Category Archives: meetups

Still They Come…to Vegas for Some Meet Ups

Got any plans on September 7th and September 8th? If you look at Duran Duran tour dates, you will notice that there are a couple of shows for those very dates in Las Vegas. The band is once again playing at the Chelsea in the Cosmopolitan and your favorite (okay…that was an exaggeration) bloggers will be there! In fact, not only are we going to be there but we have some meet ups planned.

We will be meeting at the CliQue Bar and Lounge, located within the Cosmopolitan at 5 pm on both Saturday, September 7th and Sunday, September 8th. This particular bar is located on the first level of the Chelsea Tower and is described this way by the hotel website:

“CliQue serves as an escape from the outside world, offering artisanal cocktails and house-made mixers. CliQue adds a new avant-garde lounge concept to the resort.

Guests looking to stimulate their palates can enjoy a variety of savory bites and shareable plates, including high-end street tacos, an array of sliders and salads, among other mouthwatering dishes, from award-winning chef Brian Massie.”

One of the reasons that Rhonda and I enjoy this place is that the shareable plates are great and the wait staff remember our order! (Actually, that probably says more about us then them but whatever…) Plus, we like the atmosphere there.

We would love to see each and every one of you there! Please head over to the event page on Facebook and indicate your interest to let us know who to look for. Here are the links for the two meet ups: Saturday night and Sunday night .

Now, it has been a while since we have held a more formal fan gathering and we are super excited to do so! One of the things that Rhonda and I have always tried to do is to bring the fan community together. As we started on this journey (about 10 years ago now!) of learning about fandoms, generally, and our fandom, specifically, we realized that fan communities can either be places where competition dominates or where people come together. We much prefer bringing people together (because it is WAY more fun that way), which is why we started holding meet ups or conventions to begin with! Here are some pictures from the last one:

I think back to 2004 and when I first jumped back into this fandom. I didn’t really know anyone and the few people I did were random strangers that I “met” online. At the time, I longed to find people to talk about Duran Duran with. Just as importantly, I needed to find *my* people. These are people who would not only give me space to talk about Duran but also encourage my love for the band. They would see fandom and going to shows like I did. So I did something that was totally out of character for me. I went to a Duran Duran Fans Convention. Sure, I dragged a friend with me but I went. I did it solely to find my people.

During that convention, I met lots of Duranies and even found people who would be willing to go to shows with me. When the Astronaut Tour dates came out, many of us from the convention discussed, planned and plotted. Who is going to what show? Who is going to go with whom? At the time, I had no idea if any of those people would really be my people or just cool fans. The show the group decided to all go to was the Chicago show in March of 2005. Rhonda flew in and I drove down. After getting very little sleep and food, laughing our asses off and screaming for those guys on stage, I knew that I found my people. Rhonda and I bonded that weekend and discovered that we had a guaranteed touring buddy for life. To say that we were lucky would be an understatement. Yet, none of that would have happened if we hadn’t gone to a fan gathering. They matter. So we try to provide the place and the means for other fans to meet their people with our meet ups and conventions.

Now, it is my understanding that there is another meet up (or two??) happening that weekend. I think that is super cool! We are not here to compete with anyone as that does not make things more fun. No, I think it is great that fans have options, choices because, after all, you never know when and where you are going to meet your people.


VIP Packages, Homework Reminder and More!

Can I go to Vegas tomorrow? Yes, I’m anxious to hang with my friends and see the band but more than that, I am ready for something other than the polar vortex that I’m currently living in. Yes, Madison is getting pounded. Yesterday, we had a record low of -23 as in 23 degrees below zero. Tonight and tomorrow, we are due for a bad snow storm. I’m seeing amounts of 6 to 9 or 12 to 15 inches of snow depending on the report before we experience wind chills as low as -55. I literally feel like I live in the Arctic. So, as I refresh my weather apps and school closings page, I will focus instead on some fun Duran related ideas.

VIP Packages

Up until this weekend, I hadn’t given much thought to what is included in the VIP packages for these upcoming February shows. I knew, of course, that they contained Duran related merchandise but I was not sure what was included. In fact, if someone had asked a week ago what it contained, I might have said it had the same stuff as the Paper Gods Tour. I would have been wrong.

