2021 29th Annual “Last” CoCoFEST! Alternate Event Date

With all the votes cast, it became obvious folks took a cautious view of the months ahead, with September 25/26 and November 6/7 becoming early frontrunners. As of March 1, 2021, November 6/7 edged out September as a preferred date.

Along the way, I became aware that November 5-7 is also the 2021 date for the Midwest Gaming Classic. The hugely popular pinball/arcade exhibition event in Milwaukee, WI also contains “The Computing and Gaming Museum” exhibit, where Tandy Color Computers are shown along with other 80’s era home computers and videogame systems. It’s never ideal when conflicts like this arise, doubly so since MGC draws quite a bit from the Chicago area given the location, and I know this will affect some of our attendees. That said, the event offered the least conflicts from vote responses, seemed far enough in the year to hopefully sidestep current travel/attendance issues, and was favored significantly over any other option.

Thus, I confirmed the November 6/7 date with our venue and freed up the other dates. I hope those that find a conflict might consider spending one day at MGC and the other with us. I often attend MGC but it’s something that can be adequately enjoyed over a single day.

The new date does pose a unique challenge concerning our 2022 event, though. Normally, events such as ours don’t book the following year’s venue date until after the current event concludes. This is common, and since everyone typically runs the same play, the same date in the following year is often available. Yet, this year will be different, in that the 2021 show will (hopefully) occur in November, followed by the 2022 show in its regular April timeframe, a mere 5 months later. If that’s the preference, it’d be best to decide soon, to ensure the requisite 2022 date is available and reserved. But, if the community would prefer to see a bit more space between show dates, I could see the show potentially moving back 3-4 months (splitting the 17 month distance between the 2021 November show and the 2023 April show) to early August.

For what it is worth, I prefer scheduling the 2022 show in April, both because I don’t think two shows within 6 months is a significant concern (some folks have already noted they try to attend both CocoFEST and Tandy Assembly in a given year, and those shows are normally scheduled 6 months apart) and also because I think reserving that date is prudent in case circumstances prevent a 2021 in person event (possibly due to weather concerns). Feel free to add your thoughts, as we’ll need to discuss at some point before the May meeting.

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The 29th Annual “Last” Chicago CoCoFEST! is MOVING!

Calm down, it’s just a temporary 2021 thing 🙂

As some are no doubt aware, the country is still grappling with travel and attendance restrictions, and the club would like to make sure everyone has an opportunity to come together in person for our annual color computer (and MC-10, Dragon, and the occasional MM/1) celebration event. Our original April 24/25th date appears too early in the year to offer that opportunity, so we’ve made the decision to delay until later in 2021.

While we know no date is perfect, we have a few options to consider, and we’re asking for help. We’ve created a special polling system on TandyList.com that you can access to provide your preferences:

https://www.tandylist.com/votecocofestdate.aspx

Glenside Color Computer Club members should already have a login, and others I believe can register to obtain one. I’d encourage folks to vote early to ensure your voice is heard, even if you’re unsure on some dates. You can update your vote anytime until the poll closes.

We’ll leave the poll open until 12:00AM Central March 1, 2021, as we need to let the venue know our selection by then. I’ll call them that morning and select the first date available based on the poll results (at current time, all of the dates listed in the poll are available, but that might change as the week progresses)

We’re working on a way to show the various results in real time, so folks can see which dates appear most likely and adjust their vote if desired.

A few notes on the various dates:

  • June 25/26
    • Few things conflict with this date, though it’s unclear if restrictions will be relaxed enough and confidence level boosted enough to select this date.
  • September 10/11
    • The Vintage Computer Festival – Midwest (VCF-MW), a large multi-platform classic computer show often held in Chicago every year, typically holds their show during this weekend, and there’s a possibility 2021 would offer enough space their the VCF-MW venue to also contain CoCoFEST!. That said, this is probably the least confirmed options in the list. If VCF-MW decides to forego an in-person show in 2021, CoCoFEST! would be left without a venue. Additionally, there is no guarantee space would be available. I spoke with Jason Timmons, who organizes the event, and he does not want to make any concrete plans until July or so.
  • September 25/26
    • In December, when I inquired with the venue on alternate dates, this was one of the few available, so I locked it in. Thus, I can guarantee this date is available. That said, this date is also just 1 week prior to Tandy Assembly, and I know we have a number of exhibitors and attendees who frequent that show and would find it hard to attend two shows back to back.
  • October 9/10
    • This date suffers from a few concerns. In addition to occurring 1 week AFTER Tandy Assembly (similar concern as with September 25/26), this is also the same date as Vintage Computer Festival East (VCF-E). Some folks may attend both in a normally scheduled year.
  • November 6/7
    • This one probably offers the most safety, though travel could be hindered by early Winter weather. It’s also the closest show date to the normal 2022 CoCoFEST! date (later April).

If a Q3/Q4 option is selected. we might later discuss sliding the 2022 April date back a few months, but we have not considered the matter as yet.

Again, please consider voting your preferences and feel free to send myself or any of the officers any additional thoughts you might have.

Jim

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