The return of Totally Awesome Fest: April 30 – May 2

Remember how, last year at about this time, we were talking about Totally Awesome Fest? Well, it’s upon us again, and, with that in mind, I attempted to engage the enigmatic Patrick Elkins, one of the men behind the festival, in conversation. Following is the result:

MARK: What, if anything, are you doing differently this year?

PATRICK: This year, people will be actively encouraged, for the first time in the history of Totally Awesome Fest, to vvrestle [note: two ‘v’s, no ‘w’] pancakes.

MARK: How does one go about vvrestling a pancake?

PATRICK: I would recommend bringing a steel chair or some brass knuckles hidden in your shorts.

MARK: Some people have more room in their shorts than others.

PATRICK: Even pancakes, delicious as they may be, can’t change the physical laws of the universe.

MARK: So, when are the pancakes? Is that Sunday morning? And how many pancakes do you think you’ll be making? Will there be like an inflatable kids pool full of unrefrigerated batter somewhere?

PATRICK: The pancake vvrestling will be taking place at noon on May Day at the Bungalow. The Ypsi Food Co-op has been kind enough to offer to donate pancake-making supplies. I would estimate that the total number of pancakes will be more than a baker’s dozen and less than 7 billion. Mediocre local brass / hula hoop ensemble Video Games will be performing at noon as well. The pool is not inflatable.

MARK: Last year I posted a little preview on my site, and apparently the cops saw it. They shut down a Totally Awesome Fest house party, saying that they read about it “on the blog.” I was honored that they think of my blog as “the blog,” but it also kind of sucked. If you want, I could post a bunch of fake locations this time.

taf2007PATRICK: That’s a pretty good idea. We could make up a bunch of venue names that don’t exist and provide the addresses of places like the library and the post office.

This year, all of the events which are taking place outside or at someone’s house will be done by 10:00 p.m. to avoid any possible noise ordinance violations. Also, the louder bands are going to be playing indoors, so I’m not sure if, sans the crazy drug and sex orgies, anyone will be doing anything illegal.

MARK: So, how many different venues are we talking about this year? And at which would we be most likely to stumble into an orgy?

PATRICK: There are 4 different venues: SPUR Studios, The Dreamland Theater, The Bungalow, and Grove Gardens. I would imagine that the most likely place to find an orgy will be at SPUR Studios or somewhere along the parade route (the Detroit Party Marching Band will be leading a parade between the Bungalow and the Dreamland Theater).

MARK: Cool. When’s the parade? And, as for the different venues, you mention that the louder stuff will be at the indoor venues – are there other divisions between the venues? For instance, will one be more noise, and another more folk? And, most importantly, will you be segregating the hippies?

PATRICK: We’re going to try and limit the hippieier element of the festival to pre-noon activities. The parade will be taking place at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 1. Most of this year’s events are somewhat diverse. For example, the festival starts with 3 noise bands (Pine Cones, Deathwish, and Leaf Blower / Church Pipe) and then switches gears to more pop and folk-oriented acts (Lightning Love, Kelly Caldwell, Chris Bathgate). Juniper Baby will be the transition between the two, led by the amazing (and 8 months-pregnant) Jen Wilke. That evening at the Dreamland, there will be 5 rock bands followed by an octopus ballet. Saturday’s outdoor event (at the Bungalow) will feature folk acts, hula hooping, experimental composers, synth-pop rockers, aerobics, rock ‘n’ roll bands, a singing troll, a fashion show composed entirely of free clothing that people get to take home, a marching band, and Shitney Houston. Saturday night’s event will feature a variety of noise and rock acts as well as the inimitable Lord of the Yum-Yum from Chicago and lo-fi new-age sensation Martes Martes. Sunday’s event at Grove Gardens will feature yoga, poetry, salsa dancing lessons with Margarita [Danny and Magdelina’s mother], performance art, pirates, music, dance, and more.

MARK: Any chance that Puppet Mark might be able to come out and talk with folks in the crowd? And tell me more about this octopus ballet. I’m intrigued.

totallyawesome2010PATRICK: The octopus ballet is Aimee Adams’s creation. I haven’t seen it yet; I’ve only heard some of the details. It sounds amazing, but you’d have to ask Aimee for more information… And yes, I think having Puppet Mark on hand to talk to the crowd would be great. We could do that at either (or both!) of the shows at Dreamland between bands. I think Saturday would be an especially great night for it. Let me know what you think.