The VIP package have three items: headphones, a bag and a travel mug. Yeah, I know. None of that sounds super exciting but I promise you that there are some neat features. Of course, all of the items have the most recent Duran logo as you can see here:

I already have the travel mug and use it frequently. (Yes, I take it to work.) The best feature? I love that it keeps my coffee warm for a long time especially when I’m at work and often don’t get to my coffee for hours after the day starts. As for the headphones, I have yet to use them but I’m excited to try them out. If you have them, how are they? What do you think about their quality of sound? Durability?

The best part, though, in my opinion is the bag. Now, I know what a lot of you are thinking. Haven’t they sent enough canvass bags? Sure. They have included a lot of them but this one is super cool. If you look closely, the words are song titles. Duran Duran song titles. These titles are in order from the debut, self-titled album all the way to Paper Gods. I love it. I am actually thinking about framing it so I can use it as a poster of sorts. The red, white and black theme works for me, too.

Homework Reminder

Next week, you all have a “homework assignment” of sorts due. What am I talking about? Well, I assigned a little task that is due on February 2nd. I am looking for each and every one of you to send in a list of the 10 most representative Duran Duran songs, according to you! You can include any Duran track or even any side or solo project song, if you want. The list you send in can include singles, album tracks, covers, demos, whatever. It doesn’t matter as long as you think the songs show off Duran Duran the best. When you are done with your “homework,” you can send it in to our email (, or through a private message on our Facebook or Twitter. I thank all of you who have already sent in your lists!

Unofficial Meet-up

As I wrap up this little blog post, I turn my attention back to the shows in Vegas. While Rhonda and I haven’t been able to plan an official meet-up in Vegas, we do plan on being around. We get in Thursday afternoon (hopefully!) so by Thursday night, we will be hitting the town. Do watch our social media then about our locations as we would love to have everyone come and hang out with us or at least come by and say hi!

On that note, I’m off to check the most recent weather forecast. Wish me luck and send me warmth. Something tells me that I’m going to need it!


Late Bar: The Daily Duranie Holiday Office Party!

Has everyone gotten their travel arrangements together for Las Vegas? If you happen to be arriving the day before the big show at The Cosmopolitan, we might have just the right answer for your evening!

Our friend Jason works at the Hard Rock Cafe in Vegas, and was willing to put together a fabulous meet-up for us. On December 29th at Hard Rock Live at the Hard Rock Cafe on Vegas Strip (across from Monte Carlo) , we are going to party the night away in style, complete with a soundtrack provided by Duran Duran and other New Wave along with Happy hour drink specials. It is going to be a late start – at 9:30 pm – that way those who are arriving closer to evening time have a chance to settle in before they get out and enjoy our own special edition of Late Bar.  Hard Rock Live also has a comedy show happening at 8pm that night, and admission is FREE to  Daily Duranie followers who want to attend. Just RSVP to us at and we will get you on the guest list!

We have an event page set up on Facebook, and in the details I have the end time as 12:30am – truth be told that Facebook insists on an end time, so that seemed like a good one. Otherwise, this could be an all-nighter with Amanda and I reaching up for the sunrise before we call it done!

We have given this the tagline of our holiday office party because it is unusual that Amanda and I are actually in the same state, much less are able to celebrate the holidays together!  I can assure you – we will be making up for lost time that night. Come hang out with us, be social, make new friends, and create plenty of memories to bring in 2018!

Hope to see as many of you as possible that night – it will be a great warm up for the following evening!



Duran Duran in Vegas: Show Commentary!

It is time for another v-log from yours truly and my partner-in-crime about yesterday’s Duran Duran show in Las Vegas.  We figured that it would go faster to do a video blog on than a written one.  It may even be more entertaining!

This v-log ended up being two videos due to unforeseen technical difficulties or really because Rhonda’s computer went into sleep mode.  During these two little (don’t know why I said little…they are lengthy), we discuss Dom Brown’s stage presence, John Taylor’s fashion choices (go figure!), the good and bad with the Mandalay Bay  Events Center as a venue, the awesomeness of our meet-up, why Duran Duran should never be done and more!

You might note that these two videos were completed last night or early this morning depending on how you look at it.  We apologize for the sucky quality.  On that note, we are off to back to California to hit the Irvine show!  It’s a show day!  (That said, I really wish I had a few more hours of sleep!)


