About the Pillow Fight...

Nick Meyer, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Was this the final toss? Maybe not. It’s now up to you ...
Was this the final toss? Maybe not. It’s now up to you ...

It’s a sad day at the Volume One office. We’ve been strongly encouraged by powerful and fun-squashing agents of safeness (insurance companies) to cease operation of our annual April Fools’ Day Pillow Fight. Quite simply, with all the ways Volume One has grown and changed recently, our insurance situation has become a bit more complicated. In light of that, our staff is in agreement that it may be prudent to end our involvement with the five minutes of feathery fury. But does it really mean the end of the event? Well that may depend on you.

Traditionally held on April 1 at 6pm sharp in downtown Eau Claire, the Pillow Fight has seen a few hundred participants and as many spectators on each of the last seven years. There are costumes, zany pillowcases, and a wide range of fighters including families with kids, college students, young professionals, old professionals, and more. It’s a ridiculous and crazy kind of fun that you simply don’t find all that often. And it’s a kind of fun that has always drawn a lot of media attention, not only locally, but statewide.

But due to the nature of the event, however fun and harmless it may seem, we’re told it’s basically “uninsurable.” We’ve always focused on keeping it as pure and simple as possible. So with no sponsors, no vendors, and no way to pay for hefty and specific insurance coverage, we’ve pressed our luck long enough. Yeah, it’s been fun. Really fun. But in today’s society, with people taking less accountability for their own actions and becoming increasingly lawsuit-happy, it’s getting harder to take the risk of such fun. And yeah, that’s no fun.

But there are still many events, even some here in the Chippewa Valley, that are also “uninsurable” yet still go on through the will of the people. FATFAR is a classic example. For decades the one-day event has drawn thousands of people to float down the Chippewa River on all sorts of strange contraptions – all despite no official person or organization being in charge. There’s just a day (Father’s Day) that people know to show up, and it happens year after year. If things go bad, no one is on the hook for someone else’s stupidity.

Well this event has an established day too (April Fools’ Day). However, we’ll acknowledge there are some challenges in creating the precise timing and placement. Thankfully there are vastly more social media tools available now than there were eight years ago, so spreading the details among friends and the community is easier than ever. And today, the concept of a “flashmob” is well known and not quite so unusual. So we’re hoping you, dear reader, will pick up the slack. To be clear: Volume One won’t be there any more. We’re not planning, promoting, or sponsoring the April Fools’ Day Pillow Fight whatsoever. (And neither are the owners of the property where it’s been most recently held.) So as far as we know it’s not happening. But with that, we’re releasing the idea into the community’s ether. If the people take it and find a way to run with it, following the law as they go, we’re not stopping them. Because really, who can stop the will of the people?

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