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Recap: Harmonix at PAX East 2016

Hey gang,

If you’ve been paying attention to our blog posts over the last couple weeks, you’d know that we’ve got a lot in store at PAX East this year! With the show around the corner, we’re here to round up everything we’ve got going on so you have a one-stop shop for everything Harmonix is doing in Boston this weekend. If you’re a fan of Rock Band, Amplitude, Virtual Reality, free swag, exclusive Pinny Arcade pins, and LOTS of fun – read on!

Last year, we were still digging our way out of the immense piles of snow that covered the Boston area. With that behind us, and with Spring on the way (we have to be hopeful at this point), we’re looking forward to the warm weather and cool cats who will be stopping by our booth. So that’s what we’re going to talk about first – our booth on the show floor!

The Booth

The Harmonix Booth at PAX East 2016
Follow the music…you’ll likely find our booth.

Harmonix will be located over at Booth #6092, located smack in the middle of the Expo Hall. Cian from our Community Team has written a pretty detailed blog post about what to expect at our booth this year, but here’s a quick recap of what you’ll see from Harmonix:

  • Rock Band 4 will be playable on our Main Stage in the booth. With over 2,000 tracks available to play, you’ll have no problem finding what you want to perform with your friends!
  • We’ll also have Harmonix Music VR available to demo at the booth! Immerse yourself in the musical VR space, featuring The Easel. Get crafty and take music in your hands with our easel and paint set! Harmonix Music VR will also be available to demo at Sony’s booth, #8044-8068, and will feature a different interactive world: The Beach. Get away from it all while visiting a soothing beach scene!
  • There will be areas available for you to play Amplitude on PlayStation®4 and Beat Sports made for the new Apple TV.
  • Swag for everyone! Seriously, though. Swing by our booth, play one of our games, and take home some sweet Harmonix swag.

For those of you waiting eagerly in line for a chance to rock on the Main Stage, you can browse every song we’re bringing at! Please Note: This page should go live in a day or two in anticipation of the show!

The Pins

Everyone knows that PAX-goers pride themselves on collecting and trading Pinny Arcade Pins during the show, and developers like Harmonix love taking part in the craze. Last year, we had one fancy Rock Band 4 pin at PAX East and PAX Prime, totaling 2 pins for us in 2015. We’re starting this year’s PAX conventions off with a bang, and have not one, but TWO snazzy pins for your collecting pleasure!

Harmonix Pinnies at PAX East 2016

Want to know how to get these super cool pins? You’ll have to play a song up on the Rock Band 4 Main Stage to get that sweet Rock Band 4 laurel pin. For Amplitude, you’ll need to play a song at our Amplitude station. If you have questions, just stop by our booth and chat with one of the Harmonix staff for clarification!

In addition to grabbing these pins at our booth, there will also be a limited supply of the Rock Band 4 and Amplitude pins at the AbleGamers booth for a $20 donation. AbleGamers is located in the Diversity Lounge, Room 151AB. Stop by and show your support!

The Panel

Rock Band - Past, Present & Future

For fans interested in a trip through the Rock Band franchise, come join us at our panel, titled “Rock Band: Past, Present, and Future”. Be sure to get there early to get the best seats in the house! We’ve got a lot of exciting things to talk about, including totally rad, seriously-huge announcements about Rock Band 4. We can’t stress how much you don’t want to miss this. Here’s the rundown:

  • When: Sunday, April 24th at 3:30pm ET
  • Where: Condor Theatre
  • Who: Josh Harrison, Criss Burki, Matt Derby, Cara Kelly, Matthew Nordhaus, and Daniel Chace
  • Rock Band Past: Previous games, stories from times past, and a look back on what has made Rock Band really shine.
  • Rock Band Present: What we’re up to now with Rock Band 4, reflections about Rock Band 4 on PC, and where we’re at with Rock Band VR.
  • Rock Band Future: New DLC, more details about our plans for this year, and a few major announcements. No big deal.
  • Post-Panel Q+A: It’s just you, us, and a room of Rock Band fans. Ask us for pictures of our cats.
  • Free swag for every single person that sits through our talk. There’s gotta be some reason you want to attend, right? Just kidding. :)

The Hard Rock Show

Harmonix at the Hard Rock Cafe
Get rocking with Harmonix at our Hard Rock Cafe party on Saturday of PAX East!

Harmonix is known for hosting a kick-ass party every time the PAX convention is in town. On Saturday, April 23rd, we’ll be getting down to some sweet tunes at the Hard Rock Cafe, located just blocks away from Faneuil Hall, the Aquarium, and the convention! If you’ve got tickets, consider yourself in for a musical treat! Come hang out with Harmonix developers, grab some drinks, and wind down from the day. Performances include:

  • Freezepop, headliners from our recent Amplitude Live event, will also be headlining this show!
  • Local synth-pop favorite, Bearstronaut, will be joining us on stage for the first time!
  • The triple threat rock band of unbelievably talented sisters, The Warning, will be playing at the show as well. You’ll know them from their song, “Free Falling”, from the Rock Band 4 soundtrack!
  • Musicians and friends of Harmonix, Princess Problems, will be performing at the show! Additionally, fans of Amplitude will get to experience tracks from the soundtrack performed by the Harmonix band, Autoblaster.

Some finer details:

  • When: Saturday, April 23rd; Doors at 7:30 pm ET, music starts at 8:10 pm ET
  • Where: The Hard Rock Cafe; 22-24 Clinton St, Boston, MA 02109
  • Be sure to check out Rock Band 4 and Harmonix Music VR, which will both be playable at the show until 10:30pm ET.
  • Attendees will get 2 drink tickets and free swag provided by our partners at PDP. Plus all guests will be entered into a raffle upon arrival at the party for a chance to win premium prizes from PDP!
  • This event is 21+ only. Please bring a valid ID and your ticket with you to enter the venue.

The Planetarium Show

And just when you thought that Harmonix is doing WAAAY too much at PAX, that’s not all, folks! When we said we’re going all out, we really meant it. So far out, that we’re about to touch the universe (aside from our own Earth touching it every moment). On Sunday, April 24th, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy a night among the stars inside a planetarium dome with the Harmonix crew. Imagine stepping up to the mic stand, looking up at a vast sea of twinkling lights, and performing your favorite song in Rock Band or Amplitude on the dome of a planetarium. You thought it was impossible, didn’t you. We’re here to prove you wrong!

  • When: Sunday, April 24th; Doors at 6:45 pm ET, liftoff at 7 pm ET
  • Where: The Charles Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Science; 1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114
  • What: Amplitude and Rock Band 4 will be playable on the planetarium dome throughout the night, with multiple breaks in between to get up and stretch your legs.
  • PS: Bring glow sticks – they’re a lot of fun in the dark!

Harmonix at the Planetarium
Seriously, though, you’ve never played Rock Band 4 or Amplitude in a setting like this.

The Rest

Really, the rest is just saying “Thank you” to every single one of you who are planning on visiting us at our booth, rocking out on our stage, talking to us at our panel, dancing with us at our parties, and being there and present in our community on a consistent basis. YOU are the reason we’re so psyched to get PAX up and running – is it Friday yet?