FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Austin, Texas -- March 31, 1997.
The Survival Research Laboratories show held here last Friday night came through as a wonderful success, with several thousand people attending -- 8000, according to sheriff reports.
Monsterbit Media, Real/Time Communications, Onramp Access, Hyperweb, Eric Paulos, Bob Nagy and others collaborated to effect a wireless T1 10Mb webcast for combined audio/video coverage of the show, which you can find at:
The show began late, nearly 90 minutes after the scheduled start, due to ticket security measures which slowed the entrances. Tensions among the crowd standing in line nearly grew to riot proportions. However, officials from the Church of the SubGenius, along with several anonymous drummers and flame-jugglers, acted swiftly to appease the crowd, thus averting a scene of rampant violence and senseless acts of mayhem and destruction by people other than the SRL artists.
News coverage of the event included at least six segments on local television stations, nearly a month of morning radio updates by Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers, a variety of in-depth newspaper articles, and follow-up by two cable/satellite networks.
A news crew from the local FOX network television affiliate refused to attend the SRL press conference held earlier in the week, but showed up in an antagonistic mood for the show. Contrary to the sheriff deputies on site, FOX reported about noise damage to local residents and livestock, calling the event a "Destruction Show which has been banned in many cities and may be banned from appearing again in Austin" -- much to the delight of SRL crew members.
KTBC/FOX also aired excellent footage of a local blue-haired old lady irate about the show, with an erroneous subtitle from the San Diego footage of Heaven's Gate suicides, followed by an onsite interview with Mark Pauline.
One of the most remarkable points about the show was that the crowd attending held an almost unbelievable mixture of people,
>from all ages and walks of life. Rednecks sat next to yuppie
parents next to street-urchin teenagers next to techgeek freaks, mostly all caught in a subtle but apparent state of apprehension and fear as explosions rocked their world. Even so, only one arrest was made (due to a drunken fight) and no injuries were reported within the audience.
The show featured a mock-up of the UT/Austin tower -- famous for suicides and the 1960's mass shooting spree by Charles Whitman -- as its burning center-piece. Also, an entire cow which had died recently of natural causes, was roasted in flames as a tribute to Texas -- causing a few people attending to leave in protest and revulsion.
The jet car and the new shockwave cannon, along with the infamous V1 rocket engine, created a seismic disturbance as a backdrop for the robotic carnage.
What is not widely known about the event is that two members of the Heavan's Gate cult had assisted in developing the SRL web site on the Internet. Rather than joining their cult members in the San Diego mass suicide last week, these two individuals opted to complete the show preparations on site and then have their bodies cremated in the fires and explosions on the field during the show. The bodies of Matthew Bradley, 41, of Plain Falls, Minnesota, and John Novak, 58, of Vacaville, California, were burned during the SRL show.
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