Yeah, it's that time of year again where I start telling people how they really need to go to WMC Fest (June 8-10, 2012). Last year was the first one I was able to make it to, and I know that Jeff and company have been working crazy hard to make this year's even better. Explaining what exactly the festival is... well it's a lot of things. It's a design conference - they have 20 amazing speakers lined up from all different disciplines, and I learned a ton last year.
Oh, and a music festival. I think they're up to around 30 bands for this year, and have locked down a new space. You get to see Signals Midwest and Two Hand Fools before they play The Fest in the fall (congrats to both of yous, by the way).
It's also a pretty amazing community event. I spoke to a lot of attendees last year that said they felt like they'd gone to summer camp. You meet a ton of cool people, and most of the cool people that I met at last year's are coming back - as speakers, or artists, or just to hang for the weekend.
Now usually when I look at design conferences I get psyched about the speakers, the content, and then I look at the price and go back to what I was doing. I don't have a day job subsidizing my continuing education, which means I can't drop a grand on a conference (not including travel, etc.) The other awesome thing about WMC Fest is that it's $50. That's not even per day, or per conference hall, that's it guys. For $50, you get access to all of the speakers, the gallery, and the music for the whole weekend. As an added bonus for my East Coast crew, it's in Cleveland, which means the travel for us is also mega cheap.
That said, I believe it's $50 through April 30th. I'm sure the price will still be totally reasonable after that, but this is the cheapest it'll be. If you want to get your tickets and some swag to go with it, check out the WMC Fest Kickstarter. For the same $50 you were going to spend on tickets, you can get tickets and some cool WMC Fest gear, plus help to make sure they get funded (for those that haven't been involved in Kickstarter projects, you only get money if the goal gets met. So if they don't meet their $7,000 goal in time, they get $0).
And if $50 is still too much for you to spend on this sort of thing (hey, we've all been there), consider volunteering. I volunteered last year to take photographs during the presentations, and they have spots available for all different skill sets. This year, I'm actually going to be organizing our photo squad (so if you have some photography skills, or have a friend that does and might be interested, get in touch with me). You can also sign up to volunteer for any position here, or sign up for the street team to help spread the word.
Seriously, folks, go get those tickets.