The Gathering of the Fans: Pre-show Meet Ups

One of the things I like best about being part of a fandom is the people.  Of course, not everyone in a fan community is cool.  Certainly, not everyone is happy or excited to see us.  For the most part, though, other fans are the best!  This past week gave us an opportunity to see and meet lots of great people, both at shows and at our meet ups.  Duran events bring people together from all over the world.

Look at us.  We don’t live anywhere near each other yet…here we are.  A funny moment happened both times when we crossed the border to and from Canada.  The border officer would ask how we know each other since one of us lives in Wisconsin and the other in California.  We would explain how we travel to go see Duran Duran.  Then, we would be allowed in without question.  Apparently, that is too weird to make up!

As you all know, we had 3 meet ups on this first leg (both Chicago shows and Toronto).  Each of them had their challenges but we felt all were successful.  The challenge in Chicago was obvious.  We held the meet ups there on the Ravinia grounds.  We had to claim some space on the lawn where others were trying to set up dinners, picnics, chairs, etc. for the duration of the evening, which meant being smushed at best.  Then, somehow, we had to try and explain to people exactly where we were, which wasn’t easy.  We tried to have posters to advertise our location but…we had to hold them one night and had a table the next night, which weren’t ideal.

Rhonda is ready to host
Rhonda is ready to host

On top of that, the venue is pretty tough to get to as it is located inside of neighborhood, making travel in and out challenging.  Despite any and all difficulties, we had great turn-outs!  I loved that we had lots of people from other events that we have hosted as well as new people!

1st night in Chicago
1st night in Chicago

2nd group meet-up in Chicago
2nd group meet-up in Chicago

For Toronto’s meet up, we met at the local Hard Rock Cafe.  Traffic again was a serious issue.  It was hard to get to the restaurant and super hard to get to the venue afterwards.  That said, we had quite an international crowd for that meet up.  A few of us were from the States, one person from Canada, one person from Germany and a couple from the UK.  We had actually met the woman from Germany before.  Where?  In Birmingham!  We sat next to each other at the Birmingham show in December of 2011.  For Duranies, the world is a small place!

Toronto meet up
Toronto meet up

Seeing Duranies meet, get to know each other, and become friends is one of the absolute best things about organizing fan events.  It is the biggest reason why we do them as we know that fans who are happy with other fans stay in the fandom.  They become lifelong fans who don’t and can’t walk away.  Seeing people go to shows together now who met at a meet up or a convention is such a gift.  We feel lucky to be part of their friendship.  Most of the time that is all we need to keep going.

Yet, this time, we had people do more to acknowledge us.  One of our friends told us how we helped to bring people into her life that she is so thankful for, which caused both of us to tear us a little.  Then, one of our new friends in Toronto brought us gifts to thank us for what we do here!  The idea of someone giving us anything blew me away but the gift itself really touched me.  On top of the heartfelt card, we got exactly what we needed after the tour to pamper ourselves as well as what was needed at that moment!  Vodka tonics!

Vodka tonic in a can!
Vodka tonic in a can!

These meet ups and the people who attended will keep me going for sure.  They show me that what we do matters.

We have one more meet up planned for this summer tour, which is in Vegas.  There is still plenty of time to RSVP if you want to join us; details can be found here.  Hope to see many of you there!


Sympathy Eye Liner: Chicago Show Review #1

Wow.  It is hard to know where to start with today’s blog as I have much to say!  Last night marked the second Duran Duran show of this leg of the Paper Gods tour and the first show for us.  What an incredibly fun night!

Pre-show Meet-up:

Our night started fairly early as we had planned a meet up there at Ravinia before the show started.  Since we had not been to Ravinia before, we didn’t know much about where to meet, how to tell people where to find us, etc.  Even though, we arrived shortly after gates opened, the lawn was mobbed with people ready to spend the late afternoon/evening there, enjoying food, drink and the company of family and friends.  Luckily, we were able to pick a spot right behind some concession stands near the walk way separating the pavilion from the lawn.  People were able to find us and much conversation and laughter ensued.  Our raffle went well and many were able to pick up a new Daily Duranie wristband or two!  Based on the success of yesterday’s meet up, we look forward to tonight’s!

Our meet up!
Our meet up!

