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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Those missing out on the Shrek rave at the Knitting Factory will be green with envy

By Ed Condran For The Spokesman-Review

There’s a swamp out there that no one wants to drain. Nostalgia-loving millennials are ready to dive into the beloved bog of Shrek.

The popular 2001 animated film begat sequels, a musical and video games.

The cottage industry of Shrek has spawned “Shrek: The Rave,” which is slated for Saturday at the Knitting Factory. The first Shrek rave took place in Los Angeles in March 2022. The event was a huge success in Hollywood, followed by a popular edition in New York. The event, put together by Jordan Craig, a Los Angeles-based artist, content creator and screenwriter known as Ka5sh, has gone national.

Attendees adorned in face paint and some in costume in character as Lord Farquad or Princess Fiona dance to such familiar tunes as Smashmouth’s “All Star,” the Proclaimers “I’m on My Way” and Rufus Wainwright’s version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” And then there’s one of the songs written for “Shrek 2,” the infectious “Accidentally in Love,” which was written and recorded by Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz.

“I knew the song had to be uplifting,” Duritz said while calling from New York. “I knew it had to be colorful since animation is more colorful than real life. The music and feeling came together. It was this explosion and it was just fun. I think the song is just that and so is the movie. ‘Shrek’ is fun.”

The same can be said for the rave, which is blowing up, and the demand for the event has increased considerably over recent months. “We’ve been trying to get ‘Shrek: The Rave’ into the Knit since the beginning of last summer,” said Boise-based Knitting Factory senior talent buyer Danny Glazier. “The buzz within the concert business has been pretty undeniable.”

The feeling among audience members is similar: Kids who grew up on Shrek are crazy about the green ogre.

“It’s a movie we all love,” Glazier said. “But I don’t think any of us anticipated the love for the film manifesting into a beloved electronic event.”

The rave will include a number of DJs, but those behind the turntable are not the stars of the show. “There will be a couple of different DJs to be determined but, unlike most events, the DJs really aren’t the draw here,” Glazier said. “I think people are mainly curious and excited to see what the concept entails. I think people want to see how many layers the onion has.”

Yes, fans know that ogres are indeed like onions. There may be many levels to the Shrek rave.

There is a welcome mystery behind the event, inspired by a well-constructed buddy comedy and a compelling love story. A princess, a dragon, a hero and a donkey are part of a movie that endures.

It’ll be curious what will transpire at “Shrek: The Rave,” but it’s a given that more events like it will follow.

“Absolutely,” Glazier said. “That’s kind of the beauty of this. If it’s not Shrek, there is a healthy bucket of concepts they can pull from that are going to hit notes of nostalgia for the Gen Z and the millennial crowd.”

Nostalgia sells. It’s been 22 years since Shrek debuted. Fans recall that a lovely princess waiting in the dragon’s keep, in the highest room of the tallest tower, for her true love and true love’s first kiss and … there was Shrek’s response to the fairy tale.

“Like that’s ever gonna happen,” the ogre said. “What a load of…”

Well, apparently anything can happen. A clever animated film can become a series that never seems to end. And a Shrek rave can become a reality. The evil Lord Farquad would never comprehend it but it’s happening anyway.

If anyone finds it far-fetched, check out a DJ spinning Smashmouth’s version of “I’m a Believer” at the Knitting Factory.