View Full Version : International Mead Festival - Further Details

12-31-2007, 05:40 PM
Dear Mead Lovers,

Note: I am speaking personally, not in an official capacity for the IMA. I am heavily involved in both the IMA and IMF, but this is *me* talking, from a personal perspective.

I wanted to write a personal note to hopefully put to rest many of the questions and concerns arising from the cancellation of the 2008 Mead Fest. I wont be able to answer every question or concern, but I want to let you know a bit about what went on behind the cancellation as a person who supports mead and critical for success of the festival in the future!

First of all, I am very sorry that it took so long to get this written. We have been working feverishly for the last several months, and I'm afraid we've focused perhaps too much on those details, and not enough on keeping you updated. It has been a very humbling experience, one that has strengthened my resolve that nothing like this ever happen again. Please accept my personal apology for the cancellation of the 2008 Mead Festival.

Now on to the questions and concerns expressed to me since the cancellation; as all you must know, in life there are things that happen that you cant control. Times are that you want to do a good job, but you cant. Not enough time in the day, money shortages, missed opportunities all of us have felt the sting of these things in our lives. The Mead Fest has gone through some growth, and as a consequence experienced growth pains. It is these issues that lead to the very painful decision to cancel the fest this year rather than fail to put on the best festival possible.

I understand if you would like to know more of the nitty-gritty details. That is just not possible. The circumstances which led to the cancellation of the festival are not the acts of any one bad person that we can shake a finger at. The cancellation was caused by a lot of things that happened, and some things that needed to happen and didnt. I dont think there is anyone out there that is sorrier than I am. I have been looking forward to the next festival since I left the last one, and GotMead has been the biggest promoter and supporter of the Festival for years. Since I run the websites for the IMA and IMF, I invest *tons* of time and money to help it go forward, so believe *me*, I'm at *least* as bummed as you are.

What it came down to was, in short, money. Or rather, the lack of it. We needed funding to pay for the Festival, and had to have it *before* we could sell tickets, in order to purchase all the things that needed to be done before we sold the first ticket. In the past, we have had a a very generous meadery which funded the Festival in previous years. Sadly, that meadery can no longer do this, and we, as the IMA, reached out to the worlds' meaderies to ask them to join the IMA, and through that, to fund the festival.
(Editors note: I re-wrote this paragraph because a friend pointed out that a term I used in this paragraph could be taken negatively. I want to be *very* clear that in no way was anything negative intended, indeed my comment was meant to be a complement to the meadery who previously funded the IMF. -- Vicky)

The response was less than overwhelming. In fact, it was downright disappointing. We needed a minimum of 20 of the over 200 meaderies worldwide to pay their memberships. We got less than 10, which left us far short of our initial cash flow requirement to fund the initial IMF costs. I have listed below the meaderies that stepped up and joined. Please give them your support, as they are the core of what will make the IMA a force to be reckoned with, and what will give us the grounding we need to put on the 2009 International Mead Festival. So if you have meaderies local to you, let them know you'd love to see them support and join the International Mead Association, so that mead can get the kind of footing that wine has.

We need you all to understand that HUGE lessons were learned. Many changes will be occurring in the upcoming times. We are so very sorry to disappoint so many of you. We do treasure the support for the mead community and hope that it will continue.

But the good news is the commercial and home competitions are going on! A lot of people are putting in many hours to make sure that mead makers have the best competition experience humanly possible! We have over 200 entries for the home competition, and a Who's Who list of judges from all over the WORLD. The commercial competition is still being taken in, and we've entries worldwide for that as well.

We understand that some hard-core mead lovers have purchased airplane tickets. I feel your pain, I did the same thing. Id like to ask that if this is the case that you contact me directly. Id like to propose something to you that will perhaps go a ways towards making you forgive me for this very disappointing situation. Contact me at: gotmead@gotmead.com for more info, and watch here and at http://www.meadfest.com for update hotel and venue info.

Again, I ask you to forgive our failure this year and to trust that the future will be assured.

Very sincerely yours,

Vicky Rowe
IMA Core Member
Owner, Gotmead.com

P.S. We are a grass-roots movement here, folks. Help out the IMA, and the mead industry by asking your local or favorite meadery to join and give us the clout we need to both put in future festivals, and to use the combined power of the industry to gain benefits for the meadmakers and mead drinkers of the world!

Here are the meaderies which are the best of the best, who stepped up to support our Festival. Please buy their meads, and tell them you appreciate their support of the IMA, the IMF and the industry as a whole:

Rabbits Foot Meadery (http://www.rabbitsfootmeadery.com)
Redstone Meadery (http://www.redstonemeadery.com) <-- apologies, I somehow didn't add them in the original
Sky River Brewing (http://www.skyriverbrewing.com)
Falcon Mead (http://www.falconmead.com)
Long Island Meadery (http://www.limeadery.com)
Munro Meadery & Honey (http://www.munrohoney.com)
Medovina Meadery (http://www.medovina.com)
Mountain Meadows Mead (http://www.mountainmeadowsmead.com)
Spruce Mountain Meadery (http://www.sprucemountainmeadery.com)
Blacksnake Meadery (http://www.blacksnakemead.com)
Honeywine.com (http://www.honeywine.com) <-- apologies, I somehow didn't add them in the original

Dan McFeeley
01-01-2008, 05:00 PM
Hi Vickie! Thanks for posting this.

Speaking for myself, no apologies needed. In spite of this year's setback, the hard work that was put into it, and in keeping the competition going, is appreciated. Regardless of the loss of this year's mead fest, there will still be a major mead event, and we are thankful for that.

-- Dan M.

01-01-2008, 07:37 PM
Thanks Dan. We're trying to make this year's event more of a meet-n-greet, with a who's who of meadmakers. I'm seriously dissappointed that we won't have a Festival, but am looking forward to having more sit-down time with my fellow mead industry folks, to talk and work on putting together future plans to grow the industry. Wish you could come, the research dept. is going to be *busy* this coming year.......

01-13-2008, 08:59 PM

While the IMF is cancelled for 2008, we are still holding the Home Meadmakers Competition (HMMC) and the Commercial Competition are still going on!!

We will be having the judging for both competitions on the original Festival weekend, February 8-9. We have moved to the Boulder Outlook Hotel. Those of you who have attended earlier competitions will remember the Outlook, a funky and fun hotel with great staff, a restaurant on site and just a great atmosphere.

Here is the schedule that we plan to have:

February 7, 2008 7:00PM 10:00PM Industry Gathering
February 8, 2008 9:00 AM 5:00 PM- Judging of Commercial Mead Competition meads.
February 8, 2008 7:00PM 10:00PM Industry Gathering
February 9, 2008 9:00 AM 5:00 PM- Judging of Home Mead Competition meads.
February 9, 2008 7:00PM 10:00PM Commercial and Home Mead Award Ceremony and Limbo