…and it seems like this is the one time of year I wake up and remember this site, and manage to post something on it.
I’m not sure though, this might be my last year. So many changes. And I don’t blame Three Floyds, they’re a small outfit and this thing has gotten way out of hand. And while the changes they’re making will likely help eliminate or at least alleviate some of the major pains in the ass this fest has caused them in the past (big mess all around the industrial park, pissed-off neighbors, chaos & confusion & drunk jerks, etc), they will also have the effect of suppressing some of the things I enjoy about the day (bringing a ton of homebrew to share, harrassing random people & making them drink my beer, drinking some of their beer in return, the tasting tables, the massive trading scene, chilling in a tent with plenty of room to spread out after making it through the line and getting my dark lord allotment, being able to bring friends along who might not have tickets but enjoy the day anyway, random people who brought grills offering some of their food–essentially, beer nerd camaraderie).
According to this page on the Dark Lord Day web site, here is some advice they have for dealing with this year’s changes:
- “This year’s event requires a ticket for entry.” Again, I understand, you sell 6000 tickets and something like 15000 people show up, it’s a mess. But I won’t be rolling with my usual crew this year and that makes me a little sad.
- “You will not be admitted with excessive beer.” This entire event is about beer and excess. In previous years, I’ve brought 5-gallon kegs of homebrew that I brewed specifically for this event. Not because I want to throw a raging fratboy douchebag kegger and get radically drunk, but because I want to connect with as many people as possible and share as much beer as I can. I’m still going to be bringing a bunch of homebrew but obviously not as much as in years past.
- “If you are bringing a vehicle please assign a designated driver.” This is very sensible advice regardless of the year. But since your designated driver will require a ticket for entry, and will not be allowed to hang around in the industrial park either, you probably don’t have one. If you were able to buy your 2 tickets like I was, chances are that your friends were not able to, and your second ticket was likely snatched up by one of them. If you did manage to get 2 tickets and a second person to DD and mule for you, they’re not having a good time and you are probably a big jerkface. We will be getting dropped off and picked up by our designated driver, which helps in the sense that there’s one less vehicle clogging the industrial park and one less body clogging the festival. But it also means we have no home base, nowhere to stow our bottles of Dark Lord once we’ve acquired them, no place to put our extra beer if it’s decided we’ve brought an “excessive” amount and won’t be allowed into the festival.
- “No Grills will be allowed.” No random bratwursts for me. Instead I’ll need to wait in line for an hour if I want anything to eat (though of course, the lines may be shorter this year since there will be fewer people there. We’ll see)
Essentially, it sounds like the rule of the day is, bring less fun and more money. And that is the saddest part of it. Hopefully tomorrow will prove me wrong. If not, it may be my last Dark Lord Day.
I will be attempting to liveblog the day via Twitter, here and at my other web site (All Things Useless). If the liveblog grows less and less sensible as the day wears on, eventually becoming all but incomprehensible by midafternoon, then I guess Dark Lord Day will not have changed that much.