For those first time folks considering registering...

The Madison Event - before and after
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Joe Way
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For those first time folks considering registering...

Postby Joe Way » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:11 am

Several people have asked me questions about what it would be like for them to attend their first event. Perhaps others can join me as we relate what it was like for us going for the first time. And, perhaps, answer specific questions that anyone might have.

I would be less than honest if I didn't say that Anne & I had apprehensions about registering for the event in Hydra. We were aware that many people had met 2 years before in Montreal and although we knew people through the forum and the newsgroup (the social media of its time), we wondered what it would be like to spend that much time together. In fact, Anne made me promise that after the event was over, we would do some sightseeing in other parts of Greece.

When we arrived, (Anne by donkey) we met Dolores first at the registration and eventually many others. While we were able to spend time with a lot of people, it seemed like a group of us hit it off very well-obviously we've had the pleasure of seeing Vern Silver, Liverpool Ken and Jack Bowerman many times since then. Most of the meals seemed to occur in groups where we would sit down in a cafe and join a group of other Cohenites. By the time that the event ended, we had scrapped any plans to travel and just wanted to stay with those remaining on Hydra.

Each event since then has brought more new friends. I think that it is one of the great pleasures of life to meet an international group of people and have friends scattered through all parts of the globe. We have tried to find repeated excuses to get together with folks even when it doesn't involve Leonard Cohen. After meeting and thoroughly enjoying Helen and Sheila from Ireland while at the Berlin event, they were kind enough to meet us in Doolin when I brought my family over. In Krakow, we were able to spend time with Doron and enjoyed every minute.

So will you be welcomed-yes, of course-you have an instant connection with your admiration of Leonard's work. I would suggest though that you go in with the idea of being a little outgoing and introduce yourself to people. I think you will find many with whom you have other things in common.

Most of the events have had some central gathering places-in Hydra it was the cafes in the Harbor. All of the events had a place where you knew you could find other Cohenites. In Madison it will be Memorial Union Terrace from coffee and tea in the morning to beers in the afternoon and evening.

Some of the events have been action packed with what seemed to be so many activities that there was hardly enough time to relax to those events where relaxation just seemed part of the event. We're trying to make Madison a nice balance between these.

I hope you will join us.

Joe
"Say a prayer for the cowboy..."
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lizzytysh
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Re: For those first time folks considering registering...

Postby lizzytysh » Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:50 am

Very well described, Joe.
There's a growing familiarity and deepening of friendships that occurs from one Event and gathering to the next.
It's a process that is rewarding to the extent that when you see one coming, you get excited; when you read of one happening elsewhere, you feel pangs of wishing so much you could be there, too.
For anyone feeling any hesitation whatsoever, please do all you can to discard those feelings, trusting and knowing that all will be well, and you'll be SO GLAD you made the decision to go. I can't begin to tell you how many times I've heard that refrain. You WILL meet new people with whom you WILL remain in contact.

It's a special room that Leonard and Jarkko have opened for us all. What Joe says about balance you will find to be crucial, too. You WANT that extra time to just be able to 'be' and with those whom you've met to spend unstructured time of sharing and getting to know one another to begin with or better.


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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lizzytysh
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Re: For those first time folks considering registering...

Postby lizzytysh » Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:25 am

Oh, good! We're up to 46 now... up from 35! C'mo-o-o-o-o-o-o-n, PEOPLE!!! We really want to GO to this!!! And so will you, once you've been!!!
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
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John K.
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Re: For those first time folks considering registering...

Postby John K. » Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:20 am

I had found newsgroups as a format especially annoying, and I didn't join it despite my interest in Leonard Cohen (whom I've considered the greatest songwriter in the history of the English language since I was 19). As a result, I was what I thought was late to this community. How could I have ever guessed what this would become thanks to Mr. Cohen's newfound popularity?!?

