The Smart Puffs event had a fair turn out at Broadway Joe’s in Buffalo, New York on December 9th, 2005. We did a great job with promotion, and we learned a lot about holding events.
The flyer drew by Tobias Brill was placed as an ad in Buffalo Beats. Zach Todtenhagen drew an amazing picture on the second flyer showing a baby cannabis plant growing with the peace sign and the picture of the Earth in the background. Trever Driggs did the third flyer and he helped distributed and promoted the show too.
The Smart Puffs website promotion went great. FrankDiscussion, Toronto Medical Marijuana, HUMAN, and Cannabis Culture had Smart Puffs banners on their site. That was a major accomplishment! The Deepthinka crew made a lot of effort in promotion, and Rochester and Buffalo Cannabis Coalitions thank them for their effort. Deepthinka distributed about 2,000 flyers/handouts in Buffalo, NY.
Mike Szczepanik did a great job with the SmartPuffs website design and the artwork on the U.S./Canada flag blended together the cannabis leaf! That was a powerful political statement for both the United States and Canada!
During the Smart Puffs event, everything seemed slow but people were showing up. Solomon Blaylock – who did the band line up – showed up and he was very helpful during the event. He helped run our NORML table and did the schedule. Reverend Dustin Fineout showed up with more NORML stuff to give away and sell for fundraising. He brought three Rochester friends. Keith Istler, our Rochester Cannabis Coalition member, showed up from Rochester. He was a very supportive person too.
DJ Cutler opened the show with amazing turntable beats. The World Wide Cipher along with Higher Than You, Atlas and DJ Wizz from Rochester did amazing performances on the stage. Their hip-hop music was intense and spiritual.
Wise Mecca shocked the audience with her talent. She opened her performance by doing solo drumming. She was very energetic and expressive as she sang and rapped on the stage. DJ Rukkus closed the show with his finest beats. He was very gentle and supportive through the entire show too.
Ben Verbeck went up on the stage and shared his marijuana comedy with the audience. Before he went on with his pieces, he shared with the audience that he was in HEADS magazine for smoking marijuana and taking a picture of himself every day for one year … yes … every single day. He was a very good comedian and definitely has the potential to do more.
There were a lot of deaf people in the audience, because they are in the same area. We felt bad that our interpreter (who volunteered) dropped her plan to show up. We had a big snowstorm that morning in Buffalo. Her complaint was that the road from Niagara Falls to Buffalo was bad. People had a hard time getting to work as the streets were still being plowed, so we had to respect her concerns. It was nice that the deaf people enjoyed their time though, and they were the last group to leave. (We’ll get an interpreter next time fo’ sho’!)
Talking about the turn out … we didn’t have a great turn out as expected. Were we overestimating, maybe? Despite the fact we got the website up and the banner running on a lot of popular websites such as Cannabis Culture, we still need to be more creative as we work on our next promotion.
Maybe our promotion needs to be more local, not global. We need to find out why most people said that they’ll show up but didn’t show up. Did they forget? Was it the weather? Did they care? Were they feeling sketchy about going to a marijuana event? Or were other popular events going on that same night?
However, enough people showed up and after paying the booking fee we were able to raise $83 dollars for Marc Emery. If it weren’t for Puff Mama’s generous hemp t-shirt donation from her store Clandestiny in Toronto, we would have gotten less! But even despite that contribution, Smart Puffs did not meet its $500 donation dream …
To look at it this way, out of $100, we got 83 dollars sent, which means 83%. All the hard work, booking a show date, finding artists, promotion, website design, etc. fall within 75%, and the small audience turnout boots the rating up to 83%. If we had more people show up, we could have reached $500 for the BC Marijuana Party freedom fund and local marijuana law reform groups.
We would like to put up another show, but first we need to know if we can get more people go to the show and support the cause for local marijuana law reforms. We successfully mailed the donation of $83 to British Columbia Marijuana Party, and it would be great to have even more next time!
Rochester Cannabis Coalition (under construction)