MARK: I think that sounds like a great idea, Patrick. We’ll just have to figure out the logistics with Naia and whoever ends up filming it. Maybe Puppet Mark could chat with people between sets, as things are being hauled away and set up, if there’s room for someone to stand there and be interviewed. And we could edit it down for a segment on Dreamland Tonight… So, what else do you want people to know about this Totally Awesome Fest? Are there any bands you’re particularly excited about? Do you need places for people to crash? Will you be accepting donations for the pancake fund?

PATRICK: I want people to know that, if they come, they will most likely find Thom Elliot wearing a suit and (most likely) sitting in a lawn chair with what will almost certainly be a stoic look on his face. Children will be inexplicably frightened of him. Also, this is, by definition, a magical event, so people should come expecting to be charmed and/or frightened by MAGIC … EVERYWHERE.

I’m excited about the entire line-up this year. There’s a lot of acts I’m excited to see and hear, some of which include Body Holographic (they played an amazing set at last year’s festival), Swimsuit (featuring members of City Center, Secret Twins, and Dos Hermanos), Santiparro (Alan Shuerman), Moon Elves, Jes Kramer, Heathens Gold (Jamie Easter & friends), Lord of the Yum-Yum (always fantastic), Martes Martes, Charlie Slick, Hob the Troll (who was paid $200/hour to stand at the bottom of the stairs at Geoffrey Fieger’s holiday party last year), T-Bone and the Drones, Kelly Caldwell (one of my all-time favorites), Lightning Love, Chris Bathgate, and, of course, Shitney Houston (the best band name since “Better Late Than Pregnant”, in my opinion). I’m also really excited by the non-musical acts that are going to be happening this year: Emogene Nightingale’s Octopus Ballet, Ben Miller’s take-home fashion show, the yoga session, pancake vvrestling, a poetry reading by Anna Vitale, performance artist Emilia Javanica, salsa lessons with Margarita, and the parade. I’m very excited that there’s going to be a parade.

It would appear that there is a suitable amount of space for people from out of town to sleep. We will be accepting donations to help pay so that we can provide gas money for out of town acts and other expenses. Local artist Ryan Groendyk is designing and printing posters for this year’s fest and will have them for sale at the fest (to help offset the cost of printing them) and the Ypsi Food Co-op has been nice enough to donate some pancake supplies.

I’m told that maps to all of the venues will be available starting at noon on Friday, April 30, at the Dreamland Theater (26 N. Washington Street). All events are all-ages, relatively species-friendly.

And, below the break, you’ll find the complete lineup.


TOTALLY AWESOME FEST 6

3 DAYS OF FREE, ALL-AGES PERFORMANCE, FASHION, AND PANCAKES!

(note: schedule subject to change)

* FRIDAY, APRIL 30 @ SPUR STUDIOS *

5:00 p.m. PINE CONES
5:30 p.m. DEATHWISH
6:00 p.m. LEAF BLOWER / CHURCH PIPE
6:30 p.m. JUNIPER BABY
7:00 p.m. LIGHTNING LOVE
8:00 p.m. KELLY CALDWELL
9:00 p.m. CHRIS BATHGATE

* FRIDAY, APRIL 30 @ DREAMLAND THEATER *

10:30 p.m. THE FERDY MAYNE
11:00 p.m. HOSPITAL GARDEN
11:45 p.m. SECRET TWINS
12:30 a.m. T-BONE & THE DRONES
1:15 a.m. DAYTIME TELEVISION
2:00 a.m. EMOGENE NIGHTINGALE’S OCTOPUS BALLET

* SATURDAY, MAY 1 @ THE BUNGALOW *

11:59 a.m. BEN MILLER’S TAKE-HOME FASHION SHOW
12:00 p.m. PANCAKE VVRESTLING / VIDEO GAMES
12:30 p.m. ALMUS MAGNUS
1:00 p.m. SHITNEY HOUSTON
1:30 p.m. BASEMENT SPIDERS
2:00 p.m. STEF CHURA
2:30 p.m. ALEXANDER SILVER
3:00 p.m. MATT ENDAHL
3:30 p.m. HOB THE TROLL
4:20 p.m. MANHOLE
5:00 p.m. CHARLIE SLICK
5:30 p.m. BUTTON STABBERS
6:00 p.m. DETROIT PARTY MARCHING BAND

* SATURDAY, MAY 1 @ DREAMLAND THEATER *

7:00 p.m. THE WOLFS
7:30 p.m. NATHAN K
8:00 p.m. MC TRASHPEDAL
8:30 p.m. SKELETON BIRDS
9:00 p.m. MARTES MARTES
9:30 p.m. BLOOD NECKLACE
10:00 p.m. LORD OF THE YUM-YUM
11:00 p.m. MOUTHFINGER
11:30 p.m. DP
12:00 a.m. HEATHENS GOLD
12:30 a.m. STRANGE BREW
1:00 a.m. UNICORNIUM
1:45 a.m. ADAPT COLLECTIVE
2:15 a.m. PUBERTY

