will be Herb format, likely 9 or 10 machines, maybe best 6 games. Playoff format will likely be a double-elimination but could also be a PAPA style playoff. Number of finalists likely 16, but could go up to 24 with additional byes. We will ensure the TGP is 100% for the main tournament, qualifying will be well over 20 hours. Playoffs will be on Saturday, possibly starting at noon or after lunch. Venue never closes so we’ll finish playoffs on Saturday.

There will be additional playoffs for novice and beginners, likely to be played on Sunday morning or on a separate bank of machines on Saturday.

Other tournaments that are non-WPPR will happen as well, such as one-handed or split flipper, more fun tournaments for the masses.

Details should be finalized within the next few weeks as we’re working on machines and volunteers now.

What kind of a time commitment is expected of volunteers?

I missed when tickets went on sale. The Gaylord sold out immediately. Had to scramble today to find a suite for my group at a nearby hotel. I’m worried that in a couple years MAGFest is going to be like PAX where you refresh the ticket page for weeks then there’s a 4 minute window before passes sell out.

I’ll be qualifying (and hopefully competing) as Princess Peach. Excited for the best 4 days of the year.

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MAGfest has a volunteer system setup where I believe you have to fulfill 12 credits. Volunteering in 3 hour shifts, but working late hours is 1.5 or 2.0x the credits, so if you work 3 - 6 am, it’s worth double I believe. We’ll be setting up specific tournament volunteer blocks so if people want to help with scorekeeping and other duties, we’ll have those setup where volunteers can specify a block of time. Last year we were able to use volunteers from the pool and they did fine with scorekeeping, but I’d like to see how many pinball players and friends will volunteer to ensure no issues with scorekeeping. There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer for non-pinball duties though by signing up for volunteering and getting in the overall pool. If a link doesn’t already exist for that (since it is quite a bit away from now), it will be as we get closer to the event.

If anyone wants to specifically help with the pinball tournament or side tournaments, you can let me know your preferences and I’ll add you to the pinball volunteer tracker we’re setting up this week.

The total hours may be slightly different, I’ll try and provide updates once I get more details by next week.

Do you know who is providing the machines? I know Flippers typically brings games for MAGfest, but I’m not sure if you plan on using their machines as the tournament games, or if another source will be providing.

Machines are provided by volunteers and collectors in the area. Flipper’s will be providing some, operators in the area and many home collectors.

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  1. Here is the current crazy schedule for the entire MAGfest show: Be sure to play the claw machine tournament, it’s a riot :wink:
  2. If you plan on attending, I recommend you buy the show pass as soon as you can to ensure they don’t sell out at the door. They have never hit capacity but there is a chance they could this year at around 20,000 attendees.
  3. Playoffs will comprise the top 24 players. Format is PAPA style, top 8 players with a bye for first round. Top 8 players that are beginners (IFPA rank TBD) will play a simple double-elimination bracket so it finishes quickly.
  4. Here is the overall schedule for the tournament. Not quite 24 hour qualifying, figure give the machines a rest in between days.
    Thursday 2/18
    7pm: Sign-ups begin
    8pm - 5am: Qualifying

Friday 2/19
10am - 4am: Qualifying

Saturday 2/20
9am - 4pm: Qualifying
(Last game started is at 3:45pm, games will be turned off after last game running at 3:45 is completed)

5:15 - 5:30pm: Player check-in for playoffs

6pm: Playoffs begin and will play out until completion

Is there a link to live standings somewhere?

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Been a long day getting ready. Thanks for posting link for me, been swamped. This show is amazing. Looking forward to seeing a lot of familiar faces this weekend. We’re still setting up and troubleshooting a couple games. Had a delay getting some resources from Magfest but they were minor. The volunteer system that helps provide score keepers is amazing. Ahhhh, my 30 minute break after 15 hours is over, time to get back to it : )

From what I’ve seen, people are already throwing down good scores and it looks like things are very popular. Can’t wait to get there tonight.

Fun tournament! It was very dark and loud; I was happy for my earplugs. I did make it to a few other Magfest events but mostly stayed in the Arcade when not playing pinball - great stuff there.

Favorite moment was watching the claw machine tournament on video screen (from the pinball queue) - one player had two or three toys on the hook and was almost home when they slipped off and there was a huge gasp from the crowd - just like a ramp reject in PAPA finals. I also learned some pro techniques for Ice Cold Beer and got to play Taiko-no-Tatsujin a bunch.

FYI my beau and I got a hotel in Alexandria VA for under $100/night and free parking - way cheaper than the Gaylord hotels. If you’re not committed to random access to the show, it’s a good option. Parking is expensive at the venue but you’d pay that at a hotel anyway; the few times we ended up double-paying because we left and came back were still worth it.

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Highlight of the tournament: qualifying, but not being able to actually play because all parking in the area was sold out. Good times.

Will definitely have to think about tackling my MAGfest attendance differently next year. Either via a hotel room, or taking a cab in.