I’ve been home from Sundance 6 days now. In reflection, it was an amazing experience to spread sweetriot joy through out the festival with a great team of friends and cacao lovers. HUGE thanks to Joe, Joe, Kim, Matt, Connor, Teresa, Farouk, Kristina and Ryan who all contributed.
At the same time, our experience was ironic. Everywhere sweetriot went we were stopped from our ‘rioting’ activities. We had cacao in martini glasses on Main St and were told to stop. We had signs on Main St and were told we could not have them. We danced with Naploeon all over the main movie theaters and were told to leave.
We heard over and over, “you are not official sponsors.” As a small and independent company who supports independent film, it was interesting not to have an official place at Sundance. The closest to official we came were our homes at the Alpine Café, The GenArt My Space party, The Yahoo! Music Café, and The Queer Lounge – for them we are grateful.
However, the rest of Main Street was full of corporate lounges from Airborne, Intel, Frigadaire, and more. For the team this was always a discussion point. Should companies who are not affiliated with the artistic or independent film community be there? Does flu medicine belong at Sundance? Does Intel belong at Sundance? Should Main St art galleries and little shops shut down and leave during Sundance to turn their spaces into a corporate center?
As a 5 year attendee of Sundance, I hope its values stay in tact and that Main St retains some of its original Park City character. I also hope next year there will be a clearer place for a small independent company called sweetriot. It’s tiring being shut down every where you go – and even though our ‘signs’ are about a protest for a better world with real cacao for everyone, the signs always seem to make people think we are protestors looking to cause trouble. Everyone deserves a voice in this world and the voice of optimism and joy from sweetriot needs to be heard just as the voices of all other activists around the world.