Day one of the Ypsi Jamboree goes off without a hitch

I wasn’t able to stay too long, but, from what I could tell, the first night of the Jamboree was a huge success.

I’m not a very good judge of numbers, but I’d say there were about ten thousand people.

And, I guess it was just fate that, as I was walking into the park, Jake, from Black Jake and the Carnies, was encouraging people to scream, “Ypsitucky…. Rustbelt Revival.”

This is the October Babies:

A sampling of the inevitable Ypsitucky merch:


Tomorrow (Saturday), I imagine, crowds will be even bigger, as people head outside to enjoy one of the last nice days of the year, escape the football mess in Ann Arbor, and, in some cases, celebrate their first day of independence from their parents. It should be a lot of fun.

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  1. Posted September 5, 2009 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    And I know I have this first video labeled incorrectly. I’ll fix it later… The Black Jake and the Carnies video is still downloading to YouTube.

  2. Posted September 5, 2009 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    I made it out from the end of Tokyo Sexwhale all the way to the Ragbirds and all I can say is that the whole thing just made me very happy– Or rather, as Jamie Register put it, I was “…like a fat rat in a cheese factory, with noooooo cats around!”

    Seriously, I was smiling and happy for about 5 hours straight. My face hurts.

  3. Posted September 5, 2009 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    It was our distinct pleasure to play the Jamboree. I thought the organizers did a great job, and I believe it will get bigger and better in coming years. Thanks to all the volunteers, to everybody that helped us sing the Ypsitucky song, and especially to our ferocious mosh pit.

  4. Posted September 5, 2009 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    OK, I think I’ve got all the videos straight now…

    I haven’t watched it yet, but there’s also some video up at

  5. Posted September 6, 2009 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    i didn’t make it out friday night- but Saturday was a ball! It seemed pretty sparse though, which made me sad, but everyone I saw was very engaged and I think it has amazing potential!

    gotta start somewhere,right?!

  6. dan
    Posted September 6, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I’m curious how the organizers view how well it went.

    Did ticket sales cover expenses?

    Will there be another one next year?

  7. Posted September 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    I may have been exaggerating a bit when I said 10,000 in my post, but there were at least several hundred, and I was hopeful that more would come on Saturday.

    When I was there on Friday night, I talked with both Erik Dotzauer and Don Sicheneder, the main organizers of the event, and they seemed optimistic about meeting their break-even, which, given that this was the first year for the event, was all they were really hoping to do. And they both were of the opinion that this is definitely something that they would like to do again next summer. And, at least one time, the guy on stage doing the MC work on Friday – I think he was from a local radio station – said he thought we should do it again next year. And, Andy French, who was manning the beer tent, also seemed enthusiastic about the prospect of doing it again. So, yes, I think that it’s likely we’ll see another one.

  8. Posted September 6, 2009 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    I sold prints at the Jamboree this weekend and had an amazing time. The vibe was really friendly, organizers and volunteers were super nice, and from where I was sitting, the whole thing went off without a hitch– I felt like I was a part of a really sweet weekend community, and the fact that it happened right in the heart of Ypsi made it all the more special. I would do it again in a heartbeat, even if I didn’t sell a thing (though I did manage some pretty brisk sales– about the same number on Friday and Saturday)

    My only recommendation would be to maybe include an on-site camping option in the future– I think that making the event more of an ‘experience’ with camping might have helped boost revenue. Riverside seems like it might actually be set up for camping, since there’s electrical all over, but I’m not really sure if that’s possible or not within city limits.

    I heard from another vendor sometime Saturday afternoon that they had reached the break-even point, though I don’t know how reliable that information might be. The crowds did seem a bit light, especially earlier in the day, but picked up in the evening. I caught the second half of That 1 Guy on Saturday night, and the crowd was pretty big and really into it.

