First Before I Die ABQ Festival Attracts Big Crowds

Albuquerque, NM – The inaugural Before I Die ABQ Festival, six days of activities held around Albuquerque, NM, drew 574 participants to 22 separate events between October 20 to 25, 2017. The festival offered free and low-cost upbeat activities for people to openly think about, talk about and do something about our 100% mortality rate.


The most popular events drew crowds of more than 50 to hear panel discussions with funeral directors and financial/legal advisors on “What You Need to Know Before You Go,” the movies HAROLD AND MAUDE and THE SEVENTH SEAL at the Guild Cinema, and a presentation and demonstration at the Jewish Community Center titled, “Jewish Burial Equals Green Burial.”


Other well-attended events included a walking tour of historic Fairview Cemetery (established in 1881), the “Prelude to Eternity” party in the Pavilion at Sunset Memorial Park, Death Cafe discussions, and tours of the Office of the Medical Investigator and the casket building workshop of the nonprofit organization Fathers Building Futures.


Festival coordinator Gail Rubin, CT, a pioneering death educator, award-winning author and TEDxABQ speaker, noted, “Over the course of the festival, so many people said, ‘Thank you for doing this.’ It’s so important to start honest conversations about end-of-life issues. These festival activities opened that door and answered plenty of questions.”


Before I Die festivals are part of a growing social movement to foster reflection about how we as individuals and as a society manage death and dying. Before I Die festivals have drawn thousands to events in Cardiff, Wales (UK), Indianapolis, IN, and Louisville, KY. Before I Die ABQ is the first such festival west of the Mississippi.


In a first for Albuquerque, two Before I Die walls were set up at the main campus of Central NM Community College (CNM), and in Sunset Memorial Park. Before I Die walls are part of a global art project that invites people to reflect on their lives and publicly share their personal aspirations. The panels at CNM filled up within days, drawing hundreds of responses that completely filled all three boards.


Hundreds of festival attendees entered a drawing for a free cremation provided by the Albuquerque office of The Neptune Society, a national company, and a “coff-urn” from The Old Pine Box, based in Edgewood, NM. Attendees will be surveyed on what they’d like to see in a second annual Before I Die ABQ Festival in 2018. Videos of panel discussions will be uploaded soon to TheFamilyPlot YouTube Channel.


The Before I Die ABQ Festival was made possible by these local and national sponsors:



Festival partners included the nonprofit organizations Albuquerque Oasis, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of New Mexico, the Jewish Federation of New Mexico, Fathers Building Futures, and the YMCA of Central New Mexico. The Guild Cinema, Rio Bravo Brewery, Cooper Art Studio, the Albuquerque Tourism & Sightseeing Factory, Central New Mexico Community College, and the City of Albuquerque senior centers also hosted festival events.


Find more information online at

By |2017-10-30T10:54:09+00:00October 30th, 2017|Industry Alerts|Comments Off on First Before I Die ABQ Festival Attracts Big Crowds

About the Author: