We learned back in March that this year's annual RatCon 2014 Rush fan convention will be held on July 11-12 at the newly dubbed Club Carnie in Marlboro, NJ. The event's tagline is Forty years of "BLAH BLAH BLAH" and it will include a heated pool, Rush-themed food and beverages, contests, prizes, a live Rush tribute band and more! The RatCon organizers have just opened up registration for the event via their website as described in this press release:
RatCon, the largest independent yearly gathering of Rush fans in the United States, is pleased to announce the opening of registration for this year's event scheduled for Friday, July 11 - Saturday, July 12 on its website ( http://www.rushrat.com ). Registration is limited to 100 people. Registration ends at 21:12 hours EDT on Saturday, June 28.
Price of admission for RatCon 2014 is $175 for both days. Single day passes are also available. Commemorative T-shirts with shipping can also be purchased separately on the website.
Full admission includes a commemorative T-shirt, food, beverages, games, contests, special giveaways and the fellowship of the most devoted group of Rush fans anywhere. On Saturday a special Rush tribute band will be playing live all afternoon. Many other surprise guest appearances and activities are also planned.
"RatCon in a nutshell is like a giant family reunion," said co-founder Lance 'The Shred' Kasten, "All of the festivities are in one place with non-stop Rush fun beginning to end."
In addition, the event will change locations from "Club Xanadu" (Lance Kasten's home, site of RatCons 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013) in Severna Park, MD to "Club Carnie" (Mike 'Mr Driven' Rosenthal's home) in Marlboro, NJ. The amenities at "Club Carnie" include an elevated stage for the band, a heated swimming pool, an outdoor bar, an outdoor widescreen HD TV and massive Rush-themed decorations that need to be seen to be believed!
RatCon was founded in 2009 by Kelly Drew, Petie Lee Guerrero and Lance Kasten after becoming friends through the comment threads on the website Rush Is A Band ( http://www.rushisaband.com ), run by Ed Stenger. 'Rats' is the funny name they started calling themselves, a reference to the bounty of "pellets" (new music and tours) the band had been dispensing, very much keeping with the self-deprecating humor the members of Rush themselves enjoy.