HEBRON, Maine — The Redneck Blank, formerly known as the Redneck Olympics, will be back for a third year, organizer Harold Brooks said Monday.
This year, the weekend-long celebration of ATVs, beer, music and camping, along with a smattering of athletic events, will run Aug. 1-4 in the usual spot — Brooks’ land in Hebron.
Headlining the event will be AC/DC cover band, Back in Black. Also on the lineup is the Mallett Brothers Band, who filmed the music video for their song “Little Bit of Mud” at last year’s Redneck Blank. Additional performers include locals Veggies by Day and Uncle Jack.
The Redneck Blank started in 2011 as the Redneck Olympics. More than 2,600 people flocked to Brooks’ land for the camping festival and events, including the tire beer trot and toilet-seat horseshoes.
The day after the event, the United States Olympic Committee asked Brooks not to use the word “Olympics” for the event.
Brooks reluctantly complied, renaming it the “Redneck Blank” as a way to avoid a lawsuit while thumbing his nose at the USOC.
Last year, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” joined in, giving the 2012 Redneck Blank “NBC-style” coverage, right down to the promos for a parody of the NBC show, “The Voice,” where all the events were blocked out. “The Daily Show” ridiculed the USOC’s contention that people could confuse the Redneck Olympics with the real Olympic Games.
Brooks said he enjoyed the presence of “The Daily Show” and that they sent him a DVD of the Redneck Blank segment they aired last year. “The Daily Show” was great publicity, he said, adding that they may be the reason the USOC hasn’t contacted him since last year’s event.
“I think there’s a direct correlation to them not harassing me anymore,” Brooks said Monday. Once “The Daily Show” got involved, Brooks said the USOC “backed off.”
Brooks has bigger plans this year, including a possible demolition derby. He said he’s hoping local businesses will sponsor the cars, which would be auctioned off after the event. The proceeds would go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation or a children’s hospital.
This year, the music will begin on Thursday night, a night previously reserved for early arrivals. Brooks said hundreds came to start camping on Thursday last year.
There will no longer be any Sunday events, however. Brooks said most people were too worn out on Sundays, so he’s leaving it as a day to rest.
“No one feels like doing anything on Sunday,” he said. “People only have so much energy.”
Tickets aren’t on sale yet, and a price hasn’t been set, but Brooks said there will be a discount for presale tickets this year. Last year, most bought tickets at the gate, and it was hard to predict attendance. Last year’s attendance was 2,700 — about 100 more than 2011.
Brooks said he’s looking at promoting the games more and getting more people to wear funny costumes. One attendee last year wore a pig mask and another was dressed as Batman.
The eventual goal is to create an experience like the annual Burning Man Festival in Nevada.
“I think that’s something to look up to,” Brooks said. “Their biggest thing is about being decent and giving and helping. I think that’s cool.”