Unify Fest Will Be Taking 2018 Off From the Festival Season

Due to financial instability, UNIFY FEST will not be producing a 3rd year festival in 2018.  Instead the UNIFY FEST co-operative team has agreed to focus our energy, time, and attention on fundraising through GoFundMe and other fundraising efforts where 100% of monies raised will go towards paying the debt accumulated from the festival.

UNIFY FEST began in 2015 as a vision to unite people of all walks of life with the intention of celebrating each other’s diversity while learning the wisdom from our elders and honoring the knowledge and traditions shared by our indigenous communities.

After more than a year of planning and organizing, thousands of people from around the world unified in Santa Fe Sept. 2016 for the first UNIFY FEST – a 4 day spiritual, musical, educational event that changed hundreds of people’s lives in profound ways.

Martha said “It was the most beautiful, peaceful and loving festival I have ever experienced…Thank you from my heart to yours.”

Mikey Said “After a weekend of mind blowing learning, life changing collaborations and a festival focused on UNIFYING humanity I am filled up. Unify Fest was incredible and I can’t believe this was the first year.”

And we received hundreds of positive comments like this in the form of emails, text, and videos.

The intention of creating a safe, sober, transformational environment on a beautiful and sacred piece of land at El Rancho De Las Golondrinas, aligned with thousands of people’s hearts and desires and fulfilled that portion of the vision.

The challenge came when not enough tickets or sponsorships were sold and many of us involved who were agreed compensation were unable to receive payment, leaving the festival and the producer in large amounts of credit card debt, debt to banks, debt to performers, to family members, speakers, staff and contractors.

The total costs for the first year of UNIFY FEST was $379,000.

40% of that cost was for the travel expenses and booking fees of the musicians, presenters, and visionaries.

40% of the remaining cost was for contractors, stages, equipment, rentals, marketing/advertising and production.

And the remaining 20% was for hiring the team.

The festival was able to generate $172,000 in sponsorships, vendors, and ticket sales.

Which left a total of $207,000 in money promised to be paid but no source for that money to come from.

This allowed a number of presenters, performers, team, and contractors to get paid during or before the production depending on the requirement of each individual agreement such as 50% payment up front, while it left some of us only being paid partially, or not at all.

With tens of thousands of dollars in advertising spent and massive talk around the local area, we were still hopeful that a large walkup crowd would have covered the remaining ticket purchases needed.

When that did not happen, the shock took hold and the reality that contracts that were agreed to were unable to be fulfilled set in and we were devastated mentally, physically and emotionally after spending over a year planning and preparing followed by two intense weeks of 18 hour days organizing one of the most challenging and yet life changing events we’ve ever been a part of.

This experience was heart-breaking. On one hand the festival was positively changing many people’s lives, on the other hand it was not financially successful therefore not able to fulfill the commitments it made with everyone who was involved and not having been in this experience before, we felt broken and without hope.

After meeting in depth over the following months with the team and analyzing why the projected sales did not happen, we agreed on revising our production strategy, began the implementation of a community co-operative model, let everyone know that we were planning to restructure the festival to reduce production costs drastically while not overcommitting to large headliners and huge production costs again, and move forward with UNIFY FEST year #2 as an initial fundraising effort to start paying down some of the first year’s debts.

The intention for 2017 – year two of UNIFY FEST – was to continue forward with the mission and vision of the festival, while generating profits, and then distributing those profits equally among everyone who was still owed money along with everyone who helped produce the event.

We all agreed that if no profits were made than we wouldn’t add on any additional debt, and that the festival would be a continued co-creation from our hearts for the community.

The good news is that UNIFY FEST 2017 was able to get the total cost of the festival down to only $65,000!  It meant a smaller festival and few headliners were involved, but the cost was reduced by over 80% and the experience was more intimate and profoundly life changing.

Additionally, the festival was able to generate close to $60,000 in total revenue.

While the festival was much smaller in size and production, the experience was heightened and again, hundreds of people emailed, created videos, and posted about how the festival completely transformed their life.

Unfortunately UNIFY FEST was unable to generate profit and still owes the remaining $5,000 to the venue for graciously hosting the festival in addition to the debt still owed from 2016.

So this is where YOU come in!

If you’re somebody that feels for this mission, that loves the idea or the experience of the festival, that wants to see the hardworking people who helped bring this event to the world, and see the festival continue into the future, then we are asking you to help support this cause.

100% of all money donated through GoFundMe will go to paying off debts owed. We must get the debt paid down so that we can continue with improving the strategy and making the festival profitable so it can have the financial sustainability it needs to grow and continue serving the community.

The massive 80% improvement in the financial structure in only 1 year is hope for financial sustainability.

Another 30%+ improvement could take the festival to the profits it needs to thrive.

Without your help UNIFY FEST may not be able to continue, and hundreds of people are desperately waiting for the next UNIFY FEST to be announced.

The good news is that this community is powerful and when we come together to support a common cause anything is possible.

You can feel assured that you’re donation is going towards a good cause by supporting the people who tirelessly poured their hearts and souls into an event that positively impacts thousands of peoples lives.

Please support, share this GoFundMe page on Facebook, donate to the campaign, and help keep this mission alive. 

Thank you and many blessings.

The UNIFY FEST Team.