    Either way, I’m really bummed this show is over, and am hoping that it runs again next summer and only continues to grow. The food was hands-down the best available at any show I’ve done this summer– apples and homemade soft pretzels from the Co-op and Gyros from Chow Catering were much better (and more reasonably priced) than the usual kettle corn and corn dog fare. The recycling options were incredible and the restroom facilities included hand-washing stations. A lot of people were really impressed by the Kids Tent, too. Everyone that I spoke with at my booth had an absolute blast and zero complaints!

  9. Brackinald Achery
    Posted September 6, 2009 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    I thought it was a great event. Since everybody’s putting their unsolicited critiques in for next year’s Jamboree, I’d like to:

    1) third the camping idea
    2) have other activities/entertainments at the other end of the park for those who are tired of watching the bands… like individual street performers, magic shows, knife/ax throwing contests, other contests, etc.
    3) call it the Ypsitucky Rustbelt Revival.
    4) have it on Saturday and Sunday, as opposed to Friday and Saturday, of labor day weekend. Or don’t have it on labor day weekend.

    I only offer these unsolicited and fully ignorable suggestions in a spirit of full approval of the Jamboree.

  10. No Joke
    Posted September 6, 2009 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    According to the new city ordinance

    the above footage Mark posted is illegal and subject to fine.

    No joke. No kidding.

    These are your elected idiots.

    You thought no “ypsitucky” was a violation of free speech.

    No video without a permit.

    It has come to this.

    And no one is blinking.

    Please wake up Ypsi.

  11. Marshall
    Posted September 7, 2009 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    10,000 people? Yeah, you certainly lost all credibility on that one. I was there all day, both days and Friday probably drew between 700-900 visitors, if that! Saturday was a tad better by late evening but no where near 10,000.

  12. elviscostello
    Posted September 7, 2009 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I volunteered both days and saw some great acts. Really enjoyed Laith al-Saadi and Tokyo Sexwhale (the surf rock after Laith’s blues was inspired booking). The set by Dick Siegel, May Erlewine and Seth Bernard on Saturday was incredible. Organization of the event was top-notch, as Andy and the other guys were always stopping to see if we needed anything. Great job guys!

  13. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted September 7, 2009 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Mark, for your great review, and thank you to all who attended the Jamboree. And thanks especially to all of my Volunteers. I couldn’t have done it without you. Everyone who came out and gave their time was simply amazing. Besides all of the friends I made while putting the Jamboree together, who are some of the smartest and most together people I have ever met, I want to shout out to Scott, Hannah, and Meghan, who all pretty much lived at the festival with me throughout the weekend and made my life a little easier. Meghan especially kind of turned into the second volunteer coordinator and helped take some of the load off of me. That’s not to detract from anyone else that was there, because you were all wonderful. I can’t say it enough.
    Someone asked how the organizers felt about the festival. I can’t speak for the DTCDC, and I don’t have any firm information on the numbers. But from an operational point of view, it couldn’t have been better. Our volunteers were reliable and helpful. The bands flowed in and out of the back stage area smoothly. There was no more than five minutes between bands. No hassles, no injuries, no major failures. We put on a festival and proved the viability of it. The possibilities for next year are endless.
    Have you ever been to a concert where you see 25 bands over two days, can sit in one spot with a lawn chair, and never wait more than 5 minutes between acts? It just doesn’t happen that way anywhere, and we did it all with volunteers! And the food! You paid what you might expect at any other concert venue, or less, but then they handed you gourmet food, not just the usual microwave crap! Oh yea, and we had Michigan beer, Faygo pop, Better Maid, Chips, and Kogel hot dogs, all provided by a Michigan Caterer. Along with our local artists in the vendor area and local bands on stage, Chow Catering showed how good things get if you keep it in Michigan. And the whole thing cost $35 a person if you went both days. How much did you pay the last time you went to DTE Music Theater for two hours for two bands? Or the Palace, or any other concert in the last year?

