We’re just a week out from one of the most anticipated happenings to date on the reopening weed event calendar as Puffco prepares for its first annual Puffcon Block Party on Saturday, October 2 at Los Angeles Center Studios.
The event will be a celebration of hash technology in recent years and the community’s enthusiasm around the pace of progress that has seen Puffco standing at the top of the digital dab space since the launch of the Peak. But they originally got on my radar years before the Peak dropped because most of the big players in the hash space were using a Puffco Plus as their travel dab pen in the mid-2010s. So when the Peak dropped, that upper echelon community was hyped in the same way tech music nerds were thrilled when the original iPods dropped because it was that next generation of tech from the most proven company available.
That excitement continued on through the recent release of the Peak Pro to the point where all the hype needed a day-long outdoor celebration in appreciation of the community. The idea percolated into a full-on festival that will feature art, hash and music from Flatbush Zombies, Action Bronson and Buddy.
In addition to a solid musical lineup, Puffco said they’re shooting for an event bringing all corners of the cannabis culture together with Puffcon’s own “Shakedown Street” market reminiscent of the Grateful Dead’s years of touring. As opposed to discount grilled cheese sandwiches and acid, Puffcon’s version will see exclusive product releases, limited edition merch, glass art, special community artists, and L.A.’s best food trucks.
“We want to create a safe space for our community to gather. Not a place outside of L.A., but a place that has a sense of community,” said Roger Volodarsky, founder and CEO of Puffco. “For us, that’s a block party-style concert with all of our favorite brands, restaurants and vendors coming together to appreciate our community. Our hope is by hosting this event, we will set the bar for future events in our industry and others.”
One of the key players helping Volodarsky bring that vision to life is Puffco’s Director of Events Kevin Chapman. As the team enters final preparations, Chapman sat down with L.A. Weekly to explain how it all came together.
“So we’ve had plans for, jeez, a couple of years now, ever since the OG Peak, to do something that at the time we were calling Peak Day internally,” Chapman told L.A. Weekly. “As time went on, we realized that Puffcon sounded a lot cooler. You know, playing off Comic Cons, complex cons, all of that stuff. Our big thing was bringing it to an area where people can get involved and not feel like they were getting pushed out of town for it. So we’re doing it in our own backyard in the middle of downtown, which is probably the coolest thing I’ve ever been a part of.”
As for the mechanics of throwing down an epic weed event downtown? It starts with a mountain of city paperwork. Then checking other boxes like getting site approval from the Fire Department and heading down to LAPD in person for all their required paperwork and fees.
“It’s a lot of steps, but to make sure that our people are not only safe with what we’re producing but extra safe with the city’s approval and whatnot is huge,” Chapman said.
Given the state of the world, we asked Chapman how close Puffcon looks to the original incarnation they had in their head years ago.
“I don’t know. Besides just the fact that fewer people are going to come out because the vaccine is required at this event,” Chapman replied. “This is something we want people to not feel like they have to wear a mask around each other if they don’t want to. If they do, please do. So how does it compare? I would say, maybe less attendees, but everybody’s really got their head in the game and hard in it.”
The RSVP list currently is over 5,000 attendees. Chapman emphasized that’s not just clicking yes on a random invite, that’s physically going in entering your serial code. They’ll never know how many are missing out, but it’s fair to presume with the advanced notice Puffco gave about Puffcon at least a few of the 5,000 got their shots just to show up.
“I’m happy to throw something super safe for everybody that is willing to do what we think is necessary to keep each other safe,” Chapman said.
Chapman reminds everyone not to forget to RSVP at Puffcon.com and make sure to bring your Peak or Peak Pro fully assembled at the gate to present with your proof of vaccination. A screenshot for them to look at with your ID is fine, you don’t have to go smoke mad hash with your CDC card, thankfully.
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