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The next FF.

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Mr-shifter
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Re: The next FF.

Postby Mr-shifter » Sun May 19, 2019 8:17 pm

He did give details of the next event when I was chatting to him afterwards.

It was caveated with a big IF I do another one.

It would be a tragedy to see this event fold. Hopefully 21 will happen in the summer as planned.
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Re: The next FF.

Postby TheJabbaWookie » Sun May 19, 2019 8:47 pm

Man, that would be a massive shame. I booked a holiday in the first week of August in Fordingbridge hoping to go to my first ever one :( let’s hope it goes ahead :wink:

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Re: The next FF.

Postby Darth Bobby » Sun May 19, 2019 10:30 pm

I’ve missed the last couple as they’ve clashed with work / pre booked events. Would be gutted to see FF end. Hope Dave announces a summer date, I’ll try my very best to be there!!!

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Re: The next FF.

Postby Clarkspie&chips » Mon May 20, 2019 7:35 am

I had another smashing weekend in fordingbridge so thank you Dave for organising another great show.
I think the smaller turnout was mostly down to it bring on a Saturday but being so close to echo probably had a small part to play. I quite liked the old school feel to it!
It would be a huge blow to the community if there wasn’t any more though, for me and many other collectors these shows are as much about socialising and building friendships as they are buying and selling.

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Re: The next FF.

Postby mr_palitoy » Mon May 20, 2019 9:59 am

Had a great weekend. Footfall and dealer tables were down, but on the back of 2 other shows in the last month or so, a change of day/venue and relatively short notice for the show, I think it did as well as can be expected. The new venue is great, better and more possibilities than than the town hall. And the cinema day on the Sunday was fun too. Would be a big loss if this show stopped.

So come on Dave, lets have Farthest Fest, a summer festival for beer, meat and vintage toys! :-p

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Re: The next FF.

Postby Mini99 » Mon May 20, 2019 10:12 am

This was the first Spring FF that I had missed since getting back in to the SW collecting scene.
As I was unable to make this one I made sure that I attend your toy fair three weeks before, and had an equally great time.
FF is so much more than a place to buy and sell, it’s where friendships are made and connections forged.
If your reading this Dave I would imagine that the next one, and I really hope there is a next one, will be packed out!

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Re: The next FF.

Postby David Tree » Mon May 20, 2019 10:26 am

Thank you for all the nice comments :)

I have been seriously thinking about calling it a day for several reasons. Some good, some bad, some downright shitty tactics by others suggesting a boycott.

Farthest From was set up as a love letter to the show 'pre-ebay' where you got in a car, drove for hours to a village hall (often dark and dingy) and then crammed in to riffle through to find the gems.
Whilst location was always a factor in today's 'sit,click and collect' culture, by having the event running on at regular intervals, spring, summer and winter, it allowed for folk to plan in advance for a particular event and make the journey. However I always wanted to have the event an experience for people, that if they had zero disposable income, they could walk away from attending the event richer for the experience (be it through presentations, displays etc).

When the show started it felt special, it felt that everyone who came and supported was rewarded in some way.
Today, it feels taken for granted or just ambivalence with respect to it.
It is worth highlighting I run several other shows through the year, both in Fordingbridge and beyond, craft markets, food markets and other toy events, and as a result you can see/ judge what goes on. A lot of folk say it needs a bigger venue or central location, but truth is, you will probably never get many more vintage dealers, simply due wherever and whenever you hold the event, there's not actually that many out there.
The educational element to the has also been absent from the last few years (with the exception of the Christmas Dinner events) where space has been tight, which is something I feel is a loss.
In addition, a lot of time effort and energy goes into each one and without going into too much detail I've had health issues - I'm still alive, but the sort where you rethink and start making bucket lists just in case.

The biggest factor however is over the last couple of years you can see the anticipation has dwindled for Farthest From, you can see the interaction has dwindled and you can see the post-chat dwindle too. Whilst in other areas where there are additional events, the anticipation, interaction and post-chat has exploded and gone through the roof, which is great in bigger picture for the longevity of the hobby, but there's people that attend both, post all about one, but not about another, sort of leaves you thinking they have lost the love and enthusiasm for Farthest From. This might be because of that established regular fixture of Spring, Summer and Winter, maybe there are too many events on the calendar now, maybe the other show is better, maybe go to next one - with the next one being "maybe go to the next one". 20 events down and there are still plenty of folks to yet even make one show.

Then you pick up the passive aggressive comments that is a movement to wound the event, by dropping the occasional suggestions that place in a negative light, or perhaps putting an idea out there to not support the event. This has to be the dumbest and most selfish tactic employed. I have explained reasons more than once, several times in fact, with a valid rational. It is not accepted, which is fine, we don't all have to agree. However to paint negative pictures on the event in attempts to create pressure and force an outcome is not cool. It would not be a victory, no-one would benefit, more would be lost, try and respect the reasons which have been outlined several times. The needling employed is at the expense of everyone else. Please stop.

