Tracking down Patrick Elkins and forcing him to talk about Totally Awesome Fest 9

Last year, when Patrick Elkins, the densely-bearded, enigmatic recluse behind Ypsilanti’s Totally Awesome Fest, called a press conference to announce the line-up for the annual fertility ritual masquerading as a city-wide music festival, I was the only person to show up. And, as you might recall, it didn’t go well. This year, unsurprisingly, there was no press conference. In fact, aside from a scant mention at, there’s been almost no information available to those of us who aren’t in the hipster elite. Patrick, I was told by a mutual acquaintance, had “gone underground,” and was unwilling to speak to anyone, outside his cult-like band of wide-eyed followers, about the event. Well, I decided to hunt him down. And, thanks to a tip from a well-placed source, I was able to find him at the Tap Room last night. What follows is our impromptu interview.

And I know it doesn’t exactly make a lot of sense, given the story I shared above concerning how this interview came about, but here’s a link to a slightly different version of the above interview.

Oh, and I wanted to mention that I’d be bringing seed bomb making materials to the Totally Awesome Fest kickoff event behind VG Kids on Friday evening. So, if you’re one of the people who wrote to me, asking when you could help with the bomb making, there’s your answer. [More on the Ypsilanti seed bombing initiative can be found here, for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about.]

A schedule of Totally Awesome Fest events can be found here.

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  1. Vince
    Posted April 25, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to my tether, I only have an hour or so after I go out the window before my parents have me brought back home. So, if you only had an hour at TAF, what would you see?

  2. XXX
    Posted April 26, 2013 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    We should shut down Ypsilanti until Dan Florida is apprehended.

  3. anonymous
    Posted April 26, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Vince, If I could only see on thing, I’d go for the Manhole cover band, Hollis and the Coats. I’ve always wondered what those songs would be like in the hands of actual musicians.

  4. Edward
    Posted April 26, 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    How did you make the walls move in that first video? It was incredibly disorienting.

  5. Mr. X
    Posted April 26, 2013 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Everyone should start applying their nail polish at the first knuckle.

  6. Dustin Krcatovich
    Posted April 26, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Mark, did you know I was having a contest with myself to see how many of my designs could end up on your site before I move, without any effort on my part? So far, I’m winning.

  7. K2
    Posted April 26, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    What does it mean for someone to have a beard like that? Are there health repercussions? I mean, that beard must demand a disproportionate amount of effort from his body, right? I’m not a doctor, but I think something other internal systems be suffering as every cell in his body is forced to keep producing facial hair.

  8. koosh
    Posted April 26, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    It’s not the effect the beard has on his body. It’s the effect the beard has on the environment.

    He must have to shower for 45 minutes twice a day to keep that thing clean. He probably uses a lot of conditioner and other products that have been tested on animals.

    Patrick Elkin’s beard is an ecological and ethical disaster.

  9. double anonymous
    Posted April 26, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Beards are currency in the shadowy world of the hipster elite. Patrick is a tycoon.

  10. karen
    Posted April 26, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    didn’t you watch the video?

    his beard was filled with chunks of food. at the 4:56 mark you can clearly see a chicken bone in there.

  11. 734
    Posted April 26, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to comment on the ecosystem that is Patrick’s beard, but all the other what-the-fuckedness of this video has me discombobulated. The application of nail polish. The moving walls. The “attack and praise” strategy being employed by the interviewer. I feel very much off balance.

  12. Mr. Y
    Posted April 26, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    No health risks, K2. Only benefits. From today’s news.

    “Researchers discovered that men with beards and moustaches actually enjoy numerous benefits including, but not limited to, instant handsomeness. A study from the University of Southern Queensland, published in the Radiation Protection Dosimetry journal, found that beards block 90 to 95 percent of UV rays, thereby slowing the aging process and reducing the risk of skin cancer. Got asthma? Pollens and dust simply get stuck in that lustrous facial hair. Additionally, all that hair retains moisture and protects against the wind, keeping you looking young and fresh-faced. What’s more, shaving is usually the cause of ingrown hairs and bacterial infections that lead to acne.”

  13. anonymous
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    How’d the Hollis and the Coats show go? I couldn’t make it that long.

  14. Tate
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    This city would crumble without Patrick Elkins.

  15. Posted April 27, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    I ran into Dan Florida last night and apologized for what I’d said about him in the video. He said it hadn’t bothered him. “At least someone’s talking about me,” he said.

  16. Posted April 28, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    I don’t want to take on one more project, so this idea is free to anyone who wants it… Next year, there should be a Totally Awesome Feast in conjunction with Totally Awesome Fest. We should close a street and do it up right. Maybe cook a tofu pig in a pit, or something.

  17. Posted April 28, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    I heard that Hollis and the Coates didn’t perform. It would appear that the only member of the band who actually knew how to play the Manhole songs they’d be covering, was outside puking when it came time for them to play… Such things are to be expected at Totally Awesome Fest.

  18. Posted April 28, 2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    “Totally Awesome Feast featuring Bacon-wrapped Tofu steamed in a Beard Basket?”

    Someone make a graphic please.

  19. Posted April 28, 2013 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    “Totally Awesome Feast…. featuring bacon-wrapped tofu steamed in a locally grown and harvested artisanal beard basket?”

  20. Ben
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    When the feast description changes from Ypsi to Ann Arbor is with the word “artisanal.” I’m just giving you a hard time though. I LOVE the idea of a feast. I am already daydreaming for next year.

  21. Posted April 29, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    It was artisanal beard, Ben. That’s pure Ypsi.

  22. jarida
    Posted May 5, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    One day there will be no Patrick Elkins. There will just be beard. He will be completely depleted by it. He will just be a tiny kernel of a man in a sea of beard. I pray for that day.

6 Trackbacks

  1. By Lets’ have a Totally Awesome Feast next year on April 28, 2013 at 11:18 am

    […] anyone who wants it… Next year, there should be a Totally Awesome Feast in conjunction with Totally Awesome Fest. We should close a street and do it up right. Maybe cook a tofu pig in a pit, or something.As I see […]

  2. By Rebel Kind at Totally Awesome Fest 9 on April 28, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    […] at Totally Awesome Fest 9By Mark | April 28, 2013There was a lot to like about this year’s Totally Awesome Fest. Among my favorite things was the set by Rebel Kind at dusk on Friday, on the banks of the Huron […]

  3. […] spending this evening on the doorstep of Patrick Elkins, practicing for tomorrow night’s reading at Arbor Brewing as part of the Ann Arbor Summer […]

  4. By Shadow Art Fair performances announced on July 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    […] Dan Florida (of Almus Magnus fame) 2:30 Actual Birds (the perpetually resurrected pseudonym of Dustin […]

  5. […] friend Patrick Elkins, who I often mention here on the site, has been dealing with some relatively serious health issues these past […]

  6. […] [Previous TAF press conferences: 2012, 2013] […]

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