    Andy French and I had a conversation on Saturday night. He told me the majority of ID’s he checked in the beer tent had Ann Arbor addresses. That means we did the most important thing that we could. We showed people from outside of Ypsi what a great town we are, and the great things we are capable of. They saw a clean and safe city, with a great park that rivals any in A2, full of people that are willing to give their all and do incredible things just because it’s the right thing to do. And I saw nothing but happy people and smiling faces. People that will come back to Ypsi because they have seen some of the great things we have to offer. So to all the people who thought we were out to give Ypsilanti a bad name take notice: we showed nothing but positive and truly impressed a lot of people. Think of how many more people would have been here to see such a positive view of our city if you had just let us put on our show with no hassles to begin with. Brands are important, and ours was a good one. Just listen to Black Jake. He knows.

  14. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted September 7, 2009 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    I also want to thanks Ernie and Shane, the heads of operations. They were the guys in yellow shirts taking care of the nuts and bolts part of the show, and security. I think they did a top notch job, and kept everyone safe without being over bearing, and that’s how you keep it fun. They made us look good.
    If you haven’t met Ernie, he is a truly fantastic man, and now one of my personal heroes. He’s at least a couple decades older than me, and he left me in the dust all weekend. Up before me every morning, and refusing to quit every night until he was sure his job was done. Ernie was the caretaker of Riverside and Frog Island parks under the DTCDC, and he loves our parks in a way that I don’t think anyone else in the city is capable of. In a sense they are his parks, and he knows them better than anyone. Those parks are not just another bunch of grass to be mowed and trees to be trimmed to Ernie, they are his passion, and he misses them.
    I think that it was proved this weekend that the DTCDC truly has only the best of intentions for our parks and our city. I would like to see steps taken now, as soon as possible, to restore the contract for the parks to the DTCDC. Our city certainly can use the money better somewhere else. And I really want nothing more than to see Ernie get his park back.

  15. JC Miller
    Posted September 7, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    In case you’re worried and didn’t actually click on No Joke’s link:

    “Excluding film production for news gathering, private family use and for school projects… ”

    I’ll be looking to see how this ordinance is enforced regarding independent film projects, but as far as the above footage is concerned, I think we can call it news gathering.

  16. Posted September 7, 2009 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, I thought that it was obvious that I was exaggerating with the 10,000 number. Maybe I should have said 100,000. Sorry if anyone believed me.

  17. Brackinald Achery
    Posted September 7, 2009 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    It was pretty obvious that you were being ironic, I thought, Mark.

    As to the new city ordinance on filming in the city, later in the article it says,

    ‘City Councilmember Brian Robb, D-Ward 3, asked Assistant City Attorney Karl Barr several questions on different scenarios that would or would not require a permit from the city to film. He started with a local restaurant filming a training video.

    Barr said if it was a local company, no. However, if it were a large chain of restaurants, yes.

    If someone were filming an event in the city, he said they wouldn’t need a permit if they were doing it to report news. However, he said they would if they were using the video for “You Tube, or something.”’

    If that last part is outrageous in the extreme if true. I can’t wait for City Council election time.

  18. Posted September 7, 2009 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    It’s just been brought to my attention that there’s a superior version of that tune by the Carnies.

  19. Camera Girl
    Posted September 8, 2009 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Is there a place online where people can formally suggest ideas/bands for next year?

  20. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted September 8, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Jake, if you’re out there reading, I’ve had the Ypsitucky song stuck in my head since Friday night. Ypsitucky T-shirt guy, if you are out there, I was flat broke this weekend, and I’d like to track down one of your shirts, so please look me up. Now if I can just figure out what to do with myself untill it’s time to plan next year’s Jamboree.

  21. Posted September 8, 2009 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Glad you liked it, Andy — or at least that you can’t get it out of your head!

    Any news on how the vendors did?

  22. Ypsiosaurus Wrecks
    Posted September 8, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    I attended the “jamboree” in spite of the name. Paid full price and hoped that I could in a small way support the cause.

    The turn out was lower than I expected but the bands were great – Kudos to Black Jake for his YPSITUCKY song. It made the night and most people I saw in the immediate vacinity had a smile on their face.

    I didn’t see hide nor hair of that turd blossom Robb or Murdoch. I wouldn’t worry much about violating city ordinances by video taping folks – this city appears to be inpotent in the face of most challenges….