I am immensely proud that the event has brought many people together and has been the glue that created many new friendships and that in many ways grew beyond the few hours of the show for evenings of beer, curry and tales, you can't put a value on that.

Who knows what the answer is, but I think if hands were put on heart, the love for it just isn't there anymore. Maybe a rethink is needed, maybe let it die, maybe something to take it's place, but always welcome everyone's thoughts, good and bad :)

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Re: The next FF.

Postby TheJabbaWookie » Mon May 20, 2019 11:12 am

I have not been to one yet. I was hoping to go to my first one this summer (the holiday is booked commencing Friday 9th Aug). I have not been to Echo Live yet either. (I have a back condition that limits my ability to travel and to socialise at these events easily).

However, the way people speak about it on here and the way the lads on the TVR podcast hold it in such high regards has meant I have always considered it the no.1 event for vintage Star Wars, both as a place to pick up vintage, and more importantly as a place to socialise. My understanding is that FF is so much more than a place to buy and sell and its absence would leave a gaping hole in the heart of our community.

You might not be able to compete with Redbridge for size and centrality but I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful and tranquil setting than Fordingbridge for a Star Wars meet. What you lack there you make up for in community spirit. Live has been built up on the back of the Facebook platform. There is something more charming and poetic about the old school nature of FF.

I’m sorry you’re having your doubts Dave but I’m sure if you look around you you’ll see plenty of love and need for your event down on the edge of the New Forest. If only my ability to travel was not so limited. I hope I am not too late to experience the FF experience.

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Re: The next FF.

Postby ScruffyLookingNH » Mon May 20, 2019 11:21 am

I remember the first time you described FF to me on the phone, Dave. "Don't expect much. It's a small village hall with a dozen or so dealers. It's tiny". With those words ringing in my ears I checked out the ATCS website and found photos of the previous few events. I was transported back to the 90s. It was awesome. When I went to the first one in Spring 2014 (yesterday to some longer term collectors here) I was blown away. So much goodness in one small area.

It's still as good as it was then.

Yes, the loss of the panels has taken something from it but they have been lost to the benefit of more dealers. And even if those dealers are just collectors selling their spares, all the better.

That said, there are areas I think that can make it even better....... expect some telephone harassment tomorrow :)

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Re: The next FF.

Postby SublevelStudios » Mon May 20, 2019 12:42 pm

My honest feeling about this Dave is to give it a break if you're feeling no love for it ATM, maybe leave the summer one and see how you feel bringing it back for winter - people will miss it and it'll drum up more anticipation for the winter FF.

Maybe that will re-ignite your passion for it.

Collecting without this event will be all the poorer for it.

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Re: The next FF.

Postby edd_jedi » Mon May 20, 2019 1:32 pm

It's a real achievement to have put on 20 events. I've been to nearly all of them and not only have picked up some nice items for my collection, but more importantly have made some great memories. There are loads of factors that affect the success of an event, some you have no control over eg the weather, but Saturday still had a nice atmosphere and some good stalls despite the lower numbers.

As others have said I'm 100% sure the explanation for the low turn out was due to the proximity to Celebration and Echo Live, I don't think it had anything to do with boycotts, as you know I have been vocal about certain things but it never stopped me attending.

If you're looking for feedback my favourite FFs were the single-day events with panels. With two small children at home I simply cannot spend two days at a toy fair, I'm sure a lot of people are in the same boat. Although my main reason for attending is the traders, I would happily sacrifice some of them for the space to host panels again. And it doesn't always need to be superstars of the hobby you have to fly in, as the TVR guys have proven with their interviews it's just as interesting listening to 'normal' collectors.

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Re: The next FF.

Postby Stuart Skinner » Mon May 20, 2019 1:52 pm

Devastated to hear you're considering ending Farthest From's Dave :(

Firstly, I hope your health is good, that is first and foremost the most important thing. If you need a break have a break, recharge and make sure you're well and healthy enough to take on these tasks. Putting an event on is an enormous amount of work which majority of people won't realise without doing such a thing. But I know I speak for many when I say it really is appreciated. FF to me is the most important event in my diary.

The one that has just taken place was my first I have missed since summer 2014, I couldn't attend because of two factors, my wife works Saturday's so I have the children, once the event was moved to a Saturday it was always going to be an issue, she takes off some so I can attend but was unable to this Saturday, normally if that is the case I'd come down once she's finished work so I'm there for the Sunday but the day was changed and it didn't work out. I couldn't attend Echo either, that being more the reason that it was so close to Celebration.

I would have/will definitely be attending both summer and Christmas events though without a doubt, I'd be hugely disappointed if the summer event didn't take place, it's my favourite event of the year. Do you need help? I'm good at helping out and would be more than willing to help in any capacity that you require, take some slack off, I know several who would also help out if that is what is required.

