During the weekend of April 16-18, Freaks of Nature hosted its second annual Freakfest at Famoso Raceway north of Bakersfield in McFarland, California. The whole custom-truck community had been eagerly anticipating the event since last year's inaugural show went so well, and those in attendance truly enjoyed themselves. This year's show featured much of what had been offered last time, but with more of everything for the more than 12,000 people showing a custom ride or hanging out for the attractions the Freaks had set up.
The event opened early on Friday for those who wanted to get a jump on the weekend's festivities. As with most truck runs, camping was available on-site at Famoso Raceway, and mini-truckers came out of the woodwork to take advantage of a safe place to hang out and have draggin' parties. Although Friday night was pretty wild, the Freaks staff kept everything going smoothly, and was surprised at how mellow everyone who got to the event early acted. The place settled down just before dawn, and for a few hours you couldn't tell that all hell was about to break loose at Freakfest 2004.
Roll-in for the show 'n' shine began early Saturday morning. Along the backside of the dragstrip, customs lined up and prepared for show. The Freaks of Nature staff soon had everyone classed and ushered into the show area, where massive detailing went on. Even though the show area was held in a somewhat dusty area (Famoso is a huge dust bowl), no one seemed to mind all that much. Once most of the vehicles on display were ready, the judges began making their way around the showgrounds to judge each vehicle on its merits. Several show vehicles were parked in the vendor booths just north of the main showgrounds, which the judges also attended to.
Speaking of vendors, plenty of them were on hand, selling all kinds of great custom parts, accessories, and must-have apparel for the custom truck enthusiasts pouring in all over the place. Since we'd already covered the show, we spent a lot of time looking through the vendors area, gawking at all kinds of things we'd like to use on our current projects. Vendors on hand such as The Hack Shack, EAI, Kuts R Us, Infamous Inc., Fa Dink/Fa Dunk, Low Life Video, BrandOne Clothing, Grant Kustoms, and Liquid Advanced Eyewear Technology had killer products being sold at show prices. Toyota Motorsports even brought out a display rig and several vehicles for showgoers to check out. Farther from the track and show area was a huge open space near the main stage, where stunters performed all kinds of killer tricks on sport bikes. To the side of the stage was a series of ramps and a huge mound of dirt brought in for a motocross jumping competition that promised $5,000 to the winner.
Late Saturday afternoon, the weather decided to throw a wicked curve at the show with an intermittent rain shower or two. Surprise light hail sent just about everyone running for cover for about an hour. Afterward, the parties continued as though the rain and hail had never happened. The party kept going pretty much all night long, with more raucous fun than anyone could've imagined. People had all sorts of partying fun, but never really got out of hand as many tend to do at truck runs. Sunday morning, the awards were handed out for all the show categories as with any other event. The Freaks, however, added some inventive specialty awards, making many of the clubs and enthusiasts happier than they'd been at any other show.
Freakfest is truly one of the best shows to be found along the West Coast these days. It has a light-hearted attitude and commitment to fun that we here at Mini Truckin' haven't seen in an event in years. Part of Freakfest's ability to keep things so loose is the attitude of those who attend the event. If people don't know how to act like adults in public, promoters can't treat their guests as adults. Many props go to the Freaks of Nature for one hell of a kickass event, as well as to each and every person who attended Freakfest 2004 for being upstanding enthusiasts and keeping this event going like no other. For more information on the third annual Freakfest in 2005, visit www.freakfestshow.com. Be on the lookout for the upcoming video Freakfest - The Movie, which will profile all the wacky happenings from this year's event.
After the show was over each day, a huge party started and lasted until the wee hours of the morning. With bands such as Adema, Kottonmouth Kings, Level, The Dreaming, Karma Hit List, Paradigm Shift, Crooked, ThroatShot, Palisade, Relapse Trigger, Swag, Swine, Arrival of Fawn, Stupidog, Milestone, Melodrose, Squatcho, Vagrant, Fluid, Shamiq, and Biotiour all on stage slammin' live tunes until the break of dawn, everyone in attendance had more than enough entertainment to keep them jammin' throughout the weekend. If live music didn't get you stirred up, then maybe a killer wet T-shirt and bikini contest got you ready to party. Either way, everyone at Freakfest 2004 seemed to have a great time.
Grant Kustoms took charge of building the specialty awards for Freakfest 2004, with awards for Most Partying Club (a hand-hammered steel mug) and Most Body-Dropped Vehicles in a Club (a diorama complete with three hammered rides and a miniature combo pan with drag damage), among others. Also handed out was the IF Customs "Matt Eye Award," a sculpture crafted in steel for IF's choice for Best of Show.