SHOT Show Blues? TFB & TFBTV Announce Gun Fest 2021

    SHOT Show 2021…Cancelled?!?

    List of things COVID-19 has taken from me, personally:

    • Spring trip to Portugal with my wife 
    • My would-have-been-first IWA
    • Dive bars
    • Group Yoga class
    • My Grandmother

    But most importantly, it has taken SHOT Show 2021 from us.

    TFB had an idea that this would come to pass. My boss and courageous editor-in-chief, Pete, myself, and the guys who run the show at Carbon Media threw together a contingency plan for an “online-only” SHOT Show a few months ago; Gun Fest 2021.

    I assume we all have difficult-to-articulate “holiday feelings” associated with certain events or a time of year, often triggered by some seasonal, traditional manifestation of that event. The feeling you get hearing the kids down the street set off a handful of bottle rockets a couple of days before the 4th of July weekend. The Christmas tree going up in the office lobby. Cans of Sterno gently flickering in the darkness to warm the annual Thanksgiving dinner buffet at Babes Show Club, 4024 Davis Highway, Pensacola, Florida.

    SHOT Show pre-registration.

    SHOT feels like a holiday for myself and many of the guys at TFB and SHOT, in fact, falls on my birthday every year. New guns, old friends, Las Vegas. It’s the work equivalent of Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day; a non-stop barrage of people to catch up with, things to see and do, and when all the shooting, boozing, and schmoozing is over and done with, it’s the rare time where it’s excusable to just order a salad.

    While SHOT veterans are quick to make a comment to the effect of “when you’ve done one SHOT, you’ve done them all” or “SHOT gets old after a while” to let you know what a mega huge badass writer they are and how they have done this event so many times that they are so over looking at brand new guns, that’s not me. I nerd out at SHOT and I freely admit it.

    Much of our readership doesn’t get to attend the SHOT Show, so for them, the show is online-only anyways. The blog gets a massive amount of traffic for SHOT every year because you guys are just as pumped as we are to see what new guns are on the way for the year (or are promised by the end of the year but it never happens, and even that’s cool too). So SHOT being taken away hurts our numbers, hurts the manufacturers and retailers who rely on the show for drumming up excitement and sales, but worst of all, it hurts our readers and viewers who look forward to TFB’s coverage every year, and you guys are everything to us.

    What is Gun Fest 2021?

    That’s why we are rolling out Gun Fest 2021; or at least trying to. Gun Fest is (hopefully) going to be an online-only SHOT Show inasmuch as the mass that is SHOT Show could ever be approximated. Gun Fest is NOT going to be a lame streaming Zoom call event. We’ve rented one of the sets used by NCIS: New Orleans and the plan was to get your favorite manufacturers down here in person – one at a time – to interview them, and to shoot, record, and photograph their new releases, all over three days in December. We would then publish the Behind the Gun Podcast, the pictures, videos, and articles over the week of SHOT Show. Interest has been enough that we are most likely going to have to expand Gun Fest to another three days in early January to accommodate the brands that want to attend. Gun Fest is meant to be a one-time-only surrogate for the biggest gun show of the year. And we aren’t charging manufacturers a nickel to attend; it’s free for them.

    I’m not promising this will all work out. Manufacturers could flake on us. Plans can fall through. We can blow the budget because it’s hard to run an event when you don’t charge cover, demand money for positive reviews, or ask five figures to feature your gun on the cover of TFB Magazine. But we are going to try to do the darn thing anyways, and if we do, hopefully we can minimize the impact of SHOT being cancelled, and get new gun news to you.

    Manufacturers with something new that you were going to release at SHOT, if you’re reading this and you want to come to Gun Fest in New Orleans, feel free to email us at [email protected] and [email protected] If there’s availability, we may be able to accommodate you, but bear in mind that our time and our budget are very limited and we’ve already got some RSVPs to accommodate.

    Online only sucks for us. That means we have to do all of the work of SHOT Show without all of the fun of SHOT Show.

    But it doesn’t have to be that way for you.

    Oh and RIP gram gram

    Gun Fest 2021

    James Reeves

    • NRA-licensed concealed weapons instructor, 2012-present
    Maxim Magazine’s MAXIMum Warrior, 2011
    • TFBTV Executive Producer
    • Former Regional Sales Rep, Interstate Arms Corp., MA
    • Champion, Key West Cinco De Mayo Taco Eating Competition
    • GLOCK® Certified Pistol Operator, 2017-2022
    • Lawyer
    ► Instagram: gunshorts
    ► Twitter: @jjreeves


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