I spent the last two days at Freedom Fest, held annually in Fabulous Las Vegas. This was my first time attending, though I should clarify that I attended as a volunteer, not as a paying participant; mainly because the registration costs are pretty expensive (about $500 – but freedom isn’t free) and doesn’t include the cost of getting a room, however next year I am planning on being a fully paid participant. Anyway, like I said this was my first time at this event, and even though I was only a volunteer and really couldn’t attend any of the events, it was still a very cool experience. It was refreshing to see so many people from all over the country and even many other countries that are actually interested in the concepts of liberty – you know the thing that this country was founded on? Of course with every festival that is based on an idea, concept, theme, value, etc. it is like preaching to the choir. This is because all of the people that are there are by and large believers in whatever that festival’s theme is, as are all of the speakers/performers, but to think so insular doesn’t do any of those festivals justice, and the same goes for Freedom Fest.
Sure, the vast majority of people attending already believe in freedom and liberty, but to think that that message stays in Bally’s Hotel and Casino Conference Center, after all the festivities have ended, would be short sighted and naïve. First of all many of the speakers are already columnists, radio hosts and regulars on any number of nationally televised news programs, so their message reaches well beyond the desolation of the desert that surrounds Las Vegas; then there are the attendees themselves. To think that all of those people turn silent once they board their flights out of McCarran International Airport would be akin to believing that the notion of freedom and liberty are taboo subjects which would certainly land them in some gulag far from the eyes of the proletariat. No, most of these people will share what they heard and learned at Freedom Fest with others too.
Again, since I was essentially working as a volunteer I was not able to attend any of the various seminars or events, but that didn’t stop me from being able see and speak with many of the attendees and I can tell you that first and foremost everyone I met and spoke to was very friendly, and of course they were also tuned into what the state of politics in this country has devolved to, even a couple of South Africans that I met were discouraged over the path of American politics when it comes to preserving freedom and liberty. However, there was one thing that I noticed that did have me a little disappointed, and that was the demographics of those in attendance.
Not surprisingly was the fact that the vast majority of those in attendance were in the older ages, I’d say from their 50’s on up. This didn’t surprise me because the older demographics have been the most active and vocal groups politically for decades, and have witnessed the most erosion of the freedoms we claim to cherish so much in our country. Then I’d say the next group that seemed to be rather prominent was college aged individuals, I guess they are called the millennial generation. That is actually rather surprising too, because most people, me included, are prone to thinking that kids today have an over inflated sense of entitlement, that they’re lazy, and apathetic. Well, I can tell you that at least the ones who I met are quite frankly pissed off at the direction our government is dragging us, and they are not too timid or apathetic to tell you about it. Then there are the disappointments, one being my generation. I am on the cusp of the “Me” generation and Generation “X,” depending on how you want to break those two rather inglorious, and decidedly absent from Freedom Fest, generations down and I can tell you that there weren’t too many people like me running around, bordering on being conspicuously absent. I suppose it really shouldn’t surprise me about this, I mean after all one is called the “Me” generation, which does imply being selfish and uncaring; however one of the supposed traits of Generation X is their disdain for and distrust in authority; their motto should be, “Question everything;” none-the-less my age group was sporadic, bordering on invisible in their attendance (or lack thereof) and that is a little disheartening. It would have also been nice to see more minorities in attendance. The concepts of freedom and liberty know no color, creed, or nationality and I honestly don’t know why more people of different ethnicities were not there, perhaps it is a failure in marketing by the organizers, but whatever the reason(s) the message of the event is universal. Finally, and I will apologize in advance for this, but I did notice that there was no lack of very attractive women in attendance, and yes even in the so called “older” demographic. I’m not talking about what many of you might be thinking of, these weren’t the Las Vegas strip type women you might be envisioning, they were dressed very respectable and professional. In other words they didn’t look like they were just looking to party – though I am told that after hours the conventioneers do let their hair down, I mean it is held in Vegas after all.
Anyway, I just wanted to share my rather limited first time experience and observations at this annual festival and I encourage any and every one to try and make it to one if they can. It is a great place to hear and learn about things that you may not have ever thought about, or simply be around people who share similar beliefs as you and even do a little networking. Plus it is in Las Vegas, and from what I understand there are a lot of people who’d like to have some kind of an excuse to visit the so called “Sin City,” and I’d say celebrating and advancing freedom is as good an excuse as any and if there is no freedom then there would be no “Sin City.”