(thanks to Joe Rollin Porter for letting us use his song “Bye Bye Baby Blues” and so much thanks to Charlie Steen for this video)

From the bottom of our hearts, all of us at FARM want to thank all of you for helping us exceed all of our expectations for a magnificent weekend. Each and every one of you in attendance played your part in the success of our first FARM in Grand Rapids!

I’m personally grateful for all the kind words so many of you took the time to express throughout the weekend and those kind words have continued on Facebook posts and emails flowing in ever since we said our good-byes.

The music – being the main reason we’re all there – was diverse and divine, from official showcases to the open mics. One of the downsides of such an increase in attendance meant that it was harder to catch every single act, but we hope everyone of you had a chance for your music to be heard.

We tried some new things this year, most of which received glowing reviews; Wisdom of the Daves, Mother Jones in Heaven, Presenter Breakfast and Roundtable, the Drop Zone, Open Mics, and more. Nearly half of our attendees were first-timers! We had a record number of 20-somethings, and our youngest attendee ever this year at age 14.

As we anticipated, there was a learning curve being our first time in a new venue. We experienced a few bumps along the way and some unanticipated issues with the hotel. Please know that we heard your comments and concerns and will be taking whatever steps necessary to rectify those things.

Much as we love hearing all the praise for the good things we NEED to hear what didn’t work for you. We heard from our DJs that this combined panel and reception did NOT work and we promise to fix that. We heard from many of you that breakfast was not great, and you’d like to have more community meals. We heard that we need more signage to help people find their way to Performance Lane. We heard there wasn’t enough coffee, and as much as we tried to communicate extensively in advance of the conference, we heard that we failed to get the word out effectively about the Drop Zone.

What else can we do better?

What would you like to see that we didn’t offer, what did you struggle with and what could you do without. We especially want to hear about any issues concerning your hotel room. Please watch for the post-conference survey that should be arriving to you within in a couple of weeks, but we urge you to collect your thoughts now while they’re fresh.

There’s an endless list of people to thank for making FARM such a huge success this year and we’ll be making a point to acknowledge all of them in the very near future on our website. For now, let me just say again how grateful we are to this entire community for being so amazing.

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