Dear you, reading this,
Another month has gone by and now it really seems like I’m blowing smoke up everyone’s ass. For three and a half years I’ve been telling people that I am going to play Red Rocks on April 1st 2020. I’m not doubting it’s going to happen; however, it’s not going to happen like you think it will. I have reason to believe this and I think it’s time for a little assessment of what it is, what’s holding it back, and what’s possible.
We’re Legitimately Trying To Party
Look I like a big ol concert or event as much as the next guy, but I can’t help but to think we’ve got the system backwards. To me, Parties ought to be everyone chipping in to make an unforgettable experience despite the fact that some people will be so messed up that they won’t remember anything. Lately, it seems as if everyone is trying to be the center of attention at the center of attention. You all hear stories of fire fest and coachella. People are paying out the ass to be swindled, robbed, and riddled with Sti’s. What is so great about the promises made to these people that they will shell out hundreds of dollars? What besides being at the thing that everyone’s talking about? That’s not why we party. We party to celebrate. We celebrate unions of lovers, new lives being brought into the world, old lives well lived, and historical events that made us who we are. Partying is being part of something bigger than yourself. When you find yourself at a cool party, you aren’t merely a consumer of awesomeness but part of what makes it so awesome!!! So when I talk about this Red Rocks show on April 1st 2020, I’m not thinking that somehow we’re going to amass enough fame and fortune to throw a show as If I were Haim or Vulfpeck. I’m telling you that if enough people show up and we have a good plan of how to organize and get them all fed and sheltered, It really won’t matter what happens, You won’t be able to look around you without something cool going on. This show, at it’s core, is a mix between Field of Dreams, Woodstock, and Burning Man. The genius of a really really good party is showing the world just how quickly people can be taken out of their daily lives and thrown into chaos without losing their humanity. This brings me to why this is going to be so difficult.
People Don’t Like Parties, They like Community
be honest with yourself. Do you like parties? If so why? Most of us go through some sort of phase where we want to party all the time party all the time party all the tiiiiiiimmmmmeeeeee and that’s great. As you get older, you realize how unsustainable that is. Some people turn it into their livelyhood, others reduce the amount of partying they do, and some give it up entirely. If you’re lucky you’ll find a tribe of some sort with a regular gathering. Right now, I have the open mic on Thursday’s at the Corner Beet. Before that, it was Taco Tuesday’s in Maine. For a lot of people, I assume you have some sort of religious affiliation that suits this purpose. Regardless of how you do it, you sort yourself into a community. The question becomes what does your community want to do? Surely, some isolation for your group is going to be achieved but total Isolation is impossible. Eventually your group is going to want to be part of something bigger than itself or grow and swallow other groups; however, as a member of one of these groups, you probably want things to stay the same. After all, this is where you found happiness. This is what you know. This saved you when your life became unsustainable and taught you how to live well and prosper. A party of sufficient size will damage that. So The Red Rocks Show is in this weird space where if no one shows up, it wouldn’t be worth it to go, and if everyone shows up, your community will be altered. If we end up doing a giant wall of death the night before as planned, some people in your community might very well die. Not to mention, I’m poor and unknown. I’ve tried to organize events in the past that simply fell through. Most of what I try and do is given up on at some point. Still, I have every reason to believe this is the right track to stick on and I’ll tell you why.
Parties Breed Community.
A good party is incredibly wasteful. You waste your time, body, mind and a whole lot of single serving plastic. IT IS NOT EASY TO RAGE. A rager is almost akin to a war zone when done properly, and yet, there is very little fighting. Most of the casualties come in the form of accidents. There is definitely a point to be made about thievery and sexual assault. That shit is not cool. However, Much like a war zone, a rager is something that wasn’t supposed to happen. Drugs are illegal. Fighting is illegal. Public spaces require you to wear clothes. Sure the current system is designed so you can get a little loose. every now and then you can go to your local club or concert hall, get a little messed up, mosh a little, and wear skimpy outfits. However, name one event outside of burning man or the original Woodstock where all that flies out the window and nobody knew what would happen next. Anyone who wants to make a living off of throwing events wouldn’t dream of putting such an event together. Part of the industry is keeping good relations with venues and artists and you can’t really do that being known as the person who throws events that get people killed and lose money. That being said who wouldn’t want to be part of it? Who wouldn’t at least want to watch the shitshow? Look at the way we consume war footage and porn. Look at the way we search to be part of something greater than ourselves. Look at the way Game of Thrones combines sex and violence to create a shared experience that even people who don’t like the show want to be part of. Look at the way people get themselves into debt chasing a feeling. People love this stuff. People need this stuff. It gives us something to talk about and a reason to remember. 1984 states these qualities of humanity as the reason for perpetual war. These qualities are what makes The Purge series so close to home. These are also the qualities that gave us Project X. We all know they exist and motivate us. They’re why minute men cling to politics to justify blood lust. They’re why women dress in practically nothing knowing that some asshole will take it as a request for assault. They’re why people addicted to money will sacrifice scores of human lives to cling to a fortune. We’ve always been ashamed of these qualities, but despite or best efforts to eliminate them, we can’t get rid of them. A true party gives us both a chance to express these and learn how to channel them into something that creates joy. The world needs something like this that isn’t put together by money addicts. We need a party for the people, by the people. A giant middle finger to ethical and moral authority that says “we would be fine without you and we’re tired of killing each other for your benefit. To prove this, we are going to disregard your rules and make it through the night.”
When I was in high school, one day we decided to have a conga line. All we did was tell everyone it was going to happen and brought speakers. We didn’t ask the school. We didn’t have permission. We couldn’t even get the right song to work but we had that line going all up and down a 150ft hall. On April 1st 2020 we’re making new friends at Red Rocks. They don’t know yet. No acts are booked. I hope you’ll be there.
As always, Thank you for reading,
P.s. again I don’t really want to get famous so please excuse me if I don’t do all the try hard stuff of creating a sustainable brand. This whole concept was born to die to be born again to die again and so on.