A heartwarming number of people have asked me why there was no donation bucket at BMEfest. After all, it was a free event, but at the July 1, 2001 BBQ we'd raised thousands in donations. I just added up all my costs (including losses on the bus and so on, tips to the crane operator, etc.) and it came to about $4000 Canadian, or about $3000 US at current rates — the tent and stage were a shocking majority of that. (Note: I knew it would be about that, so that's not a complaint or anything)
Anyway, my feeling was that with the BBQ being not only out in Tweed, but also so far away from most people (the distance some people travelled is quite staggering), that it was just doing “my part”. After all, the average person probably spent $150 at least on their trip, at an utter minimum (I suspect the actual average is much higher). That means that attendees spent at least $50,000 in coming, and maybe as much as $100,000. So I figured that it would be pretty cruel of me to demand more out of people!
PS. To be honest and fair, before you whip out your PayPal account and point it in my direction, I'd like to point out that all of the suspension performers worked for free and travelled here on their own dime. All of the bands did the same. Please consider sending them your support before me if you want to donate to anyone — they are who really made it all come together!
Update: Suspension groups and bands that were at BMEfest: if you send me links to your donation info and/or shirt/CD pages I'll gladly post them here. I can't thank you guys enough for all your work in making it a success.