Date: 29th-31st October, 2021
Location: Farm Bureau Expo Center, 945 East Baddour Parkway, Lebanon, TN 37087, USA

After 3 years of hosting the Grand Ole Gameroom Expo at the Millennium Maxwell House hotel and convention center located in Nashville, TN, it was announced that the 2020 show would be held at the Farm Bureau Exposition Center in Lebanon TN which is a short drive east of Nashville. The new location was selected because of the larger square footage of the main event and exposition hall and also dedicated parking for the show without the need to share the parking area with the hotel.

The Farm Bureau Expo Center in Lebanon
The Farm Bureau Expo Center in Lebanon

I’m certain everyone reading this is aware that nearly all pinball, gaming and similar events were shut down in 2020 and the first part of 2021 due to government guidance and health concerns with large gatherings. This led to the cancellation of the Grand Ole Gameroom Expo for 2020.

In spite of these obstacles, it did not stop Expo organizer David Corrigan and his intrepid staff of expo volunteers.

The registration desk
The welcoming registration desk

David & Co. came up with the brilliant idea of combining the gameroom and gaming elements with allied pastimes and collectibles such as board games, comic books, sci-fi collectibles, cosplay, figure building and other activities drawing from today’s literary and pop culture.

The result is the 2021 Music City Multi Con, which was designed to appeal to a large and diverse group of attendees.

Music City Multi Con
Music City Multi Con

The three day Multi Con took place October 29-31, 2021 in the previously mentioned 79,000 sq. ft. Farm Bureau Expo Center in Lebanon, TN, and the adjacent James E. Ward Agricultural Center.

PArt of the console gaming area
Part of the console gaming area
More console games
More console games

In the vast console gaming area, eSports Tournaments were hosted hosted by Kumite (games) in Tennessee (KIT) with the matches shown on large projection screens with theatre-style seating for spectators. There were 472 competitors pre-registered for 12 competitions.

The e-sports tournament stage
The e-sports tournament stage

Based on the number of people in the KIT area, I am certain that a vast majority of those pre-registered showed up to compete. The KIT 2021 championship games included: Guilty Gear Strive, Tekken 7, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Street Fighter 5, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Mortal Kombat 11, Dead or Alive 6, Samurai Showdown, Mortal Kombat XL, Soul Calibur 6, BlazBlue and Injustice 2.

Results and more information can be found at eventhubs.com/news/2021/oct/29/kumite-tennessee-results/ and smash.gg/tournament/kumite-intennessee-2021/details.

Most KIT 2021 tournaments were live streamed and can now be seen on YouTube.

David and his crew are to be congratulated for the exceptional organization for this comeback show for the Nashville area. One of the many laudable features of the pinball and coin-op gaming area was the dedicated ‘help desk’ with well equipped technicians on hand to diagnose and repair any games needing attention.

Of particular interest to Pinball News readers were the four fresh-out-of-the-shipping-crate Stern Godzilla games set on free play courtesy of Tilt Amusements and Pins Mechanical Co. These were the first Godzilla games that I have seen ‘in the wild’ and I have to say that I enjoyed how they play and the flow of the games very much. I can also report that the multiball on these games is truly crazy. If you can manage to keep the balls in play during multiball, a very large number of points can be scored. Needless to say, being the newest games in the show, they were busy with players the vast majority of show prime time.

Four Godzilla games at the start of this row of pinballs
Four Godzilla games at the start of this row of pinballs

Other recent games such as The Munsters, Stranger Things, The Mandalorian, Led Zeppelin, Black Knight: Sword of Rage, and The Big Lebowski were available for play.

Iron Maiden, Voltan, The Big Lebowski, Monday Night Football, Black Rose, Funhouse, Skateball, The Munsters, Playboy, Star Wars and Road Kings
Iron Maiden, Voltan, The Big Lebowski, Monday Night Football, Black Rose, Funhouse, Skateball, The Munsters, Playboy, Star Wars and Road Kings
Nascar, Terminator 3, The Incredible Hulk, Breakshot, Firepower II, The X-Files and Space Station
Nascar, Terminator 3, The Incredible Hulk, Breakshot, Firepower II, The X-Files and Space Station

There was also a well curated selection of rare and more common games, both pinball and video, available for show-goers to enjoy. All games were of course set on free play.

Some of the arcade video games at Multi Con
Some of the arcade video games at Multi Con
More of the arcade video games
More of the arcade video games

The Music City Multi Con is the new home of the Grand OGRE Pinball Tournament, which is the largest pinball tournament in the USA Mid-South. Friday was the STRIKES tournament with prizes and IPFA points. Saturday was the Matchplay tournament with prizes and IPFA points.

Details of the Grand OGRE pinball tournaments
Details of the Grand OGRE pinball tournaments
Another Godzilla in the tournaments area
Another Godzilla in the tournaments area alongside The Mandalorian and Rick & Morty

The results of the tournaments can be found on the IFPA website for the Warm-Up Tournament and the Matchplay Tournament.

A unique feature of Multi Con 2021 was the huge outdoor stages with a music lineup of over forty DJ’s and live bands that played all weekend. The organizers assured that rain or shine the entertainment would go on since the artists and the crowd was covered at the stages. Unfortunately the weather did its worst and the weekend of the Multi Con was rainy and cold. Few attendees that I saw ventured out of the warm and dry exposition center to sample the entertainment and food vendors outside.

Some of the food options at the Farm Bureau Expo Center
Some of the food options at the Farm Bureau Expo Center
More of the food options at the Farm Bureau Expo Center
More of the food options at the Farm Bureau Expo Center
More of the food options at the Farm Bureau Expo Center
More of the food options at the Farm Bureau Expo Center
Beers, cocktails and sodas were available too
Beers, cocktails and sodas were available too

All three days of the show there was a full slate of presentations and seminars in the two large program rooms.

Events across the three days of Multi Con
Events across the three days of Multi Con

The program included trivia contests, comic artist roundtable, A children’s costume contest, collecting video games presentation, retro tech, and many more. Saturday evening was dedicated to Cosplay with both competitive judging and seminars on how to improve costume designs to better appeal to judges.

There were displays of original LEGO creations, including the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars in 2 different holiday themes. There was an interesting display of figurines from Sci-Fi and Fantasy including the Crimson Horror from Season 7 of Dr. Who.

A Lego Millennium Falcon
A Lego Millennium Falcon for Christmas
More Lego Star Wars with this Hoth scene
More Lego Star Wars with this Hoth scene

Overall the all-new Music City Multi Con was a great bargain for participants and packed a variety of great pop culture subjects with something virtually for everyone who attended.

Some of the many vendor stands
Some of the many vendor stands
Some of the many vendor stands
Some of the many vendor stands
Some of the many vendor stands
Some of the many vendor stands
Some of the many vendor stands
Some of the many vendor stands
Some of the many vendor stands
Some of the many vendor stands

2022 Multi Con dates have not yet been announced but I’d strongly suggest that you make plans to attend as soon as they are known.

Will the 2022 show be on Halloween again?
Will the 2022 show be at Halloween again?

Keep an eye on the official website, musiccitymulticon.com, for updates and 2022 show information.

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