If you know me at all, you know that I live for all things related to Duran Duran. For that reason, I was a wee bit excited when Rhonda and Amanda at Daily Duranie announced that they would be putting on a Duran fan convention this year. Now, don’t be shocked, but I’m already registered. Who am I kidding? I’m already picking out what I’m going to wear. If this is the first you’re learning of this, please check out the convention info so graciously shared with us by Rhonda. Then get on it! You don’t want to miss out on the fun!
What is Durandemonium?
Durandemonium is set up to be a fan convention – a celebration of sorts for fans of the band Duran Duran, to be held in the vibrant city of Chicago, October 18-20, 2013. The difference between Durandemonium and other conventions out there is that this one is put on by a group of fans, and it isn’t designed as a meet-and-greet for the band. The band, while very much invited, are not likely to be present, and in a lot of ways we are happy about that because the focus in turn becomes making connections between fans. The weekend event is designed to be a non-stop party. We are planning social events for mingling, and everything that we are working on for the weekend has to do with encouraging that social piece of the puzzle that can sometimes get lost during the mania that happens at concerts or even while online.
Why a fan convention?
To begin with, I had participated in the planning of a convention back in 2004 (we had it in New Orleans). For me personally, the convention was a huge catharsis. Not only did I discover a ton of people who had the same basic love for a band that I had, but I found an interest that was simply my own – nothing that I really had to share with my family. I am a stay-at-home mom, and while I am thankful to be able to be at home with my kids, that experience can be incredibly stifling and solitary. I missed having something that was my own and I really enjoyed the convention. Meeting the people I did completely changed and enhanced my concert experience – I wanted to be able to travel to other places to see the band with friends, and I suppose you could say it opened my entire world. Once I met Amanda and we began blogging (we are the “creative idiots” behind dailyduranie.com – a blog about being a Duran Duran fan), we decided to have pre-show “meet-ups” for fans in as many places as we could. At nearly every meet-up, people would ask if we would consider doing a convention. At first, my swift answer was a resounding “NO”. It is an incredible amount of work with a multitude of moving parts, I just didn’t think it was something Amanda and I could feasibly tackle, but then last summer, I began to soften to the idea. Now we’re seven months out from Durandemonium 2013!
The reason Amanda and I agreed that this was the year to have a convention is simple: the band is in the studio. They aren’t planning to tour, and that gives us all a bit more playtime that isn’t already budgeted to the band. Additionally, since the band is going to be in the studio, chances are – they will be touring in the following year or whenever they finish the album that they are currently recording. The goal of having a convention now is to bring fans together, to give fans a vehicle for making new friends, so that way when the band does begin to tour again, there could very well be more people willing and ready to travel to meet up with other fans and go to shows. One of the very best things I ever did for my own fandom was go to that convention in 2004. Prior to that, it would have never entered my head to go out of state to see a concert – and now I almost expect to miss the shows in California in favor of seeing concerts in other parts of the country with a group of my friends. Hands down, it is much more fun to see the band with my Duranie friends than it ever is to see them alone at home. I would like to think that even the band themselves (or their management) can see the potential behind conventions such as the one we’re planning because while the band is technically in a sort of “down time” with regard to fans – we’re keeping the excitement burning here, and even adding fuel to that fire by creating more excitement over the next tour. Overall it’s a great thing for everyone.
How does the convention play into what you do with the blog?
Daily Duranie is a blog that we literally write each day (Typically I write Mon-Thurs and Amanda writes Fri-Sun), and it is about being a fan and all that goes along with that. We talk about everything from what it is really like waiting for snippets of news to come out of the studio to what we think about what one of the band members blogs, and so forth. We really try to not only cover the news, but also to cover it from OUR prospective, even when we know that others may not agree. Additionally, Amanda and I strive to open ourselves up personally as people – we want our readers to know that we are fans, just like anyone else, and that we love meeting other fans – that it is the personal connections between one another that we really hold most dear. Those relationships that we have made with other fans along the way are what keep us in the fan community over the long haul. Yes, the band is important, but the fact is we could still be fans, listen to the band at home or in our cars, and never have our fandom go any farther than that – and many people out there do just that, which is fine. That’s not really what we strive to show people in Daily Duranie though. We want fans to recognize that it is our relationships between one another that have created this community, and those relationships are what is going to keep that going long after the band ceases to make records or tour. So for us, setting up functions for fans to mingle and just BE fans without ridicule from people who don’t quite get it all is key. A convention is just one of those activities, albeit behemoth in size!