Bash organizer Misselwitz (bottom row, far right) says, “Most Bashers do their shopping at their local thrift stores.”
“We had humble beginnings for sure,” says Michael Misselwitz of an event he cofounded and that he now describes as “one of those things that really can’t be explained.” The original Mustache Bash, he says, was a house party hosted by nine SDSU classmates in 2007, all of them fans of funk music and polyester. “We had minimal expectations.” But, minimal expectations or not, the concept was a winner. The original nine kept the party going on schedule each year thereafter.
10th anniversary video
“By the fourth year, it had grown so big that we had to rent a venue. And now, we’re having our tenth anniversary.” How does Misselwitz account for the success of what is essentially an annual one-day ’70s costume party with live funk bands?
“The whole concept is really about a community. A lot of the same people come back year after year,” Misselwitz says. “We call them ‘Bashers.’” This year, the organizers expect upwards of 1800 Bashers. He says the last two Mustache Bashes, staged on the Broadway Pier, sold out. “We expect to sell out again this year.” Plans this year include a second stage indoors and a bigger bar.
Seventies-style costumes are mandatory. “People go all out. Men are encouraged to grow out their mustaches, and women can grow out whatever they want. People wear bell bottoms. Platforms,” says Misselwitz. “Most Bashers,” he admits, “do their shopping at their local thrift stores.”
He says the production team is all voluntary. “We don’t take any money for ourselves.” But Misselwitz says that may change in the future, especially if the nine founders are successful in branching the event out to other cities like New York and San Francisco. “We have plans to expand. We’re taking it to the next level. This tenth anniversary is the turning point.”