an interview with John Goodman
1. How did you come to create the FIRE ISLAND BLACK OUT? My best friend Michael and I were talking one day and thought it would be cute to have a small intimate beach party. He's a caterer so that made the idea even more viable. We thought about it and figured that we didn't want to go to Riis Beach because everyone goes there. So we said, "Hey...how about Fire Island?" Both of us laughed but then decided, "Why not?" The name came from a play on words and the Fire Island Black Out, or "FIBO" as we call it, was born.
2. How many men were on fire island the first year? We sent out Evites to a few of our closest friends and the result was about 50 guys.
3. What is your most memorable experience from the 3 years that you've done the black out? My most memorable experience was at last year's event. We were issuing FIBO logo tattoos and this group of white people came over and asked what was going on. After we explained, they joined the party and got tattoos too. Another memory was of someone that I will simply call "Crazy Naked Boy"...and I'm leaving it at that.
4. How many men do you expect to be in attendance this year? Whew! Our staff is expecting to entertain close to, if not over, 1000 male AND female attendees this year. To say that our attendance has grown exponentially, would be an understatement.
5. Are there any surprises in store? Well, we just released info that we will host our first dance party at the legendary Ice Palace, called the "FIBO Bump and Dip". We have some talented DJ's coming through with the intention of making the people bump for 5 hours straight and we are offering a special bracelet that allows the wearer access to the Grove Hotel's private swimming pool. The bracelet will also afford the wearer some special deals that we have arranged with a few of the local restaurants and vendors. All for just $10. Visit www.fireislandblackout.com for more information.
6. How will THIS year be different from last year? This year we had to get serious and go from just a bunch of guys bringing black folks to Fire Island for a day and become incorporated. This is the first year we had to buckle down and really approach this as a business. Instead of a "bunch of my friends," I have a Board and a staff of hard-working professionals. Professionals in their personal lives and that professionalism shows in everything they do.
7. How does it feel knowing that all these men are going to be on fire island because of YOU? Honestly? I get a greater satisfaction knowing that I am giving my brothers and sisters something a little different. Its not an ordinary beach party but an event that has grown by leaps and bounds into something much greater than we ever thought it would be. Keeping that focus helps me and my staff to continue producing an event that keeps people talking and coming back for more.