The Undead Will Not Walk in 2013

zombiefeastThat’s right, it’s true, the Zombies will not be Walking in 2013. We broke the news yesterday via our Facebook page, but since then, we’ve heard a few questions and theories about why this isn’t happening this year. We’d like to clear up some questions you might have, and help you understand why we won’t be taking over the streets of Asheville this year, and how you can help for next year.

  • The City’s Festival Regulations Have Gotten Out of Hand. You may have heard that several others festivals were canceled this year (Bele Chere, LAAFF, Goombay, ActionFest, etc). While we can’t speak for those other events and their organizers, we can tell you that our experiences with the City of Asheville in organizing a large-scale event have been a mixed bag at best. The amount of hoola-hoops we’ve had to jump through in past years has made planning immensely more difficult.  Hosting the Zombie Walk downtown has become an impossibility at this point, and unlike fests such as Bele Chere, we have never received any kind of funding, support, or even encouragement from the city. In fact, we’ve been told in the past that we were not wanted downtown, and were set to unrealistic standards to keep us out.  We’ve met some extremely supportive and pleasant folks in the Asheville Police Department and the City Council, but they are too few and far between for us to reasonably plan around the city’s more recent regulations regarding festivals. If this is a subject you are passionate about, reach out to your city officials, and urge them to put more funding and efforts into public activities such as the Zombie Walk and other festivals.
  • 9Lack of Funds and Local Support. We’ve mentioned in the past that the Zombie Walk is hurting. It takes a lot of time, planning, people, and money to create an event as huge, diverse, and activity-packed as ours. We’re very adamant about keeping our event free to the public, as well as family-friendly, but that means we have to rely on sponsorships and donations to keep going. Simply put: we’re not getting any.  Corporate sponsorships are always an option, but we firmly believe in keeping local, and supporting Local Asheville businesses. Unfortunately, we understand that most businesses in the local area are having a hard time keeping afloat themselves, so sponsorships are very rare. The regular Walk requires permits, insurance, venues, stages, promotional material, raffle prizes, and supplies. Last year, we held a Zombie Pub Crawl in lieu of the Walk because of a lack of funds, and even that was more than we could afford.  We provided free beer, free live music, loads of activities, multiple festive environments, and even screened the season premiere of the Walking Dead. We get upwards of 5,000 visitors at any given Zombie Walk – if everyone who participated just donated a dollar or two, we would have no problem providing these activities every year. We sell shirts, stickers, posters, prints, and usually have a raffle or silent auction at every event. If you’d like to see the Walk come back, please consider purchasing these items, or donating (using the button below) to help support your local Zombies. We are also in desperate need of volunteers for every event we put on. If you want to a behind-the-scenes part of an Asheville staple, please consider volunteering your time with us. We are completely non-profit, and sink our own time and money into putting on these events purely for the love of our zombies.

We are already planning to come back in 2014, and want to blow your zombie-bitten minds with an exciting, fun event. We need your help to do this.

If you are interested in sponsoring or donating goods, please contact us here:  contact@ashtoberfest.com

If you are interested in volunteering at our events, please contact us here:  volunteers@ashtoberfest.com

If you’d like more information on the Zombie Walk, or are a member of the press in need of info, please contact us here: info@ashtoberfest.com

Please consider donating directly by clicking on this button. Every penny helps:

We hope you have a great Halloween season, and hope to see you again in 2014!

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About Jackie Bagwell

Jackie is an artist, a crafter, a web-dweller, and a robot. She is one of the head organizers of Ashtoberfest, and is involved in many online communities. You can connect with her on Google+

Posted on September 11, 2013, in Events, Zombie News. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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