Bacon. It’s America’s most-adored pork product. From the sizzle to subreddits to soap, you can probably find a bacon-themed anything these days. Bacon vodka? Check. Bacon toothpaste? Check (also, gross). A festival pairing bacon with bourbon? Check (and it’s local, too).
But until a few years ago, the world was missing one bacon pairing. What’s that?, you might be wondering. Bacon-scented lingerie? No, they already have that. It is, of course, the combination of bacon, booze, and beats — ladies and gentlemen, it’s the Bacon Ball.
You’ve probably heard of the Bacon Ball before, and chances are you may have even attended some of the events. They’re always a good time, and the folks at Savory Events (the brains behind said Ball) were kind enough to tell us a bit about their porky parties, their relationship with the Portland community, and other events they put on. Check out the interview below — but first, some killer photos from this past weekend’s Bacon Ball 2016 by the always talented team of Brenda Rose & Paul Grupp!
N&C: Tell us a bit about how it all started. How did the idea for the first Bacon Ball spawn?
Savory Events: It all began as a house party in November 2013. Peter threw an after party for a Polish Ambassador show, starting around midnight and going til 10am. It was a breakfast potluck in part — Peter made an egg souffle, got a whole rack of bacon, and someone brought maple bars from Voodoo. Jake had been teaching me how to DJ, and we brought his decks over. Kaspian brought lights and decorations, and thus Bacon Ball 0 happened. At one point, we all looked at each other and said, “We have to do this again.”
At the beginning it was just Peter Giese, Jake Clark, Kaspian Clark, and myself (Ethan Moses). Since then, Laurel Moses and Treya Bushell have joined our team!
According to Facebook, Savory Events has been around since 2014, and even though it’s fairly new, your events have a ton of success — what would you attribute the success to?
We have been official since 2014, when we registered as an LLC, got insurance, permits, and all that good stuff that has gotten us to where we are today.
Our success continues to surprise us all! I would attribute our success to not any one factor, but the sum of our parts. Before you even walk into Bacon Ball, you experience our internet presence that is accepting to all as well as rather silly. We have volunteering opportunities for people who can’t afford tickets or who want to be involved.
When you walk into Bacon Ball, you immediately experience the culmination of 50+ volunteers creating a production of so many kinds of art on so many levels. You get smiles from people in thematic costumes, cheap drinks, and an accepting place to get your dance on. In the end, our success comes from our constant work towards continuing that house party vibe — all your friends are there, there is food — easy-going vibes. We have created a space that accepts all walks of life and all reasons for attending, and I think that makes a big difference in making our event stand out.
Besides Bacon Ball, what are some other events Savory puts on (and what sort of stuff is in the works)?
Currently we have Grilled Cheese Disco going on 5th Fridays, which happens every three months. Next one is April 29th! There are lots of new Savory developments happening over 2016, and we are very excited to announce as soon as we are able. Stay tuned to our Facebook page!
How do you go about picking performers for your events? Are they always Portland-based acts, or do you ever work with out of town acts?
We have booked out of town acts before, most notably Ghastly for our Summer Mayham show. Our acts are mostly in town, though. We see so many talented artists just within our community, we haven’t felt the need to book artists from outside Portland.
We curate each lineup based on the energy we want to create for that event. We spend quite a bit of time researching and discussing artists. There are so many amazing people to choose from, it is very difficult, but that’s a great problem to have.
Where the hell do you get all the bacon? Do you just go buy it at like Safeway or something, or do you have a company who you work with? Have you ever run out?
We have worked primarily with wholesalers to get high quality meats. High quality food is a priority to us, and I think that is part of what makes this party taste great. We also have been serving other food, particularly these amazing balsamic beets (for vegetarians as well as the play on words).
Anything else you want people to know about Savory?
All of us have learned a huge amount since our beginnings. We are so humbled by the feedback we have received from our community, and so proud of this show and what it has done for us, our friends, and this community. We are so excited to see what happens this year and beyond.