Disclosure: I’m Terp fam and I’m going to throw them some real love here. Call it bias, but they’re dope and I love it.
It’s hard to throw a consumption event in California, but building a site within the city limits of Los Angeles since Prop. 64 events has been mostly impossible. With the exception of private residences and consumption lounges, no one has been able to pull off a full fledged open-air festival quite like what we remember from the Prop 215 days. That is, until this past weekend’s inaugural Puffcon event.
Taking over approximately four blocks of Downtown Los Angeles right off the 110 this past Saturday, Puffcon was the first-ever block party thrown by its namesake organization, Puffco. Sporting performances from Flatbush Zombies, Action Bronson, and Buddy, the event also featured an all-star line up of vendors ranging from Talking Terps (who released the first-ever special edition Budsy at the event) to Trove SF. Puffcon was free to any vaccinated consumer over 21 who owned a Puffco Peak Pro (or Peak OG)— or who bought one before the registration closed.
While this was clearly a friends and family event for Puffco, the experience was evolved not only by the performances, but by the well-curated line-up of product and food vendors. From All My Hats Are Dead to Elbo, the event’s ‘shakedown street’ was ALIVE with unique merch and creative wares. I’ve been following many of these guys on IG for ages, so the chance to get to chat in person was a special treat. You don’t always get to meet the brains behind the gear! And as a founder’s character can make all the difference about where I put my support, I’m happy to report all these creatives were just as excellent as people as they are as artists.
While both the above mentioned had plenty of fire on display, cannabis brands like Alien Labs and Fidel’s were also on site serving merchandise to their hungry fans, despite not being able to actually sell weed at the event. Lot Comedy held down the community in a big way, and as someone who always appreciated the lot more than the show, the energy was real.
I will say that I didn’t miss the surge pricing from food vendors as the day got busier (word to Burger She Wrote, who jacked up prices for water and soda once other vendors started running low, and was happy to own taking advantage of the thirsty, captive audience), but there was a great selection of unique and delicious treats available. From massive cotton candy javelins to some of the hottest hot chicken many of these wooks have ever tried, it wasn’t hard to keep things delicious at Puffcon. I was hoping we’d see a surprise pop up from Bronsolino like he’s been doing as of late, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed that’ll pop at the next one.
Puffco of course had plenty of spots where you could service or buy new parts for your device as well. On sale was some of their more exclusive accessories, merch, as well as a limited number of their new 3D Peak chambers pre-launch—which I have to say is an exciting development for the device, which was already a massive improvement from its predecessor. The new chamber heats all sides of the bucket, instead of just the bottom, allowing for a much more consistent heating across the entire surface area of your concentrates. The 3D chamber, plus their ball cap attachment, will really take your device to new heights.
Although this event was free, the bigger ask made in exchange for entry was that all the owners register their device, and bring it to the event with them. While this was (in my opinion) the single greatest serial registration campaign of all time, I couldn’t help but worry there’d be more than a few smashed units before the day’s end. I’m happy to report I didn’t see a single device fatality the entire day, and I even saw several attendees walking around with more than one in their hands.
If I had to choose a favorite detail, I wouldn’t even need a second to think about it. Without question, the thing that gave me the warmest, happiest feeling of the event was the absolute takeover of the space by Talking Terps. While they for sure had the coolest set up of the event, with a cottage-type clubhouse showing off their various creative projects, perhaps the most surprising to me was the sheer volume of their gear that people wore to the event.
Before even entering the premises it was clear just how deep their market penetration goes—I was stopped by three people (also wearing Terps gear) commenting on my shirt before getting to the line. Once inside the TT@Puffcon laminates were everywhere, including on the types of people who would normally never wear those things—they didn’t grant you any special access, after all. But from the line, to the amount of people taking pictures of their space, to the conversations I heard about them while leaving the event, it was clear they won the weekend.
Overall, as far as first shots go, I’m not sure Puffcon could have gone any better. The performances were excellent, their vendors made money, and the fans had a fun day that is worth remembering. While I’m sure they have lessons for next time—like more water stations—it was clear that just like at Hall of Flowers, the community is eager to get back out there and reconnect, and they’ll jump at the opportunity to do so—even if it means walking around with their expensive pieces out in DTLA.
It’s worth noting that while there’s a clear space in the market for extracts and dabbing, I haven’t seen a real hash appreciation event on a scale such as this yet, and it’s clear the market responded well to it. While of course plenty of people were still smoking (and smoking GOOD—word to Khash TreeMason!), the massive amount of support from extractors was clear. I saw some of the best Rosin I’ve seen in my life on Saturday, bar none, and everyone wanted to share (safely, as we all had our own devices). Despite not being vendors, I also didn’t see the same level of ‘dealing’ I normally do at these types of events—it was a much more communal, ‘Here’s some of what I’ve got’ gifting than anything else, which I’m sure we can all appreciate given how expensive high end rosins have become.
I’m hearing rumors they may announce another event in the coming months, maybe even in a different part of the country, so keep an eye out for more on that soon. You’ll definitely want to be at the next one.
Originally appeared in: https://hightimes.com/events/review-puffcos-inaugural-puffcon/