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Fall Xpression

As old man winter approaches, our nights here in chicagoland get colder, jackets are worn over our favorite hoodies and some of us prepare our cars for storage. This changing of the weather is the catalyst to the end of summer time Chicago car season. During this time of year there is a small window of opportunity to capture those perfect leaf changing autumn shots. It's also that time of year to count our blessings, reflect and embrace our past, present and future.

The trees around where I live are peaking in color this time of year. The inspiration the color of fall brings was enough for me to throw on our latest SDL hoodie and head out for a fall photo session. There is a small secluded forest preserve nearby that I visited for this fall session.

Only a handful of days remain before the bitter bite of winter clamps it's jaws across the midwest. The need to take full advantage of the sunshine and fifty degree weather made me get my camera gear together and hit up this spot. Upon arrival the forest preserve was pretty empty which left me alone with the fuga and my own thoughts.

As I watched the leaves fall from the trees, the past year hit me like a snapshot reel and I took this moment to reminisce. The year started with Tuner Fest in May. Tuner Fest started with just an idea two years ago. Now heading into year three of Tuner Fest, I have in store the biggest production I have put together so far. 

For the 2022 Tuner Fest the plan is to head into the ballpark to take over the music garden festival area. Midwest Watts will handle the production for both stages. With two stages and seven hours of music to fill, I am in the process of curating the music line up. So at this time I am looking back at all the past events and I'm cherry picking artists to fill the Tuner Fest 2022 Music Roster.

After Tuner Fest the next event we attended was Tuner Evolution. If you attended Tuner Evo then you are a survivor. The event was outdoors and mother nature was on one that day. Rain and wind like no other, to put the day in perspective my canopy literally almost flew away with 4 people holding on and sandbags. It was like a scene out of the 90's blockbuster movie Twister. It was a very wild experience to say the least. On top of the weather, the roll in experience is probably the worst out of any show I've ever attended.

The next big show I attended was Slammed Enuff Chicago. Now the event was at the lake county fairgrounds, which was the original location where I hosted the first summer nights event at almost four years ago. Then shortly after that event, slammed enuff announces they are coming to chicagoland with an event at the same location. Coincidence, I will let you decide. Anyway, the slammed enuff event was by far the most well organized roll in experience I have ever been through.

After Slammed Enuff Chicago, it was time for our Summer Nights Rockford Event I've done with Elite Tuner for the past three years. This was the biggest music production we've done to date with the inclusion of the Good Bus as the main stage. At the end of the day, the cost of this event was high and the returns weren't good enough for some of the parties involved. With that said, Summer Nights will not be at Rockford Speedway in 2022 and I will not be working with Elite Tuner on their Chicagoland event for 2022.

Instead, the plan that is in motion is to secure a new location. One consistent feedback I got about the Rockford location after every event was from the drivers about the track surface. Trust me, I listened and I am working on a new location that has a more drift friendly track surface. 

It is what it is and it seems to be a similar replay of the parking garage party ending but less snakey. A lot less snakey because we actually spoke to eachother like men about the situation. In the end, it sucks because I have to start over in a sense but we are still friends. What it comes down to is now he has competition instead of an ally. It's sad when people only care about the money.

It is in these situations where we learn the true colors of people, where we learn from mistakes and build for a better future. Do not be scared to make a mistake or to trust people. The right ones will come along and when you treat them well they will  ride with you.

Which leads me to Summer Nights Memphis. I will save the details for the full article but if you're not taking risks then how can you expect any reward? Memphis was by far my biggest risk ever and by far the craziest event I've ever pulled off. I still can't believe it.  

On top of taking the biggest risk ever with Memphis, this was also the first time I ever did a back to back weekend of big events. The week after Summer Nights Memphis I did the Tuner Fest Fall Mega Meet. It has been a hectic, risky yet very rewarding year. Speaking of rewards, this is the first year we got both of our cars running at the same time. As soon as the honda was running it was back down. The honda will be going back under the knife over the winter and will be ready for next season.

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