A few years ago, our crew here at Wekfest discussed adding potential new stops to our expanding tour. At the time, we had already solidified ourselves in seven cities, spanning across the United States. The thought of adding more events was an undaunted task. On the other hand, its challenges also reaped its rewards. The reward I am referring to goes back to our mission statement: To create a positive environment within the automotive community, bridging enthusiasts together by sharing a common goal. It was worth the effort if we can just spread our message to one more place.
As a result, we decided to give Seattle a try. This is a city which one of my most esteemed colleague and friend, Joey Lee, of The Chronicles, has raved about over the years. As an enthusiast myself, I can vouch for Joey’s opinion. There are so many hidden gems to be found in the Pacific Northwest.
We didn’t decide on Seattle blindsided. One thing I would hate to do is host a Wekfest event in a city that we didn’t accustom ourselves to. After Seattle was a chosen as the next tour candidate, we did our research. We talked to individuals and businesses within the immediate reach and took our time to finally set a date for the event. This process took two years. If you think that’s long, consider that we developed relationships in Japan for over five years before finally hosting the first Wekfest Japan.
The human aspect is the most valuable tool in Wekfest. Yes, the cars exhibiting in our shows remain an important focus, because they each exemplify how a build should be righteously put together. On the other hand, the individuals behind the car is much more important, they each tell stories unique to the other. We want to make sure they remain the centerpiece of our cause. Not only do we screen cars, we screen personalities. If you have a great car but a bad attitude towards everything else, I much rather show you the exit than have a rotten apple ruin it for everyone else.
Interestingly, the people of the Pacific Northwest demonstrate a lot of the qualities I have just mentioned. In the two short years of hosting Wekfest in Seattle, I can confidently say that these are some of the most genuine people I have had the pleasure to interact with on tour. In my eyes, the majority seems pure to their passion, and not tainted by the purpose of getting Instafamous or simply collecting car show trophies. It was truly refreshing to see, almost as if I went back into a time machine into a place where things were less political, and everyone came out for the simple reason to convene as pure automotive acquaintances.
All of this and I haven’t even mentioned the quality of cars at this show. It’s there. PNW has always been, even before Wekfest, a place where you can find a number of excellent builds. It’s not that people up there have any sort of advantage, but for some reason, they just know the recipe. Perhaps it’s the geographical relationship to being in the West Coast and close to the influence out here in California, but I believe people up there just do things with a little more care in mind. Taking your time and crafting something you have truly envisioned doesn’t slow you down, it actually speeds up the process.
In short, Wekfest Seattle this year was a huge success. It would have not been possible without the local supporters who validated our cause. It is exciting to have a new star in the Wekfest map.
The coverage below is a small sample size of the staging process from the morning of the show. For more comprehensive coverage, vist The Chronicles.
More to come. See part two later this week!