|news & updates / August 13, 2002|
The saying goes that "no news is good news". So when you finally get news there's the chance it could be bad. Well, we have some news to announce. And unfortunately it is bad news...
After eight annual years of going Even Furthur with all of our friends from the Midwest and beyond it is with a great amount of disappointment that we are announcing this years techno campout - electric festival - family re*union will not be happening.
Long story short...we couldn't get it together. During the planning process the negatives kept outweighing the positives and in the end it just wasn't meant to be.
Understandably we realize that many of you, most of you, or maybe even all of you are going to be let down and for that we apologize. No one is more bummed out about this than us. We know how you feel.
We also apologize for taking so long to make this un-announcement. We kept giving ourselves more time to make things happen, but nothing was really working out. At this point there just isn't enough time to organize a quality event. We have no choice other than to not do the festival this year.
We know you've already asked off from work over Labor Day weekend and made plans to be with your friends in a field somewhere in Wisconsin, but we've left you high and dry. What do we recommend? One of the most important aspects of Even Furthur is that everyone gets to go camping with their current and future friends. We hope people still keep that part of the weekend tradition alive. Maybe even add a sound system to your campout.
The absence of Even Furthur this year doesn't mean that the festival is dead. Far from it! Our plan and our promise is to put our heads down and concentrate on this and only this event for 2003. We may or may not have an occasional one off event here and there, but our main focus will be on this festival. Even Furthur is the most important thing we do and it's what we want to be known for. Well, that and evil. ;) It's strange the two don't necessarily go together so well?
We never imagined a year without Even Furthur. We didn't want to! But now we have to. Life will probably go on just fine without it for a year. Hopefully it means we will celebrate and let our freak flags fly even more at next years festival. You better be ready!
In the words of Jerry Garcia, "It ain't over until the fat lady gets high!"
We'll see you all back on the bus again next year.
Drop Bass Network
The fact that Even Furthur is not happening deserves a good explanation. Warning: it's long winded. If you don't want to read a lot you should stop here.
Top ten reasons why there won't be an Even Furthur this year...
1. Motivation : Lets face it, the rave scene has taken a huge hit in attendance over the past year. Even the club scene has slowed down. We could go on and on with numerous reasons and speculations for this. No one thing is to blame.
There have been slow times before, but nothing like this year. We were as convinced as most fellow promoters that things were dead. Not completely, but close. We went as far as trying monthly events for Chirst's sake to see if things would wake up. They didn't. Even though we were extremely excited about our ten year anniversary event, we also believed it was going to be another one in the long line of failed events promoters were experiencing in 2002. We're glad to say that wasn't the case. But because we thought it was going to be the straw that broke the camels back (our back), at the time we didn't put a lot of effort into planning anything for the future. Including Even Furthur. We figured there wasn't a point.
While we were trying to figure everything else out though we missed the boat. Something like Furthur does matter and it transcends the normal rave scene. There was a point to this event and it needed to happen. Once we were out of gloom and doom mode there wasn't a lot of time to make the festival a reality. We've done it in short amounts of time in the past, so who was to say that we couldn't do it that way again? Things just didn't fall into place though (see other explanations below).
The strong will survive. The promoters and the music lovers who are left standing after everything is said and done are the ones who were truly into it from the get go. Which was the case back in the old days. The music was first, the party second. We've always yearned for that feeling or vibe from those days and it looks like it could be just around the corner again. At least we hope so.
2. The RAVE Act S.2633 : Once we got over the lack of motivation problem this damn thing came along. We've faced numerous attacks on our culture over the years, but this one seems very very serious. It expands the crack house statute to allow the federal government to fine or imprison promoters and venue owners if customers sell or use drugs on their premises or at their events. Yes, unbelievably this could happen in America! The bill was proposed in late June and awaiting a vote in the Senate starting July 8th. The threat was that it could pass any day in July. It didn't come up for a vote and now our Senators are on vacation. We dodged the bullet...for the time being.
A lot of people thought we were foolish for even thinking about doing Even Furthur while this bill was pending. Once passed the authorities would be looking for an event to test it on. Maybe even a high profile event like ours in the Midwest. We'd be lying if we said this wasn't on our mind. It was every day. And yes it was deterring. The thought of 20 years in prison can do that. Part of us thought it might be our responsibility to take on something like this. The other part of us (the sane part) knew the other part was out of their mind. With this looming over our head it was easy to loose the motivation we just got a handle on.
Side note...you owe it to yourself to find out more about this and get involved. A good place to start is on the DanceSafe website http://www.dancesafe.org.
3. Venue, venue, Venue : It's the same old story. Finding a venue is the single hardest part about doing most events and especially this festival. Getting away with a one night event is usually doable in many places. Getting away with it four days in a row, that's a different story.
It's getting harder to secure a venue every year. Four days of techno doesn't go over too well in most places. To make matters worse we've been unofficially banned from a number of counties in Wisconsin and the authorities from those counties have warned neighboring counties about us. It sounds paranoid, but it's true. Apparently raves are just bad news. No one knows why for sure. They just are. And Even Furthur isn't even a rave!
This year we started looking at venues in the spring, but came up empty. We took a break (explanation #1) and got back on the case in late June. We tried almost every option we could think of. We also looked into or looked at every lead that was given to us (thanks for all the suggestions by the way). Our original drop dead date for securing a venue was the first few days of August. Then we gave ourselves a one week extension because new options came up that were worth checking out. Nothing panned out. There were some venues that could have worked, but only in the way that Kankakee worked in 99...ie. the festival happened, but really it wasn't a good place to be. We didn't want to go that route again.
