After producing the Fire Dancing Expo in Union Square for 9 years plus several additional events at that venue, I’ve been feeling a bit burned out. In truth, the show has become increasingly more difficult to manage as the number of artists, photographers and attendees increased and the hoops through which we need to jump to get a fire permit remain time consuming, expensive and labor intensive.
Having donated well over 1000 hours to keeping this effort going (260 for the 2014 show and the Kickstarter is not yet complete nor are all the videos yet on line) over the past decade and being $30,000 in the red as a result of my personal financial contribution to the show over the years, coupled with what I can only describe as some artists really treating me in disrespectful ways (including spreading false information about me to the community), I have decided to take a new direction for the 2015 show.
First, a name change. This year’s event will be the 2015 Flow nExtpo.
Next, this will not be a fire dancing show. Because it has become increasingly difficult to get artists to actually turn in required paperwork and it requires double digit numbers of hours chasing after the 100 or so performers in the show, I simply don’t want to deal with the permitting process this year. That eliminates so many incredibly time intensive tasks with a substantial financial burden including: getting a permit, safety concerns for the depot, depot costs, training, barriers, security to keep people away from the fuel and oh so much more including the quit time consuming process of creating the application for the San Francisco Fire Department permit.
Third, we will not fund international and other out of town talent to come and perform — although we welcome artists who wish to participate to make their way here join us for the show.
As a result of this lack of need to fund the permit, pay fuel costs, security costs and travel stipends, the Kickstarter is no longer necessary and as a result of that, hundreds of hours of time will again be my own to spend making money rather than donating money to the community for something that ultimately has drained me on every level.
Instead of the fire dancing show, I’m excited to present a fabric, flow and glow tool event. This year I’ll be offering free classes from 7 to 7:45 pm and then there will be a casual performance after it. The event will be more like a flash mob than a show in Union Square and will take place in Justin Herman Plaza. We will not get a big sound system so we won’t need a sound permit or a space use permit (or have to pay any fees).
There will not be a long application process like years past. This year, instead, artists will submit 1 final video of their performance of 3 minutes or less if they are experienced artists or 2 minutes or less if they are new artists (so we can accommodate all the Bay Area talent) by 5 PM pacific time on Friday April 17th for the event which will happen, tentatively (date to be confirmed after National Dance Week Registration happens) set for April 25. From the submitted videos, I’ll make a show order and will include everyone who submits a completed work on video by the deadline. The night of the event, artists will show up with their own music on a device they can plug into a headphone jack and will get the stage at the allotted time.
While this won’t be the grand affair of Union Square, it will also not be the Herculean effort that accompanies it and hopefully will be more fun and casual for us all. After the show is over, those who want to stick around for a Glow Flow Jam are invited to co-create fun. I’d be open to a renegade fire jam erupting after the show is over and, the safety of that would largely depend on the size of the crowd and presence of officials who might shut us down immediately.
If you have any questions, please contact GlitterGirl so she can answer the question here for everyone to read. Feel free to comment or email her directly or Facebook her.