Nick’s Absence:

By 6:30, our group separated as we were all more than ready for the show!  Of course, we wondered how the show was going to go since Nick was absent but had nothing but we had confidence in both the band and MNDR.  We were not wrong.  I’m not going to lie.  It was weird to look up and not see Nick Rhodes standing behind the keyboards.  There were times during the show that his presence was especially felt, such as during the Reflex when Nick normally answers the question of “why don’t you use it” or at the end of Notorious.  It goes without saying that we continue to keep him and his family in our thoughts and hopes that he is able to return soon.  That said, MNDR had good energy and seemed to have fun, which I appreciated.  I liked how John went up to the keyboard riser a couple of times to check in with her.  I’m sure that she appreciated his support and the support from the fans.

Song Highlights:

Overall, it was a good show!  As with any Duran show, there are moments during the set that stand out.  Interestingly enough, I felt like the real stand out song last night was Last Night in the City.  Good energy throughout the entire song.  The other song that worked really well last night was Notorious.  The band was all front and center and seemed to be having serious fun, which I adore!  Plus, who doesn’t love the addition of Nile Rodgers!  I managed to capture a moment with the photo below.

Having fun during Notorious!
Having fun during Notorious!

Beyond those song highlights, there were good JoSi moments and fabulous DoJo, which I appreciated immensely.  I have to also say that the band did a really good job moving across the entire stage.  While I’m always really happy to have John play right in front of where I am, I recognize that he has to play to everyone and I thought John, Simon and Dom did a nice job moving to every area of the stage.  They also did a good job trying to get the crowd to join in with the usual singing, clapping, shining cell phone lights during Save a Prayer (which was dedicated to Nick Rhodes, by the way).  That said, they had their work cut out for them as the crowd was tough.

The Crowd:

I truly believe that the crowd makes a big difference in how any show will go.  If the audience has a lot of energy, that energy is fed to the band who then feeds it back to the crowd.  If the crowd isn’t into it, the band has to work that much harder.  I truly do feel like that was the case yesterday.  While I saw many fans totally into the show, dancing and singing to every note and every word, I saw empty seats, even up front.  I saw many people come and go like watching the band was just an afterthought.  Many people just sat down.  I think the cause of this is simple.  Ravinia is one of those venues who have subscribers, people who buy tickets for the season and then pick and choose which shows to go to.  Thus, not everyone in the audience is a serious Duran Duran fan.  Many people could be casual fans who just know a few of the band’s hits.  For those people, they sat when they got tired or didn’t know the new tracks.  This type of set up means that the band really had their work cut out for them and they performed well despite the extra challenge.

Nile Rodgers is my new hero:

After Nile and Chic performed a solid set, Nile took time to shake hands with fans before exiting the stage.  I used that moment to slide on up to the very front.  He reached his hand down to me to shake it. Instead of shaking his hand, I asked him to take one of our brand new Daily Duranie wristbands.  He took the wristband and immediately placed it on his arm causing me to have a super big smile on my face.

After Nile took the wristband
After Nile took the wristband

While I found that moment to be pretty awesome (as I did when John and Dom got and wore their wristbands!), the even better moment was when Nile came back on stage to join the band for Notorious and Pressure Off.  As soon as he came on, I saw that he was still wearing the wristband.  I appreciated that he took the wristband but wearing meant more.

Nile wearing the wristband
Nile wearing the wristband

Other random thoughts:

I must comment on a few other things that caught my attention, in some way.  First, I must comment on Simon’s look last night.  As you all know, Simon isn’t my “favorite” band member but he was looking good.  Not only is the hair looking good, he was sporting an earring and eyeliner!  My friend, Julie, joked that he was wearing eyeliner out of sympathy for Nick.  It’s an idea that stuck with me.  Hence, the name of the blog post!

Second, I missed a couple of elements from the fall shows.  I missed the confetti during Pressure Off and, believe it or not, I missed Danceophobia.  I had been looking forward to watching John dance during that song and had to make do with his little punches during Girls on Film.

The band also had an addition at the end of the show with having giant beach balls during Rio.  While it was fun to see people in the audience hit them or seeing a band member or two hit/kick them back out into crowd, I found them distracting.  I was watching the balls more than I was focused on the song.  Rio deserves my undivided attention.

Overall, the band did well and I had a ton of fun at our meet up, during the show, and hanging with some friends after the show.  It was a really fun night, which reminded me of why I love touring and going to Duran show SO much.  Now, I can’t wait for tonight!!!


