You might hate yourself for ditching your old Speak & Spell after you’ve finished reading this. Musicmakers with a hacker’s skill are turning retro electronics like your old learning toy into sick, state-of-the-art electronica. The Bent Festival is the event hub for the electro-DIY community, where forgotten circuits become the stuff of harmony. The three-day event is loaded with concerts and workshops, performed and hosted by artists from around the world. So take another glance around your pad, and bring any toy that has a button and makes a sound like little drum toys, even talking dolls (cell phones and iPods are no good)—anything you don’t mind destroying to create a work of art.

April 24-26, 2008