K2 Festical Day 4: Going To 11
It was right out of Spinal Tap. The Festical, K2’s second-annual retailer get-together at Mt. Baker, Washington, was hitting an all-time high in the party realm, and during the day Thursday, people were wondering how it could get any better. But lo and behold, this Festical doesn’t go to 10, it goes to 11, and the K2 staff brought in the heavy guns to take the event to mind-blowing proportions.
The grand finale included a group called The Freaky People, and they put on a show in the big party tent that was a cross between something you’d see at Burning Man and from circus gypsies.
Things started around 10:00 p.m. with a surf-punk band rocking out for a couple of tunes, then a creepy announcer came out, all circus-show style, and introduced the acts while trying to build the crowd into a frenzy. And it was standing-room only as the mix of retailers and K2 reps and staff got their drink on during the show.
The act included juggling with flaming torches, sword swallowing, scantily clad women dancing around stage with flaming fingernail extenders, and a cinder block being hammered in half on a man’s stomach while he lay on a bed of nails. Truly freaky stuff. At one point in the show five people were dancing on stage with various objects flaming in their hands.
After the 45-minute show wrapped up, the chairs were moved and DJ’s played a mix of trance/techno, and hip-hop music as the pumped-up crowd got its freak on on the dance floor. A few of the Freaky people stayed out and danced with the crowd, and everyone rocked the night away, figuring hangovers could be slept off on the bus ride back down to Seattle and on the plane rides home.
While the weather at the Festical consisted of one morning of fresh snow, and four days of steady rain, there were no complaints from the crowd. Retailers got a great chance to try out K2’s new Sympatex outerwear (which proved to be quite waterproof) and other gear on the mountain, while getting a great opportunity to sit in on focus groups and provide valuable input on K2’s new gear. But most of all, everyone had plenty of time to build relationships and become better friends. And in this industry where relationships are so important, K2 did a great job of just that.