A day at the Mayhem Festival
What an amazing day at the Mayhem Festival! It is an event to remember. I especially enjoyed people-watching and marveling at the outrageous outfits. The bands took turns playing on 2 different stages, so we had 1/2 hour of deafening sound and then 1/2 hour of relative quiet from 1 - 6 PM. The booth was about 75 yards away from one stage, and you could easily see the bands.
At 6 PM, the main stage opens, and a ticket is necessary to get in. The crowds left so we packed up at 6:15-6:30 and left too.
As the music changed from stage to stage, the people moved back and forth from stage to stage, so that was the time I stood 10-20 feet in front of the booth and asked for donations. When I asked "Would you donate a dollar for a Lakota kid?" the answer was no. When I asked "Could you donate a dollar? the answer was more often yes. Of course, many people avoided eye contact or said they didn't have any money.
One lovely woman said, "If I can spend $12 for a beer, then I can certainly give $1 for a child."
By the way, we noticed people were more generous as the day wore on.
They sold bottles of water for $4.50 and food for upwards of $10.00. We brought a cooler with sodas and sandwiches. There were water fountains to refill water bottles.
|We unloaded at the curb in the loading zone in front of the concert venue, called Maria Cukr (rhymes with juicer), Live Nations contact person, and she let us in and helped carry things to the booth. Set up was very easy, except figuring out a way to attach the banner. We finally decided to tie twine to the upper back metal frame near the corners and to bring the twine forward over the top of the tent and put it through the grommets on the two ends of the banner and tie it in place. To hold up the middle, we had small metal clamps from the hardware store, and for the edges, we used "wood clamps" from the hardware store. You can see what I mean in the photo.|
By far the most eyecatching items were the feather fans made by Andi Mariano, a wonderful volunteer from Indiana. Also wildly popular were buffalo teeth, in brown or bleached white, hanging on a black leather lace. Also courtesy of Andi, and made into pendants by me. We got $10 donation for each of the feather fans and buffalo teeth pendants and almost sold out!
People were drawn to our booth by the photo collage, the banner, and the bright colors of the red sheet covering the table. When the music was playing, no one could talk to each other. So I held the handout and pointed to the line: Can you believe that in the US there are 40,000 people living in the worse poverty conditions in the Western Hemisphere besides Haiti?
People nodded, and dug into their pockets. I gave away about #150 printed handouts.
Interestingly, no one really looked at our table display. I think they were more interested in the feathers and buffalo teeth. And of course, the drinks and music. Most of the people in California have moved from somewhere else, so we had great responses from Native Americans and people who had lived in the Dakotas. They knew about Pine Ridge, and were generous in donating.
We each took a 30 minute break to just sit down and relax somewhere during the afternoon. It took us 45 minutes to set up and about 5 minutes to take down.
I hope you have as wonderful a day as we did here!
Report by Bonnie Rathjen