The beginnings of Rubbout, as explained by Bill “Northwind” Houghton:
RUBBOUT actually ‘came together’ on a kitchen table in….Greensboro, North Carolina! Small backstory…
I had agreed, before taking this trip to NC in Feb. 1992, to do a “RUBBER 101″ Workshop for VASM (Vancouver Activists in S/M), as part of their (then) monthly dinners and demos Sundays. I was ALSO planning to
hold one of my usual rubber parties, at a friend’s out-of-town location (great playspace; overnight stays available; good group who usually showed up for them).
Now back to Greensboro, reading my friend’s latest copy (Feb) The Leather Journal (still in it’s ‘zine format, then) and I read the demo listed, with MY name there as the demo ‘host’, etc. For near the end of March. Hmmm, I think. Interesting. I’m holding a rubber party on the Saturday night before this demo. Gee – “all I need is a Meet & Greet
Friday night and…”
And that’s how RUBBOUT was born. I figured out it’s ‘name’ while I was still trying to put it all together as a full weekend, without having to get sponsorship, and dealing with bank accounts, committees, etc. etc. I decided to make the weekend simple, with no registration involved. That way, sudden last minute decisions to come, could easily
be accepted with no hassel. Just showing up for any or all of the scheduled ‘events’ was the way it could be done. Or a sudden cancellations could happen without loss of a registration fee, etc. Making it easy for those kind enough to show up…
The first RUBBOUT was the weekend of March 27-29, 1992.
Before there was “the public access internet” I did all my advertising through snail mail mailouts – posting flyers in conjunction with trips I took to the USA, and parts of Canada. Mailing flyers to overseas. Mailing flyers to anyone who was interested in maybe coming to the weekend. A lot of mailings every new year, just after Christmas.
Got buttons made for the first 12 years of RUBBOUT. Now, dog tags or wristbands [sic] are given out, with different color edging every year. And there is a price to pay for the weekend now, which includes all ticketed events. It’s
still lower than I could ever figure out. A bargain. To boot! <grin>
RUBBOUT started out with play parties out of the city. Then, after a few years, changed to in-house socials, with a sling in the basement of my home. Now there are playparties back in the weekend, courtesy of the new guys running the weekend and supporting businesses helping.
Bars for Friday Meet & Greet have changed, too. I turned those first nights, into fundraiser/raffles for a local charity I supported, A Loving Spoonful, which makes meals for those with HIV or AIDS who cannot cook for themself. Meet & Greets have gone thru five bars, The PumpJack being the current bar used. A place for brunch to end the
weekend is also still part of the RUBBOUT schedule.
I organized and ran RUBBOUTs 1-12 (1992-2003)… and RUBBOUT 16 is next April(13-15), 2007. The weekend is starting to get some more attention lately, which I think it rightly deserves. It is The Longest-running RUBBER Events Weekend in North America, and carries a (still) low price tag for a great weekend in a city known for it’s
(sometimes) rain and stormy days in April, heh heh. And great rubbermen, who wear a lot of industrial gear over their latexwear.