If we couldn't find a suitable venue this year what makes us think we will next year? More time and better use of it. We also made a lot of connections along the way. Some places that wouldn't work this year for one reason or another could possibly work in the future. We're confident next year we won't have this same problem.
4. Our luck ran out : A big part of doing these events is luck. More than some promoters care to realize. We've known since day one that we were lucky bastards. Sometimes incredibly lucky. We've had our share of bad luck too, but nothing like this year (small scale nye, canceled an event, poorly attended monthly, and now this). At least it's coming at a time when other promoters luck is running out too so we know it's not just us. With most of the Furthur events there have been times when we've gotten by on the skin of our teeth. If you only knew some of the stories. Actually, it's probably better you don't! When you're powered by luck sometimes it bites you in the ass. Like now. Of course we don't like to see bad things happen, but we knew eventually this time would come for Furthur. However, like we said before, we're lucky bastards and things will come around again. After all, we didn't sell our souls for an eternity of bad luck! ;)
5. It just didn't feel right : This goes back to explanation #1. We didn't have the motivation at the beginning and once we got beyond that it felt more like we were trying to make it happen for the sake of making it happen. And that's just not right. Even Furthur means a lot to a lot of people. For some it's deeply personal. There have been more good memories (and probably some bad ones too) made at Furthur than we could ever imagine. Friends have been made at Furthur, couples have been joined there, and children have even been conceived there. Great times! We don't want to taint it by turning it into just another event. It has to be special. With the right venue and a fair amount of planning we can organize a festival that has the right ingredients for a great weekend. Those ingredients are the necessary precursor and they just weren't coming together this time. A lot of times we rely on our gut feeling to tell how things are going to turn out. This time the good feeling wasn't there. It can't be explained, we just know.
6. We deserve a break : The amount of work that goes into making Even Furthur happen before, during, and after is staggering. The fact that nobody else is doing something like this yearly proves that point. At the same time, Furthur is also very emotionally rewarding and that makes all the hard work worth while. All we have to do is think back to Even Furthur 96 and remember how awesome things can be. This year would have been the ninth annual festival (plus we did two in 1999). That's 35 days worth of Furthur so far! Making this thing breath for a weekend is a small group of friends called the Support Squad. We're not a Clear Channel concert machine. At some point you had to figure we were going to need a break. We didn't want to think so ourselves, but it was bound to happen. Even the best armies sometimes have to retreat and regroup.
7. Bigger plans : In a way not doing this years event is a good thing. Well, of course it's not a good thing, but we can use this opportunity to make it a good thing. It gets us out of the rut we were in. By deciding to concentrate only on Even Furthur for next year we can give it the attention it deserves and make the festival everything it should be and more. After all, we should keep going further. That was the original idea anyway. For a while now we've had a number of great new ideas to bring to the festival, but they never seem to happen. Mostly because we were always involved in so many other things outside of Furthur it was impossible to focus on just any one event. That will change and next year we will come back with an Even Furthur the Midwest deserves. If you have some ideas we're always listening.
8. Talent : With this slow down in attendance comes smaller scale events. The days of the $30+ mega one nighter raves are gone for now. Maybe forever (and for the better). However, dj's fees haven't changed to reflect the smaller events that are taking place. Everyone still commands the big bucks. As time was running out this year we started working on a smaller scale Furthur, but even getting a handful of headlining dj's would cost us more than we could afford. This really isn't a reason for not doing the festival as we could have made it an all DIY event and probably attracted the same attendance. Still, this talent fee situation continues to annoy us. In case you haven't noticed we've boycotted the overpriced no talent superstar dj's for some time now. Some people just think we're cheap. We like to think we're making a point and at the same time we're exposing music listeners to new and real talent.
9. The Burning Man : No, not the Nevada event that goes on the same weekend as Even Furthur. We're talking about our burning man and the fact that someone lit it on fire last year prematurely (and immaturely) on Saturday afternoon. We're still pissed about that! The fact that someone would willingly destroy one of the most traditional aspects of Even Furthur was and still is disheartening. Really we're over it, but still it sucks that people can be that lame.
10. Electro-rock : This is that festival that's ripping off some of the Furthur style, on the same weekend no less! While it does suck big time that a group of promoters would stage a similar event on the same weekend as Furthur, it was to be expected sooner or later. Given the same circumstances we might have done the same thing, so who are we to complain. More than likely though we would have honored the positive tradition and found another date. At the end of the day this other event did not affect our decision one way or the other, we just needed a number 10. If anything the "competition" was fuel for the fire, not a deterrent. It's neither here nor there now.
We would like to add a special thanks for all of the support Even Furthur received in the past months on message boards and in emails directly to us. It was pretty overwhelming to read some of the positive things you had to say about Furthur. One survey in an events forum asked the question "What do you plan to do Labor Day weekend?" The result was something like 80% go to Even Furthur, 5% Electro-rock, 5% stay home, and 10% undecided. That's support we can't thank you enough for. Well, we could have by giving you a damn event.
11. Long explanations : If we spent as much time trying to secure a venue as we did on this explanation maybe we wouldn't be in the situation we're in! ;)