Amazing, outstanding, ridiculous, Riminesque. The 2000 Summerfest Open was definitively complete. From the huge numbers of great jammers to the perfect venue to the perfect hosting to the large number of fans, this tournament was a thorough and complete success story. At this moment, I personally would put this event and Paganello on a singular high pedestal. An overnight success after 20 years of putting his heart and soul into it, Steve Jennings has created a juggernaut. Set on an outdoor asphalt court surrounded by FULL stands at the worlds largest music festival (I believe) fired everyone up. The comaraderie inspired by the whole weekend’s setup made for as enjoyable an experience as is out there. Rodney and Bethany elevated the JuJu by providing accommodations for many, a massive lasagna dinner and breakfast (with great coffee!!) for all. Further, they did ALL the dirty work associated with a tournament. From setting up the judging so the jammers weren’t needed for the judging chores (seeding, getting qualified judges, doing the number crunching, having data printed etc), the underappreciated hard work did not go unnoticed.

The weekend began with a pre-mobup at a park on Lake Michigan. Typical reunion hugging turned into a massive jam with a continuous 4 group strong shredfest. The highlight was clearly the jam with Beast, Rando, Steve J. and Dave Lewis. They went off for quite a while, pulling the rest of us into fans, creating an ooh and ahh rhythm. Steve particularly impressed with his mega-spinning and extreme wind game capabilities. DaNail and Cindy had one of those rare zones where both hit a couple big indies and morphed (no, not Murfed though he would have been proud get well Dave!!) into an awesome speed flow that was just outstanding.

Due to the fact I was warming up during some of the routines and might have missed essential components (I hope someone else might better review routine specifics), what follows are just some observations. The semifinals were held on the Summerfest grounds near the south gate, creating a walkby crowd even though we were not in a show situation so to speak. A most exciting part of the whole event was the extremely strong field for mixed. It was an equal to the open division. I think there were 7 mixed and 8 open teams extremely outstanding. Specific highlights included Poodle’s near catchless round. He made note of it about 2/3 of the way through the routine then hits a spinning planted gitis. Another highlight was Dave Lewis’s manic gitis “saves”. It is my understanding that scientists have just unlocked the human genome map. Soon we may figure out exactly what it is Pat Marron is doing. Lisa and Arthur probably had the routine of the day tight, excellent stuff.

The finals saw us surrounded by hundreds of fans. In between routines, Steve worked the crowd in excellent fashion, having the folks participate in contests, explaining some of the technical stuff and maintaining interest while Rodney and Bethany were doing the dirty work This sophisticated presentation worked perfectly no one left and more and more people crowded around. The conditions were perfect for the Open round with a dry court and calm pre-storm winds. All teams played great. There were no losers here. First up, Laerbs and Joel got things off to a strong start, capturing the fans interest immediately. The highlight of the open round was Randy’s and DaNail’s routine. The Maestros fiddled with the crowd, lathering them into a frenzy. The legendary moment had to be Randy’s spinning splitosis. The routine was so good, it is believed this is the first time Randy threw his disc into the crowd after it was over. Jeff Kruger and I had a fun jam, playing off some beloved cultural icons. Arthur and Dave had an excellent shred with a lot of speedflow components. Arthur went off on a spinning scarecrow tangent while Dave tried to outspin him employing his own sealing compounds.

The mixed finals started after a rain delay, which left the court a bit wet.. Joel and Anne came out of the box with no pressure, playing relaxed. All of a sudden, Anne hits a big move, the crowd roars, she puts her arms up and cheers back at the crowd, then they crush. Great spon jam. Laerbs and Judy worked the fans with their veteran savvy. Jeff and Cindy came out with their typically strong routine, though had some footing problems. Despite that, Cindy hit a HUGE gitosis. Arthur and Lisa came out and were able to keep their routine together despite the footing.

After the tourney, we all went back to the jam park for the first of two post-tourney mob-up. Well, no boom box needed there. A drummer with a big karaoke machine was playing. We all jammed to his “live” music for a while. The jam went about another hour before the rains came in full. This was about 6:30. Not having our fill, we all went back to the dorms at U. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (where our hosts had found us good, cheap housing, creating a college-like atmosphere for those of us staying there) and found an aerobics room and continued to jam for a couple more hours.

Steve, Rodney and Bethany ROCK

thanks from all of us.

Paul Kenny


Place & Time