Everyone on the Florida jam scene knows Trey Miller, the affable host of Little Econ Love Fest and great singer, banjo player and singer with Harmonica Man and the Sawgrass Band. Few in our community have contributed as much to our scene as Trey. The first thing you remember about Trey, other than the bowler hat, is his mile-wide smile.
Few announcements have brought more tears and yet more smiles than this missive that Trey sent out to all of us:
An Open Letter to the the Little Econ Love Fest Community:
There is something that has been weighing on me which I need to get off my chest. Frankly, I have been so anxious about it that I have been unable to be myself as of late. It feels strange and disappointing to say so, but it seems that we will be unable to make a spring Little Econ Love Fest 2017 a reality. For those of you who know me personally, you can imagine how hard this is for me to say. Independent and business struggles coupled with changing market conditions have led us to make the decision that we cannot host a full multi-day event at this time.
Friends, partners, and fellow musicians, have bled love, sweat, and tears into making this work, and it is no understatement to claim that I feel personally responsible for being unable to continue the event at Maddox as planned. That being said, we are not viewing this as an end but rather a metamorphosis. For the past three years I have dedicated all of my income to making this community celebration happen; throughout this time I’ve had a number of financial hardships up to and including homelessness. I am no stranger to those sorts of conditions, and I have since been able to (with the help of many good friends) get back on my feet and am currently happily housed in Orlando.
But, I am sad to say, through all of this, I have been unable to dedicate the time and resources needed to help make Lil’ELF 2017 blossom, and because I have been unsure of what would come, I have been unable to properly reach out or pass the torch. Although my heart is broken, it has been a lesson on preparedness, and I believe that with time we can grow something which will make an even greater impact on the community. I wanted to share my personal story so that anyone who may follow this path remembers how important personal finance can be to the future of one’s business.
Little Econ was never a box office success, but my family, friends, and I were happy to subsidize the event so that we could experience magic with our community. We believed that as we grew our little garden, eventually it would flower; however, the sad truth is that very few of our guests actually purchased tickets, and quite a few snuck in. Our partners have been kind to work with us over the years, but each year our costs have gone up; now we are to the point that we simply cannot afford to expect to recoup our losses or even cover expenses.
If we are to be able to recover for the future, we must take a bow for now. My friends and housemates began Little Econ in our back yard to spread local music. It grew in support of bands like HMM and S.P.O.R.E., Frank-a-Saurus and Native Feel, Displace and Ajeva, She the Slut and We’re All Gonna Die, The Grizzly Adams and Bear With Me, and of course many more. We are so proud of what our friends have accomplished, and it is our hope that our working together helped further your goals as musicians. Some of these bands are no longer performing, but still we are proud of what we have accomplished together.
It is very exciting to look forward to our continued work with the “Hometeam” music network as we continue to support these specific bands and the talent yet to be discovered. To my fellow promoters, I urge you to continue to seek out new local talent. It will be amazing to see what amazing talent comes out of these coming years. This is by no means the end of the legacy for “Little Econ” events, and Whatsit Entertainment will continue to operate as usual. Personally, I will continue to work as a freelance musician and perform with Harmonica Man and the Sawgrass Band. I look forward to continuing to work directly with Whatsit Entertainment clients on festival installations.
As WE will have freed up our schedules, you can also look forward to events hosted by the Whatsit crew in the central Florida area in the Summer, Fall, and Winter of 2017. Thank you all for your continued support. This experience of festival management in Central Florida has been a cornucopia of inspiration, but still I do not believe I have the words to properly show my gratitude. You will know it is time for the next installment of Little Econ Love Fest when we announce dates and location. We were a Catapillar, now we are a cocoon. We will see you soon.
Love Aways, Trey Miller
There is only one more thing we can say. We at MusicFestNews love you, Trey, and love everything you have done for our community.