AN INVITE TO ALL: Local’s Board Game Plucks Success
Billy Strings-inspired board game, which began as a campaign on Kickstarter, is now available for purchase
Eli Bremer, a local superfan of Grammy-winning bluegrass musician Billy Strings, has seen his and supporters’ hard work come to fruition: His board game, Meet Me At The Creek, has been brought to life and is now available to purchase!
You can find it on Amazon, Etsy, or at Tree Huggers Co-op in La Crosse for $75. Or, if you find yourself at a Billy Strings concert, you may be in luck! Bremer hits the road when he can – having made it to 44 shows since 2022 – to sell his board game directly to fans. Bremer also has hopes that his game will soon hit the shelves of some local stores, so keep an eye out!
While this game is certainly Billy Strings inspired, it is also for folks on all levels of the Strings spectrum, from non-listener to straight up “Billy Goats” (a nickname for Billy Strings fans). If you’ve enjoyed games like Parcheesi or Sorry, you’ll enjoy MMATC’s similar play style as well as its unique twists. One twist is the optional fifth player; the violin goatie (the name for the music-themed goat pawns) whose aim is to switch places with another goatie on the board.
“It’s finding the balance as an entrepreneur ... (it’s about) always spreading love in the community.“
While this set, with artwork by Brandon Trammel, can be considered a memorabilia item (for those “merch-nuts”) as well as a board game for anyone to enjoy, it is also an amazing story. This summer, Bremer and his three daughters took to the road, making it to 11 Billy Strings shows in only three weeks where they would sell their unique game along with other merchandise, including artwork and jewelry made by Billy Strings’s mother and personal friend of Bremer’s, Debra “Mama” Apostol.
“The kids help me sell,” Bremer said, wearing a proud-parent smile. “They actually sell better than I do.” Bremer and his family also worked to hand-package each pawn (there are 17 per game) in all 5,000 of the games made. So far, they have sold 500 games.
While one of Bremer’s favorite parts of this project is being on the road – out with the people and enjoying the music he loves – it’s also difficult to be away from home so often. “I’ve put so much time and mental energy into this that, sometimes, I feel defeated,” Bremer said candidly.
He went on to talk about the importance of mental health, his struggle with online presence, and finding time for himself and his family. “It’s finding the balance as an entrepreneur … (it’s about) always spreading love in the community.”
Bremer is only getting started in his unique niche of music and games. Next, he hopes to create a Billy Strings-based card game (titled “Everything’s the Same” in reference to a Strings song) at a lower price point. Bremer also has a self-stated “crazy idea” involving his passion for scavenger hunts.“They’re freaking awesome!” Bremer exclaimed.
He hopes to bring the spirit of the scavenger on tour someday, with interactive scavenger hunts in the cities of Billy String’s performances for fans to discover a new place, and for non-Billy Goat locals to discover an amazing musician. “That’s the point of the game,” he said. “We don’t want you in your technology all the time, we want you to go out and have fun.”
Keep up with Eli Bremer's future projects on Goatful Games Facebook.