Ah, Shrek. The beloved animated 2001 film – and its titular bright green ogre, voiced by Mike Myers – has inspired sequels, scores of products and merchandise, video games, and even a Broadway musical. And now, the movie has inspired a festival for Shrek superfans.
Wait. What? A festival, like Comic-Con or SXSW? Yes, that's precisely what it's like inside the Shrek fan festival – or what it aims to be, at any rate. With each passing year, the event has grown in both attendees and budget, and it's even started making a modest profit for organizers. But you may be wondering what, exactly, goes on at a festival like this. Shrek can only really be taken so far, right? Wrong. Shrek superfans have found surprising, hilarious, and completely wild ways to take their appreciation of the stout green ogre to the next level. And, for better or for worse, the rest of us are along for the ride.
Find out all about the Shrek festival, and check out all the hilarious pictures, below. Sure, it may be a little insane, but it looks like a ton of fun.
It All Began As A HoaxPhoto: Metaweb / CC-BY
In 2014, some Facebook tricksters posted an event called Shrekfest, where fans of the movie could get together and celebrate all things Shrek. Grant Duffrin and his friends were excited, but eventually "word got out it was fake, and we were heartbroken."
So Duffrin and his pals started their own Shrekfest in Madison, WI. Every year, it has received more and more interest from all around the world.
The First Year, Everything Was FreePhoto: Metaweb / GNU Free Documentation License
As they went about planning the first Shrekfest, Grant Duffrin and his friends realized they had no idea what they were doing. They didn't have the necessary licenses to sell merchandise or charge admission. Their solution? Make everything free! That first year, tickets, food, and merchandise were all offered for nothing.
Admission Is Still FreePhoto: Metaweb / CC-BY
Despite how much Shrekfest has grown over the years, the organizers still do not charge admission. There are charges for food and merchandise, but you can still get in the gates for free. So if you live in the Madison area, there's really no excuse not to show up to the next Shrekfest.
These People Are Serious About ShrekPhoto: flickr / CC0
At Shrekfest, it can be difficult to determine who is a diehard fan and who is just playing at being a diehard fan. But everyone who shows up to Shrekfest at least gives the illusion they are serious about anything and everything Shrek.