By Brian Turk
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Jeremy Gregory had some innovative ideas for this weekend's endOtrend Festival — such as silk-screening T-shirts for admission rather than issuing hard tickets. Unfortunately, it's going to take a little while longer for some of those ideas to take flight. Just a week before the event — billed as the country's first fully altruistic and sustainable music, art and film fest — Gregory and his Bands for Lands associates had to switch venues due to some last-minute stipulations added on by officials at Auraria Campus, where endOtrend was originally slated to take place. A subsequent move to 3 Kings Tavern and the Oriental Theater has resulted in Gregory and company having to scale back the proceedings fairly significantly. We caught up with Gregory to find out what we can expect from this inaugural edition of endOtrend.
Westword: You encountered a pretty substantial setback in terms of the setting, with the event moving from Auraria Campus as scheduled to 3 Kings Tavern and the Oriental Theater. What happened? Are you at liberty to discuss?
Right now, all I can say is that due to circumstances beyond our control, we felt, as an organization, it made the most sense to pull off campus. It was very important to us to not cancel on the other non-profits involved and the bands that have supported Bands For Lands and endOtrend. Without the talent, we don't exist. Luckily, Jim Norris, co-owner of 3 Kings and the Oriental, who also serves on the BFL board, donated the rooms so the show could go on, and we can still hopefully make something of this! Additionally, Bryan DeHaven, a good friend and strong supporter of BFL offered up his store, TS Board Shop, that day, so we can set up the truck stage and have bands perform there as well.
How will a venue change affect the original vision of creating a near-zero energy, near-zero waste, sustainable festival?
It will adversely affect it, unfortunately! For example, we cannot honestly say we are near-zero waste now, save for the recycling. However, we are doing a carbon-offset program, with Groundwork Denver that ties in also to the volunteerism aspect. What's great about this is that it achieves our eco social-justice initiative simultaneously, in that our volunteers will be going into low-income neighborhoods and replacing conventional light bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs. This saves them precious money while cutting carbon footprints.
What's your vision in terms of growing the festival?
We definitely want to make this an annual thing. And we see this year, through its trials and errors, as a blessing in disguise. It was an opportunity, if anything, to build the blueprint to do next year the way we wanted to do it this year. I had a huge vision and jumped into this so late. We were undermanned with Doug [Bohm] and I doing the majority of duties...the three of us were putting on a grand-sized event that would take — I would say — at least thirty people to do, and we finally started taking action around March, when we should have been taking action in November!
For more of our interview with Jeremy Gregory, visit blogs.westword.com/