Please watch the whole video for details on plans moving forward, refunds, etc.
Hey Everyone, this is Ty Christian AKA Fang VonWrathenstein. I’m the singer for Lords of the Trident and the organizer and founder of the Mad With Power fest here in Madison, WI. This is certainly not a video I wanted to make, nor is it news I wanted to give. After a lot of really heartfelt consideration, and a lot of talking things through with the management at the venue, we’ve decided it’s best to cancel this year’s fest. I’m going to go a bit more into the reasoning behind this decision, as well as explain our refund policy AND let you know plans going forward, so please make sure to watch this whole thing. I know it’s a little long, but it should answer all your questions.
So first off, why cancel this year’s fest? Well, there were a number of things we had to take into consideration. Firstly, at the current moment, without a vaccine, bringing a large number of people from all over the world into the same space just seems REALLY negligent. We discussed things like masks, temperature checks at the door, and requiring spacing or even seating, and even with all that, it still didn’t feel safe enough. Additionally, due to local laws in place, the venue may be required to limit the number of people through the door, or enforce a distancing rule which would greatly reduce the number of tickets we could sell. The capacity we advertised might suddenly NOT be the reality any more, and we might’ve EVEN been in a situation where we would have to tell some people who had already bought tickets that they COULDN’T come to the fest. And that would suck.
Next, there’s absolutely no possible way we could have any video games, arcade games, or pinball at the event. I mean, these are machines that are designed to be touched by everyone in attendance. You just can’t do that. Now, could we have Mad With Power fest without the games? Yes, but that’s a bit like having a theme park without a theme. Imagine if Disneyland suddenly was unable to have their characters running around. Sure, there’s a good number of people who go to theme parks JUST for the rollercoasters, but you gotta admit, you’re losing something. Same thing with Mad With Power. I’d hate for this to be someone’s first Mad With Power fest and not be able to take part in that atmosphere of games and metal. They just wouldn’t understand what differentiates this fest from literally every other metal fest in the US. And *I* wouldn’t want that. It’s my job to create that atmosphere, and to make sure that everyone has as much fun as possible at the event. With the way things currently are, I just can’t guarantee that.
Finally, the financials. Running a fest during, or just shortly after this pandemic would put us in a situation where we might not be able to make enough money to actually pay the bands. Even if the local or federal governments say “everything is normal” and “go back to business”, you’re still going to have a large chunk of society – myself included – that’s going to be pretty wary about attending large events. And even after we have a vaccine, it’s going to take us a while to feel comfortable in those large groups again. That rightful feeling of caution is going to kill off a majority of our random, walk-up ticket sales. I mean if the quarantine was lifted tomorrow and someone said “hey we’re playing a show this weekend, wanna come?” I’d be like, “Nooo!” and I won’t be the only one who feels that way. We’ll have people that will rightfully feel afraid to attend the fest and ask for a refund for their ticket. And in this crazy situation, who am I to deny that? Without time to heal and feel safe, we wouldn’t be able to put on an event like this and make enough money to break even. And I say “we” here, but in reality I mean me. I cover all the costs for the event and I take on all the financial responsibility to make sure that the bands, the arcade owners, and everyone else gets paid. I’ll admit: it’s a gamble on my part, but we’ve been able to pay our debts every year. And I want to make something clear here – I don’t personally make any money from this event. We try to keep costs as low as possible and do things like absorb the “online ticketing fees” and whatnot so our friends and fans have a better experience. We pay bands as much as we can, and give the money upfront, because that’s the way I feel it should be. Thankfully every year we’ve come out a few hundred dollars ahead, and we use that money towards the next year’s fest. Having this fest be a moneymaker is not a goal of mine. Our main goals are to foster relationships between up and coming bands, and to create that sense of “family” that’s unmistakable at fests like these. You know, you plan to take this annual trip to see these people once per year, and it always feels like this incredible reunion. That sense of family and fellowship is my goal.
So, other than the financial stuff, this decision boiled down to one thing: YOUR safety. Well not only your safety, but the safety of your loved ones, the bands, the staff, the volunteers, and everyone involved with this fest. Many of you know me personally, and you know that it would never sit right with me if someone got sick and died because of a decision to blindly push forward on the fest this year. It would be very difficult to forgive myself for that, and to NOT associate mad with power with that tragedy. This fest is too important to me – YOU are too important to me – because everyone who steps through those doors is either a fan, a friend, or family, and sometimes all three. And the last thing I’d want is my actions causing any suffering for you. Music is a force that brings us together and I will NOT turn it into something that tears us apart.
So having said all that, here’s where plans stand: we’re going to be re-doing Mad With Power 4 (I guess it’ll be Mad With Power 4.1) in August of next year. The exact dates are Friday and Saturday, August 27th and 28st in 2021. My goal and hope is that the lineup remains exactly the same. Many of this year’s bands have already gotten back to me and have confirmed their attendance for next year. Bear in mind, it’s still a ways out, so we may have some lineup changes, as a lot can happen in a year and a half, but I feel confident that the quality of the lineup will remain unchanged. You’re still going to have a crap-ton of awesome bands and a bunch of amazing arcade and pinball games to play. Please make sure to mark your calendars.
Last and most important part – refunds. Here’s what we’re going to do: I thought about making tickets transferable to next year, but that’s going to be a logistical nightmare and might end up with us over capacity or with confusion at the door for our guests. Also, not a whole lot of people know exactly what they’re going to be doing in a year and a half. So, tickets for this year will NOT be transferable to next year’s fest. Instead, I’ll be giving individual refunds via email request. So, I’ll be honest – we had some expenses this year that I will not be able to recoup – for example, advertising and the like. It’s…not exactly a small sum, but that’s the risk I take putting on a fest like this. So I’m going to have to cover that cost personally, out of my own pocket. The reason I’m telling you this is that if you decide you DON’T want a refund, I will put that money in the Mad With Power vault, and I will use it to cover any remaining costs for this year, or put it towards next year, to make next year’s fest even better. You can be certain that all money will go towards keeping this fest alive and awesome. Now with that being said, I know times are tough for a lot of people right now, so please – do NOT feel bad about asking for a refund if you need it. A lot of people are out of work and could use extra cash right now, and I will not take it personally. If you want a refund, please ask.
To get a refund for your ticket, please email email@example.com, with “refund” as the subject line. In the email, the more info you can give me, the better. At a minimum, please give me your full name and the email address you used to complete the purchase. If you have things like the order number, the ticket number, or the date you purchased your ticket, all those things are incredibly helpful, but not 100% necessary, so if you don’t have them, don’t fret. Also, please give me around a week to process your refund. I don’t like to keep a lot of money in my paypal account, as I’ve heard horror stories of paypal suddenly “freezing” accounts, so I’ll have to transfer cash back from the bank into paypal, which can sometimes take a few days. If you haven’t received your refund in 7 business days, please feel free to email again for an update, and I’ll let you know where I’m at. Remember, I’ll be accepting refund requests until the evening of August 13th, 2020. If you don’t email by then, I’ll assume you’d like me to put your ticket money towards next year’s fest, which again – is completely voluntary.
So, I mean: this sucks. This whole timeline sucks. It’s not fun, and a lot of people are not having that great of a time right now. I really, REALLY did not want to make this decision, and hit you with more bad news, but I had to do this to keep you, your family, my family, and all the bands safe. I know none of this is my fault, but I’m sorry. I know we’ll get through this together, and I hope we can all share a conciliatory horn of mead next year. I’ll deeply miss seeing all of you this year. Please take care of yourselves, please stay safe, and we’ll see you next year.