* SUNDAY, MAY 2 @ GROVE GARDENS *

11:00 a.m. YOGA
11:30 a.m. DICKIE DEE
12:00 p.m. JES KRAMER
12:30 p.m. SINGLES CLUB
1:00 p.m. EVIL LIGHT
1:30 p.m. SALSA LESSONS WITH MARGARITA
2:00 p.m. GHOSTLADY
2:30 p.m. LIBRARIANS OF THE FUTURE
3:00 p.m. CAIDEN & LAUREN
3:30 p.m. LITTLE ISLAND LAKE
4:00 p.m. STONE CRAZY PIRATES
4:30 p.m. ANNA VITALE
5:00 p.m. TOKYO SEXWHALE
5:30 p.m. EMILIA JAVANICA
6:00 p.m. SANTIPARRO
6:30 p.m. JAVA RA
7:00 p.m. ANNIE PALMER
7:30 p.m. MOON ELVES
8:00 p.m. SWIMSUIT
8:30 p.m. THE BODY HOLOGRAPHIC
9:00 p.m. GIGI ALLYN

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35 Comments

  1. Karen Gotzen
    Posted April 15, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Take that, Ann Arbor.

  2. dragon
    Posted April 15, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    If ‘Stoners with Gay Babies’ won’t be playing this year, why would you post that picture? What a tease.

  3. Kristin
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Wow. First comment mentioned Ann Arbor. Can’t it just be something nifty in Ypsi?

  4. Posted April 16, 2010 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Where can I find contact info for the Detroit Party Marching Band (maybe interested in joining)? That sounds like fun!

  5. Edward
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Stoners Eat Gay Babies

    Can anyone tell me about Shitney Houston? Will they be performing her music? I need to know.

  6. Bob
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I can’t wait to not see this lineup of talent.

  7. Fred
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    You sound like an angry old man, Bob. Perhaps you’d find a tea party more to your liking.

  8. roots
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Seriously, keep it to yourself, ol’ Bob-o.

  9. Hater Hater
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    You would think that, if anything, Shitney Houston would bring us together as a community.

    Come on, people, let’s feel the love.

  10. Bob
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Bad performance art has much in common with tea parties actually.

  11. Samantha
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Hey Karen, Take that Ann Arbor. Really?? Ann Arbor gives Ypsi props for it’s community groups and amazing efforts, and to the people of Ypsi that are doing great things!! No need to diss A2 though… A2 has it’s thing which is cool, and Ypsi has it’s things … Both very cool!!

  12. BK Acker
    Posted April 17, 2010 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    I mistakenly came across your blog while searching for something about Whitney Houston being awesome. I cannot tell you how upset I now am. She is a lovely woman and you should be ashamed.

  13. Patrick
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    It is my understanding that Shitney Houston will be playing original compositions – not Whitney Houston covers.

    cmadler – You may want to contact John Notarianni at WDET. He is involved with the marching band. Otherwise, I have some other folks you could get in touch with.

    Bob -Thank you for coming in for the interview; it was a pleasure meeting
    you. The position has been filled at this time, but I will keep your
    resume on file should anything else open up.

    Ann Arbor – keep your eyes open for the “Shadow Totally Awesome Fest” coming in 2011

  14. MFGK
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Hey, can someone help a square out? My husband and I are 20 somethings who just moved to Ypsi and I have no idea where The Bungalow is. I need a Charlie Slick Fix somethin’ fierce.

    Thanks

  15. Kim
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I’m hoping they shit on stage like GG Allin.

  16. P'trick
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    The Bungalow is where you would go to drink a Slurpee in the woods in Ypsilanti …

    … or if you’re not into riddles, you can check out the details here as well:
    http://www.annarbor.com/events/totally-awesome-fest-6-bungalow/

    also, the SPUR event has been moved to the new VG Kids space on Railroad Street …

  17. Mr. Magoo
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    A culturally starved NW Ohio’an who makes frequent forays into A2 for my artistic nourishment will be making my first foray into Ypsi on 5/2 to participate in the festivities at Grove Gardens…..hope nothing too brainwashing will be going on because I have to pick up a carload of old church ladies at the airport at 8pm…..maybe I should bring them back for the GiGi Allyn performance, that could be the highlight of their Women’s Conference weekend!! Looking forward to it and some sunshine hopefully!!