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!


You Coming Round Now?

So, I’m not going to lie.  It has been a couple of days since the presales for Duran Duran’s 2016 North America tour and I’m still reeling.  As you know from Rhonda’s blogs earlier this week, things did not go as planned for many of us.  We hoped for Toronto tickets, for example, and came up empty.  I am not one to give up so I’ll keep checking for decent tickets.  We also know that we have more to look forward to, in terms of presales once we have the Chicago information.  I openly admit that this presale was the least fun for me and I have done many.  I didn’t like not feeling like I didn’t know what I was doing or that I was doing something wrong.  It felt icky.  Negative.  I don’t want to go into 2016 with less than positive thoughts surrounding this tour…so let’s look at the bright side!

First, Duran Duran gave me a tour during the summer!!!!  Yes, they have toured in the summer before but this is the best yet.  In 2012, they did dates in August.  That worked well for me, for the most part, but I started the school year behind.  I don’t like that.  Even though, my students don’t arrive until September 1st, I’m usually back at it, getting ready and organized by mid-August so dates around then are tough for me.  This time, they are coming to the States in July.  I’m open the entire month.  I could literally go to every show (in terms of work, anyway!  Money is a different deal!  Ugh.)  I could pick and choose the shows not based on when I could squeeze the most in but based on what makes the most sense and based on where I WANT to go.  At first, this freedom was almost overwhelming.  I’m really grateful that I won’t have to worry about squeezing in shows and being super exhausted when I return to work.  No, this time, I get to go and just enjoy!!

Speaking of enjoyment, another aspect of this tour that I’m going to just love is the fact that Rhonda and I won’t have to run from show to show.  We will get to sit back and enjoy a city for a day or two before moving on.  It already feels less stressful!!  In October, we would go to show, then immediately start driving to the next one.  It was super exhausting and we couldn’t have as much fun as we would have liked.  No, this time, we get to go to a show, stay overnight in that city, have fun and travel the next day or the day after that.  It is perfect!  We will have FAR more energy and will be able to enjoy ourselves so much more!  The west coast dates that we are hoping to do aren’t as spread out as the Midwest dates we hope to do but they are still WAY better than what we had in October.  No, I have no complaints that way at all.  I will praise how spread out the dates are, for sure!!

Another aspect of this upcoming tour that I’m especially excited about is that Rhonda and I will get to spend a LOT of time together, in the same place, during July.  During most years, we are able to get together about 2-4 times a year for long weekends, on average.  Sometimes, we are together for up to a week and other times, we are together for just a couple of days.  This time, though, we will be together for what will probably add up to almost 2 weeks during that month.  As we reminded each other, the best part of touring is being together!  We will get to see new places and stop at some of our favorite on the road locations!  Our touring traditions will be followed, not once but twice during the month!  Frankly, the world should probably be afraid as we have come up with some crazy ideas on tour like writing a book about fandom or doing a fan convention!! Who knows what we will come up with this time around!!?!?!

One thing that I know that many people are wondering about is meet ups!  Will we have any?  Where will they be?  Ideally, we would LOVE to hold meet ups before every single show.  Obviously, we can’t be at every single show.  (Someone got a winning lottery ticket that you wanna give us?!)  That said, I would love to do one for every single show that we are attending.  Unfortunately, I don’t know that we can.  When we set up meet ups, we always want to do them the right way and we have some great features that we were hoping to include this time around, but many of those ideas will cost us money. Therefore, I suspect that we might be able to do afford just one or two meet ups this time around, if we want to do them well.  I’m bummed about it because we know that we enjoy them.  We like meeting other people going to the show.  It is always a good time to hear people’s fan stories and to get people even MORE excited for a show.  This excitement always seems to make a more energetic and fun show for the people who go to the shows, which feeds the band when they are on stage.  It is a win win!  At least, this is the goal of the meet ups!  I’m sad that it seems like we won’t be able to do as many this time around, but I promise the one(s) we are able to do, we will plan something extra special!!!  As far as when and where they will be, just watch this space!

I guess that is really the point of this blog post.  It is to remind MYSELF to not focus on the less-than-desireable presales or the limits to doing more meet ups but appreciating that we get any tour at all and that we there are so many aspects of this tour that will work so well.  I have to and want to focus on that.  We will make this tour the best it can be!!!


