Happy Anniversary, SideQuest!
For those of you who are new to us. SideQuest is a way for everyone in the community to discover and grow. Since 2011, we’ve held events during the weekend of RTX in Austin, raising money for lots of wonderful charities (Child’s Play, Make-A-Wish, Take This, AbleGamers, Extra Life, and Operation Supply Drop).
As a 501(c)3 charitable organization, we’re a unique outfit in that we are completely run by a volunteer staff RT community members, and our connections to that community help us to remain true.
As we celebrate six years of SideQuest, I’d like to take you back in time and talk about how we got started. (Neat fact: You can actually go read about our humble beginnings for yourself on the Rooster Teeth forums, where the discussion is preserved for all eternity – or at least until the servers crash.)
A few months before the very first RTX in 2011, a bunch of us hunkered down in a forum thread to chat. Winter was still here, but Rooster Teeth’s first official convention promised a glorious summer. Two things came out of our chats:
1) There’s going to be A LOT of people who will want to be a part of this.
2) Someone should figure out what to do when (not if) it sells out.
What if there were some way to connect all RT community members who would be in Austin for RTX?
I polled the thread and got a dozen “I’m in” responses. Thus began the mission of SideQuest: to connect this dirty dozen. Grady Bailey was among this dozen. It would’ve been a bad idea for me to take on organizing the meetup on my own…I knew a little about Austin, certainly much less than Grady, being a local and all. By stepping up and taking on so much responsibility to make the first SideQuest perfectly embodies what a community weekend is all about. I could not have asked for someone better to take SideQuest from idea to reality.
As we all know, the day tickets went on sale for the first RTX, the number of attendees jumped from the originally planned 200 to a mind-boggling 500. Meanwhile, SideQuest went from a dirty dozen to over 100. Fans flooded the forums. The question became, “Now what???” and thankfully there was an answer awaiting them.
When the big weekend was over, Grady and I looked at each other and said, “We didn’t mess up! People like this! Let’s do something crazy. Next year, let’s go BIG.” We added a charity auction, and with that we more or less had the structure that we’ve tried to maintain ever since. XD
It’s pretty crazy to think we’re heading into our sixth SideQuest. Rooster Teeth staff have compared us to the first RTX, or the closest thing to capturing that atmosphere. Last year we handed out special five-year anniversary pins to members of the dirty dozen, who are still attending!!!
We’ve got so many exciting things up and coming. We have friends in all corners of the globe now, with community members in Sydney and London gearing up for events of their own.
And we can’t wait to share what’s in store with YOU! Thank you. If you’re one of the original dirty dozen, if you’ve attended any of our events in the past, if you’ve volunteered with us over the years, if you’ve visited our RTX booth, or if you’ve interacted with us in any way over the past six years, thank you thank THANK YOU!!!!!! I hope to see you at our next community weekend in July (buy tickets here)!
– Dom (Count3D)
SideQuest Co-Founder and Director of Donations