Spirit of the 80's 2017

A celebration of the music of our youth. A chance to reunite with old friends and make new friends. Our event is open to any and all, especially those who graduated high school between the late 70's and early 90's. 
DON'T YOU forget about the 80's! LET'S DANCE with an annual event in an inviting little village along the Lower Niagara River.  We bring together a variety of bands to GET INTO THE GROOVE and play the music we loved to listen to on cassette tapes in our boom boxes, along with local musicians and reunited basement bands.  

Our goals are to keep the spirit of the 80's ALIVE AND KICKING, to have a totally epic and really, really fun weekend, and to raise money. Proceeds of this event have been used to establish a scholarship fund for students furthering their music education. We strive to generate enough funding to sustain an annual event, continue our scholarship fund and support music programs in Niagara county.


Since 2012, we have brought The Spoons, Images in Vogue, Forgotten Rebels, Stan Ridgway, The Toasters and The English Beat to the beautiful historic village of Lewiston, NY. Each and every show has been fantastic. Everyone has a terrific weekend, enjoying not just the music, but the company of friends, the incredible local food, and other area attractions. (The Forgotten Rebels enjoyed our renowned Lewiston Art Festival and the famous Haystack hot dog at The Silo; The English Beat had a wet and wild ride aboard the Niagara Jet Adventures jet-boat ride!) Folks are planning their vacations to come back in time for this event. We've brought old friends back "home" and attracted new friends from all over the country - across the globe, even! At the end of our first year we found we had unexpectedly brought in some money. Proceeds were donated to our Alumni Association and Music Boosters. Since then, our committee has worked to set up a Spirit of the Eighties Scholarship Fund, and we now consider our event a fundraiser.


The Spirit of the Eighties is organized by a handful of dedicated volunteers who were in junior and senior high school in the 1980's. We are amateur concert promoters, event coordinators, publicists and 80's Pop Culture Enthusiasts. We grew up on the US-Canadian border just a few miles north of Niagara Falls. We loved the music of our youth, listening to 102.1 CFNY The Spirit of Radio out of Toronto and later, 97.7 Hitz FM out of Saint Catherines. We saw live music weekly, piling into vans and great big cars from the 70's, traveling all over western New York, southern Ontario, eastern Ohio and northern Pennsylvania. We really LOVED the music. We called the radio stations, befriended the deejays, hung out by tour buses and waited for autographs. We had the t-shirts, the buttons, the stickers on our cars. We had our checkered shoes, skinny ties, safety pins and copious amounts of Dippity-Do. We WERE the Spirit of the Eighties!


When planning future events, first we talk about the bands we haven't heard from in a while, who we'd love to see come out of the woodwork - bands like The Fixx, The Box, Platinum Blonde. We also discuss bands some of us have forgotten about like The Pursuit of Happiness and Living Color, and bands we know will draw a crowd like 54-40 and The Violent Femmes. We start looking into where they are now and what they've been doing. We typically look for a band that plays venues with a capacity between 300 - 1200. These are the bands that might be in our price range. It also helps if they going to be within a few hundred miles of WNY and they are already have the documents needed to work in the US, but this isn't always a deal-breaker. Stan Ridgway rarely plays anywhere in the east but he flew all the way from California especially for our event last year.


We need supporters! Like and follow us on Facebook. Share our website. Tells your friends about us. Know any 80's music fans? Know anyone who likes the music we like? Know anyone who might want to invest in our project? Introduce us!!!

We need volunteers! We do all of this ourselves - even the dirty work. We plan the event which means searching for investors, backers and sponsors. We promote it by hanging posters, contacting media, networking. We attend other area events wearing our t-shirt and handing out flyers. We hold smaller scale fundraiser parties in the months before the event. We prepare the park, set up tents and tables and pound fence posts. We man the stations and work all night. We pick up bottles and take out the trash. Then we show up in the morning and tear it all down. We do it because we love it and believe in it. If you do to, perhaps you'd like to help.

We need backers! Having some money left over after our first event got us thinking that this could be a wonderful fundraiser, but as our event has grown, so have our production costs. We work really hard to raise the money needed to put on our event and we're proud to say we have been able to at least break even each year and we have gotten some donors to help us keep the scholarship alive. We still need to raise money to get the next event rolling.

If you love the music of the 80's..... 
if you want to keep the Spirit of the 80's alive..... 
if you want to support live music in a small town..... 
if you would like to see our scholarship fund grow..... 
please consider backing our project.


Actually, money for all this stuff: 
Band fees & costs - We'd love to get Echo & the Bunnymen or The Cure, but that's going to take a LOT of backing! We try to hire bands based on our projected crowd. 
Light & Sound Engineer - Our guy is good and he's reasonable, but the time, skill and equipment needed to put on such an event does come with a price tag. 
Stage, tents, tables, fence & potties - We try to keep these costs as low as possible, but they do add up. 
Advertising, posters, printing - The greatest show on earth isn't going to get a crowd if no one knows about it. 
Tickets - We could make you print your own "tickets" on full sheets of paper, but how could we claim to keep the spirit of the 80's alive if we didn't give you a ticket stub?!