A few notes as we kick off Volume 8 here at the Independent:
• Am I the only one having a hard time grasping the fact that it’s almost 2020? When I first saw Beth Allen’s design for the new print-issue cover, and I saw the date “January 2020,” I just stopped and stared at it for a while.
Yeah, I know I’ll get used to it soon enough. But for now, it really seems weird.
• We’ve recently published pieces by two new-to-the-Independent scribes: You’ll find Carlynne McDonnell’s inaugural pets column here, and here, you’ll find Andrea Gomez’s first piece for us—an interview with the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s new artistic director, Coachella Valley native Liliana Rodriguez.
Welcome, Carlynne and Andrea! If you want to join them in the pages of the Independent, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re still looking for people to write (paid!) freelance pieces focused on marijuana, hiking/the outdoors, event previews, and more.
• Our signature event, Palm Springs Craft Cocktail Week, is back for its fourth year! The week starts Friday, Jan. 31, and goes through Saturday, Feb. 8. During those nine days, bars and restaurants valley-wide will highlight special craft cocktails—and give a portion of the proceeds from the sales of those cocktails to our beneficiaries, the Desert AIDS Project and the LGBT Community Center of the Desert.
The highlight of the week is the Palm Springs Craft Cocktail Championship, taking place at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 5, at Moxie Palm Springs. Up to 10 of the valley’s best bartenders will battle for the coveted Audience Choice Award and the Craft Cocktail Championship—and, yes, attendees get to taste all of the competing cocktails! Presale tickets, through Jan. 10, are $35; they’ll be $40 after that, and $45 at the door if we don’t sell out (and we probably will).
Pick up next month’s issue for our special Cocktail Week program—and head to PSCraftCocktails.com for updates and/or to buy championship tickets!
• Finally, I’d like to kick off 2020 by offering my sincere appreciation to everyone who has supported the Independent—readers, advertisers and members of our Supporters program—as we enter our eighth full year.
This is not a great time for most newspapers, as you know. In fact, one of my favorite alternative publications, the OC Weekly, was shuttered by its (lazy, non-innovative) owners just before Thanksgiving.
That same week, we were putting the finishing touches on our December issue—which, revenue-wise, was our best ever.
Do we still need to do better here at the Independent, in terms of bringing in revenue? Yes, we do; I am dying to add more writers/reporters so we can better tell the valley’s stories—and we have some things in the works that will hopefully help us do just that. (And I’d like, one day, to be able to pay myself a living wage … but that’s a discussion for another time.) Watch this space for details in the upcoming months … and again, thank you for your support. Please, please keep it up.
As always, thank you for reading. Happy New Year, and be sure to pick up a copy of the January 2020—yep, still seems weird—print edition, hitting the streets this week.