    Andy Ypsi – I think I can help – I had the t-shirt guy write down his email for future purchases…

  23. Ypsiosaurus Wrecks
    Posted September 8, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Oh yeah – I fourth the motion to re-name it:

    YPSITUCKY – Rustbelt Revival….!!!!!

  24. Posted September 8, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Pete Murdoch and his wife were there and wearing volunteer shirts on Friday night.

  25. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted September 8, 2009 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Ok, here are some answers to questions I’ve seen…

    1. I talked to one vendor who was a friend of mine, and he said he made about $150 after making back his booth rent (which was very low) and said all the other vendors he talked to at least made back their booth rent, and most did about what he did in profit.

    2. Councilmen Bodary and Nickles both attended the show, and I think they accepted my invitation to come as VIPs, but I’m not sure. I saw Robb come in with who I assume was his wife, and he paid full price on Saturday. And yes, Pete Murdock and his wife did come and volunteer for me Friday 7-11:30pm. Thanks again, to both of you. Mayor Schreiber was out of town, but sent his regards to us. Oh, and I heard that one of our major “tucky” opponents and petition circulators jumped the fence late on Saturday. Got no proof of that, but it sounds about right.

    3. Jake, the song was fantastic. It should be our official theme song for the festival. And everyone I talked to seems to have it stuck in their heads.

    4. Mark’s video would fall under “news gathering/current events” in the filming ordinance. As a note, from what I understand, movies are filmed here because Ypsi is easier to deal with than, say, Detroit, where film companies are bled dry by the city. Let’s hope we keep things easy, and keep the money from films coming in. I’ll take a little less money overall if we get to keep their business. And these films are the reason we got hooked up with Chow Catering, who provided the simply amazing food for the Jamboree.

    5. Please send info on Ypsitucky shirts to me at I would be thankful, YW.

    6. Yes, we would have liked to have more people there. We had a lot of competition from football, other festivals, and who knows what else. But we had a good enough showing to do it again, from what I understand. We’ll do it bigger, and better, hopefully with no opposition this time.

    7. If we can get it approved, we will have camping next year. That will take a lot of work, but it could work out very well. I’m sure a lot of folks will oppose that because it’s never been done here before. But if Heritage fest can have its old time-y camp out….
    8. I would guess you could send suggestions for next year to the web site contact page. I’m pretty sure Don is going to take a couple weeks off before he starts on next year, though. He deserves it.
    9. No one asked this, but I want to remind all of you to put in a word to Council and the Mayor about giving control of the parks back to the DTCDC. The city needs more room in the budget, and giving up the FREE service the DTCDC provided to the city was just plain stupid, underhanded, mean spirited and wrong. You don’t just do those sorts of things out of the blue with no public debate. If you have issues with the job being done, you talk it out and fix the problems, and then failing negotiations, you take action to terminate contracts. You don’t just do it out of the blue. With the current state of our city budget, we should be asking the DTCDC to take on more parks. And I really, really, want to see my friend Erine get his park back. He loves that park in a way that I don’t think anyone else can. And why would we want to give up devotion like that?

  26. Brackinald Achery
    Posted September 8, 2009 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of the parks; what’s up with the stalactites under the Cross St. bridge? Aren’t those things supposed to take, like, a bajillion years to form or some such? Does whoever takes care of the parks have to knock them down every few thousand years if they get too big?

  27. Mark H.
    Posted September 8, 2009 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Kudos to everyone who put on this wonderful, successful event. One observation, for what it may be worth: Why Labor Day weekend? Lots of people have standing plans for that last weekend of summer, before school starts; lots of the potential local crowd – the EMU students – are not yet in town, or else, in the case of the first year students, are arriving in town to live here that weekend; and lots of other EMU folks are involved in student orientation and other start of the school year obligations on campus. These groups of people are not perhaps the key demographic aimed for by the Jambore, but lots of them fall in the age group I’ve seen was the target. And a lot of music fans of course go to Detroit for the Jazz festival on the Labor Day weekend every year: this is true of more than a few Ypsilantians who see as much outdoor music as they can, and that Jazz Festival is big time and lots of acts and well established. Why compete with it? The jambore was affordable, the Jazz Festival is free! A week later, and what would be lost compared to potential audience gain? Just observations, not criticisms. Kudos again to the organizers.