I discovered all of you, and the Files, after the Montreal Event had taken place, which caused me some regret because Montreal is close enough to Buffalo that I could have gone. Between family and budgets a trip to Hydra was not in the cards, but when the opportunity to go to 2004 New York Event came along, I was sure to be there.

Back then it was rare that I would meet someone who was as aware of Mr. Cohen's music as I was, people usually had no idea who he was. What a thrill to be among so many who knew his work at least as well, and in many cases better, than I did. I found that the many great performances by world-class musicians
made the price of the event well worth it, and accommodations were available that were very reasonable for a big US city.

And that was only part of it. The internet is a great invention but so often we participate in things that are purely digital. This was an opportunity to meet and interact and enjoy the company of people with similar interests and tastes, and what an immediately FRIENDLY group! I was there alone and had never met ANY of the other participants. At the time I had barely interacted with any of you here on the forum.

It didn't matter. By the third night I counted so many of you as my friends. I've been fortunate to see some of you in Toronto at Luminato, and then in various venues for Mr. Cohen's performances. I've wished that I could attend every event, and am so happy that I can finally attend my second since Madison is so easy to get to since it's so close to Chicago.

This community has enriched my life, and it wouldn't have been possible without my taking a first step. I encourage you to join me in Madison.
I love to speak with John
He's a pundit and a fraud
He's a lazy banker living in a suit

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abby
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Re: For those first time folks considering registering...

Postby abby » Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:24 pm

I'm one of those first time folks considering registering. Do I need to make a decision by a certain point? At the moment I'm just letting the thought roll around in my head.
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Joe Way
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Re: For those first time folks considering registering...

Postby Joe Way » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:00 pm

Hi Abby,
To answer your questions, I will be brutally honest. We are in bad situation with only about 50 people registered. In all of the other events, we had over 150 by this time. I have not yet spent any money so I would be able to refund everyone's registration (with the exception of some small paypal fees). We've sent out an appeal to most of the former participants and have signed up another 15 or so with probably another 20 saying that they are willing to committ. However, we cannot put on the event with such low numbers-I would not be able to pay the musicians or expenses. We have determined that we must have at least 125 people by December 31st or will cancel the event.

Jarkko will have a little more on this, but we do need new registrants soon or it will not happen.

Joe
"Say a prayer for the cowboy..."
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abby
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Re: For those first time folks considering registering...

Postby abby » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:06 pm

Thank you, Joe. I very much appreciate your honesty, & how quickly you responded.
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lizzytysh
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Re: For those first time folks considering registering...

Postby lizzytysh » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:15 pm

Exactly, Abby.
And what a shame should Madison be cancelled!!!
I know that there's the current economy, plus the uncertainties in Europe surrounding the possibilities of bankrupting countries and fracturing/demolition of the euro... plus the unknown of Leonard maybe playing concerts. Still, these major planning requirements have deadlines in order to go forward. These Events are interesting, as well as bonding opportunities. Supporting them is so important to the community here.
I seriously hope to hear that you will or have registered, Abby. I'd love to see you there and spend some more time with you :D


~ Lizzy xoxox
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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Mabeanie1
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Re: For those first time folks considering registering...

Postby Mabeanie1 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:43 pm

Thank you for stating the position so bluntly Joe. I think it is important that forum members understand how things stand.

I suspect a lot of people are holding off registering for the possibility that Leonard might be on tour at the time which is a great shame. At this stage, the Madison event is real (assuming it doesn't have to be cancelled); the possibility of a tour is not so speaking personally I was happy to commit $150 to support the event. I know a lot of people cannot afford to commit $150 but on the other hand, a lot of other forum members could. It would be a great shame if Madison had to be cancelled because people did not commit for fear of missing something which might not happen.

Looking at the list of participants so far, it is interesting to note that half of those who have signed up are travelling from outside North America. Where are all the active forum members from the US? There do seem to be a lot of "obvious" names missing. I know Madison isn't exactly local to much of the US/ Canada but it's a d*** sight more local than Japan, or Australia, or Italy, or the Czech Republic.

