As 2016 comes to an end, there is a certain buzz that starts building up at Monkey HQ. Though it’s really a never ending process, we are about to kick it into high gear preparing for the biggest, most awesome event we are a part of each year: Monkey Muster!
We often get a lot of questions about the Muster from folks who aren't yet in the know. Well, the easiest way to bring everyone up to speed is to give a rundown of the fun, antics, and shenanigans from last year’s Monkey Muster IV.
You can read up on the history of the Muster here.
The abridged history lesson is: we wanted to create an event unlike any other in the knife world. An event where you not only get to check out cool knives and gear and put in for amazing lotteries, but get a more “real” experience meeting and hanging out with some of the coolest makers in the biz. From the beginning, we always imagined Monkey Muster as more of a “party with knives” than a full on show (we leave knife shows to the professionals), where the knife makers aren’t stuck behind a table but hanging out and shooting the breeze with attendees. In addition to having a ton of fun, several of the events are geared towards raising money for the Fisher House Foundation. 100% of the Monkey Mega Lotto entries, as well as the all the money raised from auction we hold, proceeds the Fisher House Foundation. In the past, we had both pre-registration and sign up available at the door. Due to how the Muster has been growing every year and the limited space we have to work with, for the first time ever we had set a maximum number of folks that could attend. Spots filled up fast, and before we knew it, Muster IV was sold out!
Every year we get a little bit bigger, a little bit better, and last year we did not slack off! Officially scheduled from 4-10, folks started arriving on the scene hours early.
Going bigger than ever (with a few growing pains) we finally got the placed dialed in and ready with doors opening about 4:30. Once inside the event, the guests were greeted by a live band kicking out some tunes, and started to really see that this is no ordinary knife show.
The layout was more akin to an upscale bar and lounge, with a huge, 30 person U-shaped bar top staffed by expert bartenders serving only top shelf drinks, spirits and wine (all food and drink is 100% free at the Monkey Muster).
Guests could grab a drink, snag some killer exclusive gear from Mick Strider, Joe Watson, Lucas Burnley, Rick Hinderer, Marc Mummert, Vox, Brian Fellhoelter, Rod Olson and more at the merch booth, and settle in for the fun night ahead of them.
After everyone had a chance to get in and get a drink, the Main Monkey himself welcomed the crowd with some patented Monkey humor and shenanigans.
Some introductions and some thanks later, he got into the meat of the announcements, like explaining any changes in format from previous years. At the end, he explained one of the games we were going to play this year, the Burnley Cypop Hunt! Basically, we hid a handful of Cypop badges around the show, and if you found one, you were able to pick up a Cypop. It seems a good chunk of the party goers spent their time looking for the badges! After the words were over the showroom and Mega Lotto were opened up. Dozens of custom knives from some of the most talented and in-demand makers were on hand to drool over, and for a lucky group of folks, take home!
The knives are not marked up, and sold at table prices set by the maker. This year’s format changed a little from years past, and everyone who entered into the Mega Lotto had one chance at every one of the knives. One token per knife meant that you had as good a chance to get drawn for a knife as anyone else who entered for it.
In the showroom, guest could get their hands on some of the greatest knives, from production to custom, available from the the hottest makers around! Starlingear had their own set up, selling some amazing new designs and cool pieces they brought with them. Ish Renteria, Starlingear’s expert in braided leather, was available for custom work for those looking to get some killer leather bracelets, lanyards and more.
As the night went on, guests could swing by the catering section to grab some awesome grub! Salad, street tacos, pasta, and more was available.
The bartender crew was on their game mixing up some great drinks, and there was even a cigarette girl roaming the crowd.
As the sun set, the atmosphere changed, from the hustle to get lotto entries in, to that of a full on lounge. Folks were hanging out all round the bar and tables, playing darts, talking with their favorite makers, selling and trading gear, and enjoying the food and drinks on hand.
Folks could cruise by the Auction table to bid on some incredible pieces donated by Bob Terzuola, Joe Watson, Tracker Dan, Lucas Burnley, Marc Mummert, Richard Rogers, and more. We opened up the auction to both include the attendees and online to folks who couldn’t make it this year. This let us get to a wider audience and raise even more for charity. This year, we raised almost $14,000 for the Fisher House!
Once everyone had a chance to get their entries in, we started to draw lottery winners. Not wanting to kill the party, we pull each lottery knife, and notify the winner via text/phone call to come up stairs to pay and pick up their knife! All the while, the party kept moving, and no one had to go stand around in a room away from the fun just for the sake of being present at the drawing.
At the end of it all, we feel like we threw a pretty amazing shindig. From the beginning, Monkey Muster was always a way for us put on an incredible party as our way of “thanks” for the support we have had over the years from our customers, friends, and makers who keep the community going strong. This year was bigger than ever, and we already have our sights set on making Monkey Muster V better.
The whole Monkey Edge crew wants to extend their thanks to all the makers that help make Monkey Muster one of the coolest events in the industry, all our friends and families that help us get ready and deal with the long hours prepping the show, and to all the support from our fans and customers. All that support lets us put on this great event to help us support both the Fisher House and the community we love so much!
Stay tuned for more announcements for Monkey Muster V in the coming weeks, and mark your calendars for April 8th, 2017. It’s gonna be a blast!