Crowds They Gather

We have one week before we get to see Duran Duran live in concert at Ravinia in Chicago!!  In the middle of April and May, I didn’t know if I would make it to June, forget about July.  Here we are now.  Tour time is around the corner, approaching quickly!  Over the years, Rhonda and I have developed a number of touring traditions.  In the last five years or so, one of the biggest traditions is to organize meet-ups before shows.

In 2011, we held a party in London.  During the summer of 2012, we had meet-ups before each of the four shows we attended.  That was tough.  We felt like we were literally running from one place to another, from one event from another.  We were traveling daily to each destination and instead of being able to take our time, we couldn’t.  We had to be responsible.  Yes, we took the task on ourselves because we know how important meet-ups can be.  They are great for all of the fans in attendance who get to meet or see each other!  At each one I have hosted or attended, I witness the same things.  Fans share stories and pictures.  New pictures are taken.  Excitement increases.  This, of course, translates to more energy at the show, which has got to feed the band’s energy.  The example we always give is the Durham show in the summer of 2012.  Of all the shows we saw that summer, it was by far the best.  We can’t help but to think that the large turnout for the pre-show meet-up was part of the reason.

By the end of those summer shows, I was tired, though.  I truly do like and feel VERY comfortable organizing events (I’m a teacher, after all.  I organize lessons and classrooms everyday.  I’m also a political organizer, which means setting up and running campaign activities.  Organizing is in my blood.)  That said, these meet-ups are work.  Someone has to contact venues and communicate with them.  Someone has to put up the event pages on Facebook.  Someone has to answer questions from people attending.  Then, sometimes, there is more to it.  For example, this time around, we will need to create some sort of sign for the Chicago meet-ups.  We have raffles planned with Duran merch!!  There are details that need to be taken care of.  Plus, it means that we can’t get there whenever we want.  We have to arrive in time to set things up and we have to be “on” during the event.  My point is that during the summer of 2012, it was exhausting to always have to be responsible and working.  I didn’t have as much fun as I wanted.

This time, then, we decided to find a balance.  We only planned meet-ups in places that we won’t be traveling to on the day of the show.  Our travel will be more relaxing this way.  We won’t have to worry about arriving at some special time.  This means that half of our shows together will have meet-ups and half won’t.  Yes, we recognize that meet-ups are great fun and enhance the show.  We also appreciate the need for fans to meet each other to develop and reinforce community spirit.  We want to honor that.  Yet, we also owe it to ourselves to be able to relax some and just have fun.

So, what does all of this mean?  It means that we will be working as event coordinators or whatever you want to call us to ensure that the meet-ups in Chicago (both nights), Toronto and Vegas will be great for all those attending.  When we are not working, we will be fans just the rest of you.

One aspect of these meet-ups that we are particularly excited about is our brand new wristbands!  We will have a few of the old ones (the ones that John and Dom have!!) for sale as well as metallic silver and glow-in-the-dark purple ones!  The proceeds to these sales will be to go to the convention we are planning in Chicago for the weekend of August 11th (around Duran Duran Appreciation Day) in 2017.

There is still time for you to RSVP for these events!  Here are our event pages with all of the details:

Friday Night Ravinia Pre-Show Party (Facebook)

Saturday Night Ravinia Pre-Show Party (Facebook)

Toronto Pre-Show Party  (Facebook)

Vegas Pre-Show Party (Facebook)

Hope to see you all on the road soon!

-A

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