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What Exactly is a Ballfest Anyway?

A Ballfest is anytime a group of two or more Michael Ball fans get together to share info, stories, photos, memorabilia, etc., anywhere in the world and at any time. Ballfesting is primarily for the purpose of promoting friendships, sharing, caring, musical theatre and Michael Ball, through our shared interest in Michael.

It may be as simple as a phone call, a cup of coffee with a neighbor, or as large and as structured as attendees want to make it.  Over the years, I have enjoyed Ballfesting at a 10 minute train stop while on the way to a larger regional one, and "got the Ball" rolling for the first national Ballfest, held in Plainfield, Indiana, USA in July of 1999.  Each was fun, unique and different.


To me, Ballfests are not necessarily always "about" Michael.  Rather, they are because of Michael.  I like to think that Michael would be proud and happy to be both the inspiration for his fans getting together to celebrate him, his talent and his life, but also to share other interests, form friendships, spread camaraderie, and especially "being there" for others in times of happiness, joy, sorrow, illness,


I am delighted that we now have several local and regional Ballfest groups located in various parts of the world.  My hope is to see more and more of Michael's fans meeting together, forming new links in a world-wide chain dedicated to honoring friendships and Michael Ball.


Now you don't have to go someplace fancy

You don't need to have a big group

It can be just as simple as lunching together

And enjoying  a hot bowl of soup

It's just getting together and having a Ball

And sharing a few minutes or more

And talking and chatting and laughing a lot

Cause that's what Ballfests are for!



How To Have A BallFest in 10 simple, easy steps:


1.  Discover Michael Ball in the first place (One popular way seems to be via the "Les Miz Tenth Anniversary Concert" Video, but of course there are lots of other ways!)  Obviously you have all completed this step!

2.  Have a computer, or have access to one, or a friend who does.  (Yep, you've done this one too!) 

3.  Have access to the internet, or email, and then join the Michael Ball mailing list, the Michael Ball Fan Club mailing list, BallfestNews list or know someone who does. 

4.  E-mail a reply to folks who make comments that interest you in some way.  Maybe you agree, or disagree, or just enjoyed what someone has posted.

5.  Continue corresponding off-list with those who reply to you.

6.  Find out the general geographical areas where folks on the list live, and especially any who seem interesting to you.  This often comes up on posts or in private mail.  The BallfestNews mailing list has a geographic roster to help you find other Michael fans near you.  I don't suggest being too specific unless and until you feel really comfortable with an email friend.

7.   You might ask on-list if any others also live in the same general area that you live in, or maybe in any area that you might be traveling to.  If so...and I always find, sometimes to my complete surprise, that others actually do...then perhaps you can network or send round-robin notes.  It's a good safe way to start Ballfesting.

8. Ask, on or off-list, who might be interested in meeting someplace for a BallFest...(a well-known, well-lit, busy public place works best for the first time.)

9.  Arrange a time and place that works for most...and take along some MB photos, or tapes or videos or programs, playbills or whatever you might have that you could share with others...maybe an extra tape or video to exchange.  I almost always take a couple of MB photos for each attendee, sent to me by a pal in England... so I know they will probably be a welcome little surprise.  I also collect postcards and photos from other listers, and have a really nice album now, which I also always take along...

10.  Expect to have a great time...even if it turns out to only be two of you...that's a start!  Next time maybe one of you might bring a friend.  In any case...after that, you can plan to meet again,  perhaps at someone's home...for pot luck or MB video watching or listening to CDs or whatever...or you might even want see a show together...or whatever seems like a good idea to you. 

The list members are many and may come from an entirely different world than the rest, but you already have "Michael" in common, and musical theatre...and computers and  perhaps a  mailing list...and that really is a pretty good start if you think about it.

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