Ever want to swagger through the swinging saloon doors in some dusty Western town, stare down the villain in the black hat, sidle up to the long bar and tell the barkeep, “Whiskey – neat, and leave the bottle.”
Well, the time has come to fulfill that fantasy at the Wild West Fest at the Eaves Movie Ranch off of NM 14 north of Cerrillos.
As the Writer’s Guild of America strike continues to drag on, reaching its 150-day milestone next week, the fallout continues for those who have been forced out of work.
To help offset the loss of income for some of the local members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts, Eaves and the Mine Shaft Tavern in Madrid have collaborated on an Old West-themed extravaganza.
The Sept. 30 event will be spread out across the ranch off of NM 14 north of Cerrillos and feature two outdoor stages, two indoor venues and multiple bands from noon-9 p.m.
In addition, many of the onsite sets will be open with various types of entertainment, said Lori Lindsey, Mine Shaft Owner and general manager.
“Basically, it kind of came about because I was getting contacted by a lot of union members from the IATSE 480, carpenters and painters, set-deck-type of people looking for some work to tide them over for the strike,” she said.
She got together with Thomas Wingate, Eaves manager, because one of her employees knows him and it made sense to use the site since it was underutilized as a movie set with the film industry at a standstill.
“Lori and I started talking and about 20 minutes later, we decided to do this,” Wingate recalled. “We just wanted to do something. “I’m not going to sit around and do nothing. If it helps somebody else, I enjoy doing that.”
The union has about 1,900 members in New Mexico, Lindsey said.
“That’s a lot of people all of a sudden across the state out of work,” she said. “It’s a crisis that needed to be addressed. We started thinking about what we could do. Obviously, we can’t address the entire crisis, but we can do something.”
The band lineup already includes a star-studded list of local acts like Todd and the Fox, Roses Pawn Shop, Felix Y Los Gatos, Musnttouchit, Gary Farmer and his band, Key Frances, Lori K. Ottino and Friends, Levi Platero, Nacha Mendez and her band, Connie Long with Fast Patsy, Johnny Lloyd, Jhett Black, Justin Nuñez.
“The game plan is to get as many people out to Eaves to buy tickets so we can donate as much money as possible,” Lindsey said.
Noted magician/juggling/Vaudeville troupe Clan Tynker will be providing their special blend of entertainment.
A photographer who specializes in old-fashioned, tin-type shots will be commemorating the event.
Clyde the Buffalo, of “Yellowstone,” fame, will be on hand for plenty of photo ops.
“And we hope for many more other interesting characters,” Lindsey said. “We’re hoping people dress up just for fun.”
Lindsey will be bringing the Mine Shaft’s special Mad Chile Burgers and a friend of hers is a chef, Kirsten Griffin, will be running a kitchen, as well.
The event has been something of a spur-of-the-moment occasion, she said, as the decision was made to push ahead in August.
“Normally, I work on a festival for a year,” Lindsey said. “There are a lot of logistics that I’m still juggling.”
For instance, there are plans to hold an art auction, but that remains in the works.
Lindsey also is trying to arrange transportation services to bring attendees from the Santa Fe Wine and Chile event and back to downtown hotels, as well as requesting transport services from the Rail Runner station at NM 599.
Organizers also are seeking donations for art auction, raffle prizes and door prizes, she said.
Wild West Fest
Sept 30, noon-9 p.m.
Eaves Movie Ranch
Tickets will be $35 in advance at holdmyticket.com or $40 at the door