June 1-3, 2023

In Memory of Craig Leerman

We don’t know what to say, except: “Craig Leerman, we love you!”*

Schellraiser 2023 is shocked and saddened to hear that our production manager Craig Leerman of Tech Works has died.
Working with Craig on last year’s event was among the greatest experiences of my life, and I was so genuinely overjoyed to be teaming up with him again for Schellraiser 2023. Craig was a true professional, and his commitment to his craft was on display during every single moment of last year’s festival. I didn’t know what to expect the first time I cold-called Craig to speak with him about Schellraiser in early 2020. But based on my experiences attending other shows and festivals over the years, I was neurotically prepared for the possibility that some technical problem/s might arise. Stupid me.

Every aspect of Craig’s production was ultimately flawless, and I’d go so far as to say that the sound quality was the best I’ve ever heard at any outdoor event, period. Of course, that should not have surprised me, had I delved a little deeper into Craig’s background and resume. Over the years, he worked with everyone from Smokey Robinson to Sun Ra; The B-52’s to The Beach Boys; Waylon Jennings to Wu-Tang Clan; Fela Kuti to Roberta Flack. From Maryland to Nevada, Craig had a hand in everything from presidential inaugurations and trade shows to charity events and festivals like ours.

Apart from his obvious expertise, one thing I’ll miss most about Craig is his wonderful sense of humor. The sound of his laugh, too. We’ll be remembering Craig this June, and in the meantime, we’d like to extend our thoughts and condolences to his family. Although I’ll dearly miss Craig, we are incredibly fortunate to have Kelly Dodge in his place, going forward. Kelly worked with Craig on Schellraiser 2022, and his contributions helped make our first-ever event the success that it was.

~ Rudy Herndon, Schellraiser 2023

*This is a reference that only festivalgoers from 2022 will get. We meant it then, and we mean it now.