Finally feeling like I really had this co-producer thing down by this point, I was ready to take 2014’s Debacle Fest by the horns and shake it around. Coming off of the previous year’s major lessons, one thing was certain: though we may be getting larger, the people still want the underground, underdog, scrappy heart of the Fest. It was in this line of thinking I realized what needed to happen to take the annual shindiggery to a next level wasn’t flashier artists or a fancier venue, but to actually approach it as a festival in the common sense of the event type. Thus the idea was born to host multiple stages on one day, held in our tried and trues, rather than spread across a weekend series of shows.
Running with the tactic we were going to just throw people into this huge swirl of chaos and noise and too-many-choices, we suddenly felt so much freer and able to really Make It Something more so than 2013. I can’t describe the huge sigh of relief I let out when all three interconnected venues we were counting on to make this idea work, on one corner together, had the selected weekend open and were on-board for partnering on the Fest. Word starting spreading this was to be the format and the support started coming in. We had our naysayers of course, purists who were afraid of missing an act; by the end of the weekend, we’d won them over. One major plus for me was the enormous interest from press we received and being able to really hold my own next to Sam while we talked about our ideas and concept.
I think the photo of Sam lifting me up in a moment of unbridled glee, glitter poppers exploding in our hands while huge smiles extend across our faces, sums up how I felt about that weekend more than anything I say in the following paragraph could. I get a little choked up as I think about how intensely rewarding and somehow near-flawless the whole thing turned out. Huge credit is extended to the incredible close friends we brought on as our crew for the weekend, another major step in truly taking the Fest further. Somehow we kept on schedule, there were no meltdowns of any size, nothing broke, no one got into a fistfight on stage, and as said in the other Fest summaries, it was set after set of everyone truly bringing their A-game. Oh, did I also mention we blew every previous year’s turnout out of the water, seeing not only the Family who’d been with us from the beginning but plenty of new faces as well? Yeah, that happened.
I swear, I don’t think I’d ever left another project feeling as fulfilled, grateful, ecstatic, and rewarded as I did for Debacle Fest 2014.