The Future Is Still Tomorrow

The future is, indeed, still tomorrow.  Yet, that doesn’t stop me and my partner-in-crime from thinking about the future and to dream big.  After all, dreams are free or so we have heard.  😉  Yesterday, I encouraged every Duran fan out there to embrace the current status of Duran Duran, musically, and activity wise.  This present album cycle is far from done.  In fact, just this past week, Simon discussed Duran Duran’s return to the US in the summer for more tour dates as part of the latest Katy Kafe (highlights discussed here).  This prompted Rhonda and I to think about one significant aspect of touring for us and that is the meet up!  If you have been reading for awhile, you know that we often like to set up meet ups before shows we attend when we can.  We like bringing fans together to meet, mingle, laugh, squee and share in the excitement.  Fandom is all about friendships and this is where friendships can truly begin.  Plus, the increase in excitement is sent back to the band during the show, often creating a better show for all!  It is a win-win.

As much as we have loved the meet ups in the past, we think we can improve upon them, make them better, make them for fun.  So, if dreams are free, then here is our dream, our vision of what the meet ups could be like!  In some cases, we have been able to do some of these things for one or two meet ups or for the convention, but not for all.  That’s what we want.

Pre-show Meet Up Features

Some of the elements we would love to be able to provide at every single meet up we plan, include:

  • Music and/or Videos of Duran Duran.  Of course, right?  That is a given.  The venue we host at must be willing and/or able to play/show Duran stuff.
  • Duran themed drink specials!  We were able to do some drink specials at the meet up in Durham in 2012.  Some of which people are still asking about.  Anyone remember the specific ingredients for the Stolen Leopard drink?  We were also able to do it for the convention.  While Rhonda and I love our vodka tonics, we are good with trying new drinks, especially if Duran inspired!
  • Icebreakers of some sort.  I hate the word “icebreaker” but we want to make sure that people are able to get to meet each other and get to know each other in a fun, low stress sort of way.  I, generally, hate these kinds of things so if I would think it is fun, maybe, you all will, too!
  • Photos!  We want to encourage lots and lots of photo taking!  People should be excited to meet each other and many might want photos to look back on after the facts.  Group pictures are a must!  Rhonda and I generally suck at the selfie but we have got  to work on this, especially for those group shots
  • For the Hollywood Bowl show, we planned the meet up for before the VIP reception.  We would definitely still do that so that everyone could attend.  Of course, if someone wanted us just do the VIP party at our meet up location or vice versa, I’m sure we could find a way!  We are creative!
  • Another fun idea we had is for raffles at the meet ups.  Wouldn’t it be cool to win some cool Duran merchandise or to win some Duran related experience of some sort, for example?  It would also be good to get a little gift for attending, too, right?  Now, if Rhonda and I would just figure out a way to buy these items…maybe we need to start playing the lottery?!

Surrounding Activities

Of course, in an ideal world and that is what I’m talking about here, there would be other activities that we would be able to coordinate for more than just one or two shows per tour.  What are some of those other activities?

  • Hotel Room Blocks!  Whenever I have stayed at a hotel with a lot of other Duranies, it is super fun!  It is easy to meet up with people and the partying can go on until the early morning hours in someone’s room.  Plus, with enough people, perhaps, group rates could apply!
  • Party Buses!  We have reserved some party buses in Atlanta in 2012 and for the convention in 2013.  In both cases, they were super fun and made getting to and from a venue so much easier!  Besides, who doesn’t like being in a large vehicle with someone driving YOU and others like you?!  The party then travels with you!!
  • Now, I know that some out there have mentioned renting a big RV to travel in between shows in (Yes, Heather–I’m looking at YOU!).  Rhonda and I are not opposed to that in our ideal meet up scenario.  Those, unlike dreams, aren’t free. Likewise, drivers aren’t either!  Back to the lottery winnings…While we wait for the big lottery win, we will suggest that road trips between shows definitely require a caravan.  A caravan of Duranies.  Of course, we should warn the various cities and highways that we would all be using at the same time!  It wouldn’t be because we would block traffic.  Oh no, it would be because loud music and *squeeing* will be heard!  I can see and hear the warning now, “*Alert!  Duranies are coming!!*”