Saying you don't feel appreciated? I love this event, I appreciate every ounce of effort you put in, it's one thing that has made me stay in this hobby this time out, made so many friendships through this event, it is loved by so many, perhaps everyone doesn't emphasise that enough but I certainly see a lot of love for FF in this thread and even more so, so much love for the Tree.
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Re: The next FF.

Postby SAVORY100 » Mon May 20, 2019 2:23 pm

Having only missed a couple in around 4.5 years of attending, I have to say I was disappointed to not be able to attend this past weekend; just a timing thing for me and some late notice on the announcement of the date I guess meaning I wasn't available.

I'd personally be gutted if you did decide to wind it up Dave, it's such a great event that really is a romanticised throwback to the early/mid-nineties fairs and events.. and so much more. As Stu says, its a place to meet and make friends and as you say yourself, you don't have to spend to have a good time if you meet some folk and have a good chat. My brother attends almost as many as me and he doesn't even collect SW, so that says a lot about the event's draw and quality....

I'd love to see a reintroduction of talks/panels if that was possible I only say it as you mention it, it really was a favourite part of the events for me.. whether though that means a location change or a more edited vendor offer to accommodate that who knows.

As Mark notes, maybe dropping the Summer event, recharge the batteries and go at it full force for the winter event is the way forward, Xmas is my fave, but I do love the Summer one too, I've come down the last two Augusts on my birthday for them I love them that much! Have no fear Dave, the passion for the show is there and people really love the event, if anything, this latest edition may have fallen foul of external factors such as Celebration, an early Easter using up annual leave and spends and other events clashing/nestling right on top.

If you want to pull together a working party to help or discuss feedback/ideas on what comes next, I'm sure a number of the community would jump at the chance to get involved and help; I can't believe anyone wants this beauty to come to an end...
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Re: The next FF.

Postby naughtyjedi » Mon May 20, 2019 3:09 pm

Sadly I haven't been to the last two, due to football commitments. At xmas where I am usually rewarded with bad weather all football is off, this xmas event I had a game Saturday then on the Sunday and all favours had been called in. For this may event, it was the final game of the girls I coach season and a win earnt them promotion. I couldn't miss it (as I was driving the minibus).

I know this isn't the place for suggestions, but here's a couple.

Maybe some of the wide eyed enthusiasm of earlier shows has dissipated somewhat as collectors have largely completed the basic runs they were on and finding a something backed empire card in a bargain bin is no longer a possibility. I love a tatty bargain (ask Rob Marsh, I buy all his tat) but this seems few and far between now. Collections have gone big so people might be more choosy and maybe worth noting that a lot of collectors have started adding modern into their vintage. Not suggesting the event should change fundamentally, but maybe a little tweaking. Mostly vintage, but some modern era stuff.. (ban pop vinyls though!!!)

Everyone mentions presentations.. I was thinking could a couple of retailers put on a presentation at their booth.. not a full blown 50 slide fest, but could be a sales pitch of their items.. I don't know, thought I'd suggest it.

SWAG. Looks like a lot aren't bothering with the Anaheim thing next year, could us the fans of the show put together some swag that attendees can earn. We did do a little bit a few shows ago, it could be a laugh. Maybe every hour of the show it can be collected at certain stalls.. just a thought,

My ideal of Farthest From is that it becomes a bit of a 'Phoenix Nights' of events. Wonderfully small, local and charming. As well as being great fun.

Please don't end it Dave, its just like the force, it binds us all together. But every now and then a sparkly yoda needs to bang a few on the head.

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Re: The next FF.

Postby Plastikheld » Mon May 20, 2019 3:14 pm

Sad to hear/read this, Dave. But I can fully understand you decision by now.
I always asked myself "how in gods sake does he manage to do this!".
I only managed to attend two times (you know, because of the distance and the amount of water between my location and FF), but the expierences I made were priceless. That's the way I love collecting, that's the way I love community and that's the way I want a toy show to be.
After each event I attended I posted pics and a and travelogue in our german collector's forum and most of the collector's there weren't even aware, that there is existing a place/show like this. For them (and me as wel) it's like a Vintage Star Wars collector's Mecca. Here in Germany (and I think in other countries as well) most collector's envy you for a toy show like this. It's a myth ... a legend.

After celebration I also felt like to need a time-out of collecting this intense way (so my wife did). I know, the feeling will come back and so I hope you will feel the love for FF again in the future. I think the time-out is the right decision, but I hope it will get a revival ... at least once a year in a one day event. So nobody will think "next-time", when you know it may last a year to get your chance again.
No matter how the decision on this might be, I really appreciated what you did to the community with organizing this event and hope someday I will get a chance to return to FF.
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