Despite the near freezing cold, the days and nights prior to the event were spent standing in puddles of icey water to set up the track, and the elements provided a gusty wind just to make sure everyone was properly chilled. Much like the celebration of the holiday in the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, all the weather and last minute improvements to the track couldn’t stop the fury of the 2nd Annual Blue Genie Danger Derby, and it went off without a hitch – topping the last year’s inaugural event.
With the track half assembled between icey monsoon downpours, work progressing on the torches and sawblade dangers, along with last minute finishes on a cadre of cars by the staff at Blue Genie, the ‘Go!’ decision was made by 11am despite any weather headed towards Austin. Work shifted into doubletime, matching the layers of sweaters worn by most of the staff as well.
With a few hiccups and some late work on the final installation of the sawblade danger, the Derby was now ready for launch. The first race featured a watermelon, cantaloupe, coconut and a head of cabbage to whet the appetite for the crowd. Buffeted by the video production provided by Fusebox, our MC took his place alongside ‘the Fire Marshall’, and things were ready to go. The cantaloupe won, the dangers were turned on and the races began. Words can’t really describe what its like when 70+ art cars turned harbingers of death race down the 100′ long, two story high track, so here’s a video that was posted shortly after the event that gives you the feel for the insanity:
Here’s what happened when Josh’s Inuit Racer went off the rails and headed towards the Torch Bearer and Josh’s Blue Genie co-worker, Dan:
The event is a pretty special day to Blue Genie – months of planning finally becomes a reality, everyone in the shop gets to enjoy and relish in the fruits of their labor, surrounded by fire, drinks, and an excited crowd to cheer on the destruction and mayhem. Of course, by the end of it, the right mix of excitement, adrenaline, and alcohol is achieved for mere mortals to take on the dangers of the derby all by themselves. Without missing a beat, just after the end of this video, Carl was doused with a fire extinguisher and nonchalantly looked at the crowd and asked if he was in heaven.
Here are the last moments of my little racer, Men A Twerk, featuring the bobblehead butt of Miley Cyrus on the Sunday after the derby:
All in all, it was a fantastic event that succeeded despite the volatile weather. The crowds was outrageous, the 70+ cars entered into the event once again surprised and delighted the crowd, other racers as well as the event organizers and staff at Blue Genie with their ingenuity, craft and level of insanity built into them.
We also had great support from our sponsors at Deep Eddy Vodka, Thirsty Planet, Austin Eastciders, Kerlin BBQ, Purple Tongue Catering, Gourmands, Moxie Realty, Big Medium, the East Austin Studio Tour, and Fusebox.
The press came out in droves as well:
The Statesman sent a photographer from their fancy socialite ‘A-List’ series (and captured some great shots)
The Chronicle also showed up and documented the event
Austin Culturemap covered EAST and gave some credit to the Danger Derby
Expect the Third Annual Blue Genie Danger Derby to have even more spectacular dangers, more fun, and (hopefully) even better weather!