I'm just going to forewarn you that this post is going to be long and personal. I've got a lot on my mind. I intend to post it even if no one reads it.
I've had some time to reflect on things in my life lately, and I've realized something about the last couple of years. I started out djing and doing events to further my music community and create a place for my friends to hang out. I wanted to build a place that our local goth community could go, listen to tunes, and enjoy some time with friends and what not.
Reality then set in when the I started learning about the financial end of running events. I found out that nearly every organizer I knew was losing money on their events. Some burned out and gave up. A very few really succeeded enough to make it work financially.
Some may not understand that "making it work financially" thing. You see, when I start talking about funding events people say "oh well, you can't do it for the money" with some sort of delusion that the music movement is a charitable cause. If you really believe that it is try talking to your favorite bands about flying themselves out and playing a free show. Try talking to the venue about cutting you a break on rental costs. Try talking to people who own and run sound for club nights about doing something for free, or at a discounted rate.
You quickly find out that it takes money to run ANYTHING entertainment wise unless you're throwing a house party, and even then you have to pay for materials and sound if you want to use something other than a home stereo system.
It really pissed a lot of people off when I ended the old Dartroom's tradition of letting regulars in for free. Some of the old crowd complained a LOT about having to pay to get in. None of them really considered that the 5 or 10 dollars they're paying at the door is a drop in the bucket compared to the thousands myself and a few others are shelling out to keep the events going. It's an insult to us to want to attend without paying to get in or working on the event in some aspect. I personallly don't appreciate it after the years of hard work I've put in and the massive amounts of my own cash I've thrown away to keep things going.
Then there was the onset of local drama. Djs get angry when they aren't booked regularly. Exs get angry (as do their friends) when they're suddenly booted from an event whether there's a just cause for it or not, and the next thing you know you're labled a bastard and a tyrant for banning one person who threatened to kill you and another who mysteriously started appearing at multiple events you attend or work in multiple states even after being warned to quit following you around. Nevermind the court battle that ensued later.
It's almost impossible to balance the expectations of every person in a crowd. Someone always gets mad about something. The best a person can do as an event oranizer is to simply clean up the mess the best you can, and keep on trying to throw good shows.
Last year was much like a war in my mind. I was fighting to keep the events on track. I was fighting with a small group of my exs friends to keep their rumor milling and their attempts to destroy my reputation at bay. I was fighting to keep myself legally cleared of allegations people had leveled against me, and I was fighting off a stalker.
The important thing wasn't really the fight. The important thing is that I lost track of my friends. When you feel surrounded by people who want to destroy or hurt you it's easy to forget who your friends are. After a while it feels like everyone is out to get you. You tend to come off as paranoid or angry all the time because every time you turn around some "old friend" is turning on you, dragging you into court, accusing you of something because they no longer like you, or helping the people who want to hurt you, your family, and/or your business do just that.
I learned a lot of things over the last two years. The first hard and fast lesson I learned is that trial by fire is the only real way to know who your friends are. Anyone can call themselves a friend. When the fire comes and people run those left are the people you know you can count on when the bad guys come looking for you.
I learned that you can't run events like a social club. Eventually you bleed out of money and you find yourself alone burried in debts.
I also learned the value of taking some time out from work, events, and the hubbub the social fast lane to remind your friends that you give a damn about them by spending some time with them. You just can't invest TOO MUCH in people who Love you. It's just not possible, and when you're in the worst possible situations those are the people who pull you from the lake.
I haven't the ability to list every single person who has helped me out of serious trouble this last year. You know who you are, and you know I love you. All of you. So today I'm making a bit of a committment to spend more time appreciating my friends and less time concerned with dealing with people who not.
Partaking in WAAAAAAAAAAY too much cafination.