Maybe it’s the ageless elegance of the mountainside, mixed with the sweeping feeling that we’re retracing the steps of some of history’s most prominent leaders; or maybe it’s the southern hospitality – the sterling selflessness of the men and women who welcomed us with open arms and full hearts – but it’s almost impossible not to fall deep in thought whenever we’re on-site in a place as beautiful as Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
This past week, the unspoiled, mountainous beauty of Pigeon Forge was taken over by a new group of invaders – The DS18 Family – and I can’t help but reflect on just how many people the competitive sound scene has helped bring together, and how much of what we’ve pioneered for years ties into the future of our brand and who we are as professionals – making it almost impossible for me not to embrace the humble living of the countryside, when my homeland is over two thousand miles away in the ostentatious lush of Barranquilla, Colombia.
In Tennessee, they believe Music is Life; in fact, they’re convinced that’s why our hearts have beats. Music got its first major commercial start right here in the Volunteer State.
Some of the most important contributions to the music industry came from Tennessee legends like Dolly Parton, Hank Williams, and Eddie Arnold. The music that came from here has always been considered the music of America. So it didn’t take too much time for the audio experts to make themselves right at home.
The DS18 family stormed the parking lot of the Sevierville Dave and Busters and got everyone in the Volunteer State involved in one of the most entertaining weeklong invasions we’ve had so far: from heartwarming embraces at a jam-packed Meet & Greet, the flashiest vehicles in town pulling up to our wild Block Party, and a short-lived but electrifying Soundoff that ended with the local police showing up.
Yeah, they had to call TN Police to try to turn us down. A little bit after ten o clock on Friday, we started the notorious DS18 Soundoff. As usual, we started with the Big Bad Wolf then went down the line of breathtaking builds that showed up to the event and let them show us their stuff.
The resounding slap of some of the builds made some of the spectators (and participants) flinch. They didn’t anticipate the boys from DS18 would show up and sound off as loud as we did, but I’m surprised they expected anything less.
The police came soon after the tenth or twelfth car had finished blasting their tunes. Some people four blocks away felt the unadulterated thump of everyone at the Soundoff and called the cops, but the people around asked if they were allowed to sound off with us.
I let them know everyone is welcome to Soundoff no matter what the size of their vehicles or builds are. When I got the chance to speak to some of the officers and the managers of the Dave and Busters I let them know what it’s all about, and they were in full support of what we were doing: bringing people together in celebration of sound.
In the over ten years I’ve worked at DS18, my motivations have changed constantly. Being the family man that I am, I’m blessed to work in a field I enjoy with a group of people dedicated to a common goal.
Seeing just how much what we’re doing means to everyone out in Tennessee reminded me of why I started doing this in the first place: to bring the passion back to competitive audio.
This week, I’m taking the drive all the way back to DS18 HQ in Atlanta, GA. The first leg of this tour has been something very special, and I can’t wait to see how they welcome us back at Headquarters.