Tim and I got to participate in a once in a lifetime event in Denver at the end of April. Ok, so it’s once in a lifetime unless FIF quits again and gets back together again after another eight and a half years.
My brother purchased the tickets to the exclusive Kickstarter comeback show as a Christmas gift for us, and while that in and of itself was enough to rock our world, there was an added benefit that I don’t think anyone was expecting.
Someone got the brilliant idea to start a Facebook group for the roughly 500 ticket holders. It was created to be an avenue for making connections to arrange rides and accommodations, but it turned into so much more. While only about half of the 500 participated in the group on a regular basis, it was enough to create some lasting relationships.
I don’t think we realized the significance of this group which was started several months before the concert, until we arrived in Denver. We pulled up to the hotel – which happened to be nicknamed the FIF Hostel during the weekend – to check in on Thursday evening. Seconds after checking in, we went back to the car to get our luggage and noticed a large gathering of people just outside the front door. And not only was this a large group of fellow FIF fans, it consisted of many familiar faces that we recognized from various Facebook pictures.
In less than 10 minutes, our luggage was in our room and we were on our way to dinner with people we’d never met in person before, three of them sitting in the back seat of our rental car. And so many awesome things like this happened all weekend long! We ran into fellow FIF fans just about everywhere we went and there was no shortage of events where we got to hang out with a bunch of different people from all over the place.
One of the things that we did was take a trip to Colfax and Broadway for a bit. FIF fans will recall the song “Where The 0 Meets 15“, which describes some interesting people in this particular part of town. As Leanor put it, the significance of this intersection is the wealth of the government and commercial area (the 16th Street Mall is so close) contrasted with the poverty of the homeless and down-trodden who hang out in the parks in the area.
While we were there, I noticed a group of people gathered together right there on Broadway. All ages, all conditions. They were laughing, chilling out, sleeping, but they were together. A group of diverse people, connecting on common ground.
And that’s kind of what happened with this group of people who connected on a Facebook group for love of a band. We came from all over the place – including Europe and Australia. We came from all different backgrounds – Christian, Atheist and all kinds of things in between. We have all kinds of different political and philosophical ideas, and varying degrees of wealth. But we came together and put aside our differences in order to celebrate our favourite band and even each other.
I believe we truly had Church that weekend. Like the ideal kind of Church that is based more on the love of family and less on rules and regulations. We truly looked out for each other that weekend. We built each other up, encouraged each other, talked out some of the hard stuff and just generally showed each other love and acceptance.
And now, here I sit, several thousand miles away, wishing I could have bottled up some of that love, or even taken home a few of those new and dear friends.