  18. Posted April 24, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Shitney Houston sounds more like a demon birthing a gentle fawn, actually. The two sounds are not mutually exclu.

  19. Posting for Patrick
    Posted April 29, 2010 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Hi all,

    In the event of rain during the outdoor portions of this weekend’s Totally Awesome Fest, we will be relocating to the Dreamland Theater (26 N. Washington Street).

    While this shouldn’t be a problem as we do have a semi-reputable weather control device at our disposal, in the event of malfunction or misuse of said magical weather control device we will be forced to move activities indoors to the Dreamland Theater – unless you have a really big tent that you want to share with a lot of other people.

    I’m really excited for this weekend. I hope you are too!

    cheers,
    Patrick

  20. Tim Gracon
    Posted April 30, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this post. I’m doing a college assignment on Patrick Elkins and this is very useful.

  21. Torrance
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Is this related at all to Ann Arbor’s Totally Anal Fest?

  22. Gregory
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    I believe the event was Totally Anal Fist, and it was in Saline last summer. I’m not sure if it will be happening again, though, do to the health risks… at least if they insist on using fists of the same size.

  23. Hayf Redimi
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    My name is Hayf Redimi and I planned Saline’s Totally Anal Fist last year. It was a wonderful event, in spite of a few unfortunate issues. Contrary to what people are saying, those issues had nothing whatsoever to do with fist size. Our fisting volunteers were selected especially for the task, and their hand sizes fell well within the standard range according to International Fisting Guidelines of the IFS. The only issue we had arose from a hangnail that was promptly spotted and dealt with. Unfortunately, by the time we caught it, 3 people had been injured. They are all, however, doing fine now, and, I’m told, they all plan to come out again, if we can get the necessary approvals in place for another uplifting community event this summer.

  24. Milicent Figg
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    It wasn’t a hangnail. It was a Masonic ring with a cluster of diamonds. And my family and I will never return!

  25. DL
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I can’t speak for others, but my heart was truly touched at last year’s Totally Anal Fist. The good news is, when I yelled, “Too far! You’re touching my fucking heart!” the guy behind me at the time stopped with his forward assault.

  26. Phister Rogers
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    I think you all are stretching the boundaries of polite society. I took the kids down to the park after this festival was over, and the picnic tables were covered in santorum and attracting flies. I think the main thrust of the event should include a little elbow grease in cleaning up afterwords.

  27. Posted June 7, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Best resurgence of a year old thread ever.

  28. NH
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    As a diabetic I was not allowed to participate last year. After standing int he fisting line for over an hour, I was turned away. I was told that they could not accommodate someone of my size. I even offered to lay on the ground. It was humiliating. I hope this year different people are in charge of such decisions.

  29. David Henshaw
    Posted June 10, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    It was neither a hangnail, nor a Mason’s ring. It was a cufflink. And I’ve apologized profusely. Please move on.

  30. Mr. Taylor
    Posted June 10, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I have very small hands, but enormous thumbs. Might I be of some assistance?

  31. rosetta french
    Posted June 16, 2011 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Any truth to the rumor that there is going to be a Festival of Footing in Dexter this summer?

  32. Proud Canadian Mom
    Posted June 21, 2011 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    My daughter loves fisting, and it is obvious why. You can see it on her face, as she’s lying across her Amish fisting quilt, filled like a Christmas turkey. It’s not my thing, but I love to watch her face light up when she’s undergoing a first fill-up.

  33. Tim Oskins
    Posted July 2, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Hardly ever do I encounter a fisting event with such warm, caring organizers. My family and I will DEFINITELY be back.

  34. Armin Killabreau
    Posted July 4, 2011 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Hey Tim
    How’s it goin’. Not sure if you remember me, but I’m the guy your daughter kept saying had such beautiful thumbs. Well anyways, after seeing how well organized and family friendly the event was I’ve decided to bring my little clan to this years Fistival. The boys are really excited.
    Glad you found our local hangout here in Maynardville.

    Please stay in touch.
    Warmest regards
    Armin

  35. Lancaster
    Posted July 6, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Who will administer the fistings now that the members of the band Manhole are moving away?

One Trackback

  1. By Totally Awesome Fest is this weekend in Ypsi on April 29, 2011 at 8:59 am

    […] Fest? Well, it’s about to happen again…. And, it’s not nearly as informative as the interview we did last year, but here’s a little conversation I just had with festival spokesman Patrick Elkins. MARK: […]

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