I do hope that more people will sign up very quickly so that Madison can go ahead and Joe can commit on arrangements.

Wendy
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lizzytysh
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Re: For those first time folks considering registering...

Postby lizzytysh » Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:20 am

I'm with you 100%, Wendy! And the thing is with Leonard's touring/not touring, he may well be somewhere that would be easier/cheaper for a person to get to during the times EITHER SIDE of the Event! These Events are so worthwhile and Joe has such interesting things lined up, I really hope people will just make a decision and do it!
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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mutti
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Re: For those first time folks considering registering...

Postby mutti » Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:42 pm

I am writing to say I am sorry that not enough people have registered as yet for the planned event in Madison. I truly would love to see it happen.
I am replying to the above post asking where are the people in the US and Canada from the forum, etc.

I can only speak for myself and the reason I have not registered is not that I am waiting to hear whether or not Leonard will tour and how it may conflict with the dates. (Although there is nothing that would make me more happy than hearing he will tour in 2012).
I have my own reasons that make it too difficult to book something that far in advance. Simple and true.
I am not being defensive here and I hope more people do sign up soon to make the numbers work so Joe can go ahead and make bookings.
I just felt the need to write this to reply to Wendy and Lizzy's comments which although I understand them wanting to push for more people, warranted a reply from an active forum member who lives closer to the event than people coming from afar.
No other comments needed on my part.
Leslie/Mutti 8)
1988 Vancouver
2009 Victoria/Seattle/Almost Red Rocks/Las Vegas/San Jose.
2010 Sligo x 2/Victoria/Vancouver/Portland/Las Vegas x 2.
2012 Austin x 2/Seattle/Vancouver/Montreal x 2.
2013 Oakland x 2/New York City x 2/Winnipeg...
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Mabeanie1
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Re: For those first time folks considering registering...

Postby Mabeanie1 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:59 pm

I appreciate your response Leslie. I know your circumstances make it very difficult for you to plan ahead for something like this. However, also I wanted to make it clear that I was not aiming my remarks at anyone in particular. I am just surprised that there are not more people willing and able to commit $150 now to the event.

Wendy
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lizzytysh
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Re: For those first time folks considering registering...

Postby lizzytysh » Sun Dec 04, 2011 5:24 pm

I'm with you on that, Wendy... and, yes, Mutti, some people's lives and circumstances preclude a commitment so far in advance; yet, others' don't. As for our commenting on it, we can only do what we can do and encourage people to attend. I've seen it make 'the' difference in the past, and no reason to think it might not again, so we're doing what we personally can to increase the number of people registering. The circumstances of my life have and will change even more dramatically by then. I may be driving instead of flying. I just don't know. All I know for sure is that I'll be there, one way or the other. I'm still sorry I didn't get to the one in Canada...
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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mutti
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Re: For those first time folks considering registering...

Postby mutti » Sun Dec 04, 2011 5:58 pm

thanks for your responses W. and L.
Yes indeed I support this push by Joe and all involved to get more registrants...sorry I can't but I have already said that.
Hopefully a flood of people realizing this may be cancelled if there aren't enough people will respond soon.
I sure hope so as it sounds really good.
Leslie/Mutti 8)
1988 Vancouver
2009 Victoria/Seattle/Almost Red Rocks/Las Vegas/San Jose.
2010 Sligo x 2/Victoria/Vancouver/Portland/Las Vegas x 2.
2012 Austin x 2/Seattle/Vancouver/Montreal x 2.
2013 Oakland x 2/New York City x 2/Winnipeg...
Cate
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Re: For those first time folks considering registering...

Postby Cate » Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:17 pm

Fingers crossed, this will be my first event, as well as my first time traveling out of the county on my own (Canada’s not exactly far … but still it seems far from home.) I know that there are others who’ll be coming on their own and I’m hoping several other first timers. I really like the schedule with lots of opportunities to join in groups as well do things on your own. I also appreciate the affordable accommodations and not having to worry about where to stay.

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