NEDERLAND, Colo. — Event organizers have canceled the 2023 Frozen Dead Guy Days (FDGD), citing "numerous factors."
The festival's origin story goes something like this: "Grandpa" Bredo Morstoel was a minor public official in Norway, and when he died in 1989 his grandson, Trygve Bauge, had him cryogenically preserved in the hopes he could one day be re-animated.
The body was eventually moved to Nederland, where Bauge had plans to build his own cryonics lab unit he was deported. Now, Bauge pays Brad Wickham $9,000 per year to buy and deliver between 900 to 1,200 pounds of dry ice every two weeks and cover his grandfather's frozen sarcophagus.
Every year, FDGD aims to honor Grandpa and this unique story.
In a release Tuesday, festival co-owner Sarah Mosely Martin said the 2023 festival was canceled "due to numerous factors including our own operational hurdles returning after a two-year COVID hiatus, a lack of partnership with the Town of Nederland, and the challenges of large event production on the safety and security fronts.”
The festival made its post-pandemic return in 2022 with more than 20,000 attendees and 230 musicians, according to Tuesday's release. Martin claims following months of negotiations with the Town of Nederland to revive FDGD, the budget tripled compared to previous years.
“FDGD started as a small festival and took on a life of its own. We have experienced growing pains over the past many years, as has Nederland,” Martin said in a statement. “At this time, we regretfully have to reassess how to go forward with every intention of honoring the cultural and historical value of Grandpa’s story and still be fiscally responsible. It means so much to so many including the state of Colorado, our amazing festivarian community, and all the loyal Nederland locals who have put their heart and soul into the festival. This has been a really hard decision, but Town put the nail in the coffin when their wrap report stated that they would like to keep the festival in Nederland but refuse to work with the festival's current owners again and stipulated that Guercio Field could no longer be used."
Organizers hope to hold the 20th Frozen Dead Guy Days festival in 2024. To learn more about the festival, click here.