Dreams vs. Reality

If we were to continue in our ideal vision for meet ups, I might mention our desire for seats on the Duran Duran plane or being sponsored by a favorite brand of vodka.  I might also suggest getting some advanced notice so that Rhonda and I could start organizing.  Heck, we would even take a rough outline like having the months and cities in order to have starting points!!  If the band is thinking about 2016, I might point out that the best times for us would be either March 19th to March 28th or between June 11th  and August 21st.  In all seriousness, we would love to do a lot/most/all of this for our fan community.  We want to get people excited to meet each other and get excited for the show!  We figure the better the experiences we all have, the more likely it is that we will do more shows, right?  I know that it is the case for me!  More fun equals more shows.  It is a simple equation!


The Things We Do To Be Together

I have been thinking a lot about creation lately.  No, I’m not talking about creation vs. evolution but about how people go about creating something.  Obviously, I have thought about the band creating the album or my mom creating a new fiber art piece.  I have even been thinking about how Rhonda and I created this…whatever…you want to call it.  (Blog seems too simple, doesn’t it?!)  In the midst of my thinking, I discovered that sometimes, most of the times, the artist doesn’t really know what is going to be created before it has been worked on for quite some time.  I admit that I feel that way about this…company, partnership, blog, whatever.  When we started, our focus was simply to help us write our book on fandom.  It was an attempt to not only observe fandom in action but to also write about it, to put ideas/reactions/thoughts into words in an informal setting.  Initially, that seemed like a good goal.  Very quickly, though, we realized that we were doing a lot more than observing and reacting.  We were taking part, creating action.

What action were we creating or focusing upon?  I didn’t know for a long time.  Both Rhonda and myself could see that there were problems or areas of our fandom that could be improved.  We felt very strongly that we weren’t going to just complain but to offer solutions.  One area that we thought could use some improvement was the lack of community feeling–many fans were completely isolated.  Others had just a friend or two or, maybe, a small group.  Yet, there wasn’t enough intermingling.  There wasn’t a strong community spirit.  At times, a Duranie community feeling would pop up, but not enough to be sustained.  Why does that matter?  Simple.  The more community feeling, the better the experiences for fans.  Fans are far happier when they are hanging with other fans.  This translates to staying in the fandom longer and even bringing in new people.  Therefore, Rhonda and I brainstormed and continue to brainstorm means of creating greater community feeling.  We have attempted to reach this in a variety of ways, including blog posts, through social media and through in person activities.  In addition to planning and holding a fan convention, we also have held numerous meet ups, mostly around tours!

Our planned meet ups have happened in a lot of different places from London, England, to Hollywood, California, and everywhere in between, including Chicago, Durham, Atlanta and more.  We have found that at each and every meet up, the fans who show up have a great time meeting other fans or seeing other fans whom they haven’t seen in a long time.  Usually, lots of stories are shared as well as conversation, such as what songs people hope that the band plays at the show.  There is almost always discussion about where people are sitting in the hopes of sitting near new friends and connections!  In almost every case I can think of, these meet ups do more than just facilitate new connections and friendships but they get people super excited for the show, which translates to more energy at the show, which the band can feed off of.  It is a win-win!

Over these last 5 years, we have begun to notice a bit of a pattern.  We have had more and more requests for meet ups.  What do I mean by that?  I’ll explain with a few examples.  For this last tour, people contacted us and asked if we were having meet ups in _________________ (insert various city here).  Even after this mini-tour, we have been asked questions like, “When Duran tours in ________________ (insert another city) in 2016, will you be holding a meet up then?  I really want to go to one of your meet ups!”  Obviously, we are flattered by these requests.  More importantly, to us, though, is the confirmation that people actually enjoy and look forward to them!  When we probe these requests further, people always tell us that they really want to meet other Duranies.  This tells us that community matters.  It matters to Duranies and it is something that we all want.  We are happy if our meet ups give this to other fans.  We certainly have benefitted ourselves by meeting LOTS of great fans this way!

What does this mean for the future?  Simple.  It means that we will do as many meet ups as we can.  Obviously, they take time and effort to set up, to let people know, etc., but we definitely see that people enjoy them and that they get something from attending.  Once we know tour dates (assuming that there will be more), we will try to get meet ups scheduled for the show(s) we are able to do.  So, watch this space!