  28. Ypsiosaurus Wrecks
    Posted September 8, 2009 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Ypsitucky T-shirt guy can be contacted at:

    AY – I posted here in case others wanted to buy as well.

  29. Posted September 9, 2009 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Soo my fellow Jamboree friends. It is crazy. What a great event. I look back at 9 months ago when we first started on this, and I am amazed it is over. There are probably 10,000 people I need to thank, but I will start with a few:

    The DTCDC
    Erik Dotzauer
    Andy Ypsilanti
    Shane Smith
    Erinie Smith
    Brandon Salisbury
    Troy Radikin
    Chad Gritz
    Andy French
    Mark Maynard
    Ann Arbors 107.1
    Debbie Locke
    Mary Zucherro
    Mary Decker
    Rene and Matt Greff
    Dave Curtis
    Nicole Leffler
    Matt Altruda
    Fleming Artists
    Dave (you know who you are)
    Greg Marker
    Linda French
    Luwak Cafe
    The Elbow Room
    Dave Curtis
    Christene Laughlin
    Jen Johnson
    Jillian Fueleky
    Tracy Briggs
    Road Sines
    Erik Guerst
    Greg Burns
    Chow Catering
    Martin Bandyke
    Chris Ammel
    Chris Heinz
    Rob…Lights. Sorry man, dont have your last name

    Everyone voluneteered their time to make this event happen. We worked with a skeleton crew and made it seamless. THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS AND ANYONE I MISSED!

    Overall, great time and a well run event. We learned many lessons this year and look to grow in following years. Yup, thats right. We will be doing The Jamboree in ’10. We would love peoples feedback. You can still reach me at

    Labor Day weekend was really our only option this year. Next year we plan to change the weekend and make some other significant changes like the stage size and posting the schedule. Speaking to many people, the feedback was amazing.

    Thank you to each of the bands that played. No one was paid a ton of money to come out. They came for the committment to the area and love of music. THANK YOU!

    One more thing. A note on Mr. Brian Robb. I had mentioned earlier that I do not know him. That changed this weekend. He was a staunch supporter and there most all of Saturday. He volunteered until 1am, helped me out a ton and THEN took That 1 Guy back to the airport on Sunday morning. He was a trooper and at risk of many comments, I was pleased to get to know him and thank him for working so hard and for the help.

    I am tired and burnt out. If I were to tally all of the hours the committee heads put in, it would accumulate to an entire year. I did not have much time to thank everyone involved with the festival during it, so please allow me to again THANK YOU! I will post again when I can open my eyes, but overall it was a great show and it ran like a top.

    See you all soon,

    Don Sicheneder

  30. Mike want longr name
    Posted September 9, 2009 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Don, Andy, everyone else who worked so hard. It was a beautiful weekend, and I was really proud of Ypsi. Can’t wait til next year. I predict that by #3 or #4 it will at least informally be known just as “Ypsitucky”.

    I think the camping would be cool, but you have to be careful. One friend worried that it would cause problems. This year, it was great to see so many kids running around, and he was concerned that camping would turn it into something like Bonnaroo, in the unsavory sense, and then that would bring cops around, and just generally kill the mood. My idea was, instead of cops, just get thirty year old guys with shaggy beards to go around and say “dude, that’s not cool, put the nitrous tank back in the tent.” Folk justice.

    And it looks like from the last sentence that Brackinald quoted, this type of video would be illegal. Fortunately, Barr did say “there won’t be a team of ordinance officers pulling permits from people video taping throughout the city.” I say give it a year or two.

  31. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    So, yea. I spoke to Don Sicheneder this weekend. Turns out the Brian that pitched in on Saturday was not Brian Robb, but another, somewhat annonamous Brian. Thanks to you, other Brian. And Brian Robb, still glad you came out.

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