The Happening Turns 1 Saturday 10/22/16!

The Happening Turns 1 Saturday 10/22/16!

Come celebrate a year of collaborative expression! The Happening is turning 1!

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Happy Halloween everybody! The hot weather has finally broken, the leaves are beginning to fall, and the litany of holiday festivities is about to begin! We’ve been in full speed preparing for special new beer releases and a NEW winter seasonal that will be released in November (more on that soon!) We are also coming up on a landmark anniversary for TrimTab – the one-year anniversary of The Happening! The Happening has become a fixture of our brewery, and has become emblematic of several tenants to our mission as a company. So, in preparation for this special event we wanted to help spread more insight about the event’s concept, what it represents to us, and a reflection of the past year of spectacular Happenings!


The Happening at TrimTab is not a new concept. In fact, happenings have existed for over 60 years in a variety of forms.  The origins of “happenings” began as early as 1952, by a prolific man named John Cage, in Western North Carolina – strangely enough where our founders Harris and Cheri originally lived. The weird parallels of the happening’s origins to TrimTab continue. Cage began the concept of “happenings” the same time that Buckminster Fuller – the pioneer of the trimtab concept – was teaching at this groundbreaking college.  Over the history of our company, both these figures – Buckminster Fuller and John Cage – have been huge sources of inspiration for us. So, it’s highly appropriate that they both converge with The Happening.


At its core, Happenings are about free-form participatory creative expression, where there is no separation between the audience and the performer. In fact, in its intended form, the audience itself IS a performer! As Cage pointed out, even if identical happenings were structured, there would be totally different results because of the individual contributions of those that attend the happening. So, by being at The Happening, you are shaping it in a new direction, simply by you being there.
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But that requires participation. At TrimTab we offer a wide variety of interactive media. There are canvases for painting and opportunities to collaborate with other artistic media. There is a drum circle, where everyone is welcome to participate. Fire dancers express themselves through a variety of instruments. There are also silks hung from the ceiling and suspended hoops that allow for aerial arts. And though only trained aerial artists are invited to use the silks and hoops, we do offer training on Mondays at the brewery. There are bands in our production area, and a wide variety of DJ’s in the Tasting Gallery that allow a space to dance and let yourself be free. Each addition of The Happening has brought something different and exciting as the collaborative spirit has brought in participants throughout the southeast.


Our mission as a company is to create a world we love. To accomplish that we use craft beer to support the people, organizations, and ideas that are sources of large positive change – or as we call them, trimtabs. The Happening is such an icon for that mission and we have loved seeing so many people in our community using the event as a way to creatively express themselves. Over the last year we’ve seen people pick up hand drumming for the first time and losing themselves in rhythm. We’ve seen people’s faces light up in amazement as the aerial artists (one of which a retired performer from Cirque du Soleil) perform gravity-defying, body contorting dances 25 feet off the ground. We’ve seen fire dancers light up the night sky. We’ve seen new friends meet while dancing from one room to another. We’ve seen now hundreds of vendors take their crafts and showcase them to the world – many of them for the first time. We’ve seen a community come together and use whatever means was available to leave a creative mark on the world together.

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To give you an idea of attending, from the perspective of a first-time Happener, here is a section of an article in Iron City Ink, written by Sydney Cromwell:


“Walking into The Happening, I felt out of place. I’m not artsy or acrobatic, and I had nothing to contribute to the collaboration.

I forgot that feeling a few steps through the door. Everyone there was in love with what they were doing, and they wanted to share it with me and as many people as possible. Even my camera, which makes most people nervous, didn’t faze anyone.

It was hard to feel like a stranger in a place with so much enthusiasm. There was no separation between the performers and the rest of us watching with our mouths hanging open. Since it started in October, The Happening seems to have found its groove and the night was unlike anything I’ve experienced in this city so far.

If this is the modern face of the circus, I’ll take the brewery over the big top any day.”


The full article can be found here.

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We’re so proud of our team member Lily Lanter, who brought forth this idea and has made the event her own. She has managed each Happening’s planning and execution and has done such a knockout job of keeping the inspiration fresh.


We’re also so proud our creative community who has greeted this concept so enthusiastically. At first people just came to observe. Now people are coming to contribute! If you haven’t been yet, we welcome you to come join on the 24th! It’s so much more than a party. It’s The Happening!

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