Today, we are interviewing Tyler Bourque, Vice President of Sober AF Entertainment. This non profit organization lets you be sober at crazy fun events and is currently, live streaming a music festival during the Coronavirus crisis.
1. Please tell us something about yourself.
I am 29 years old. I live in Aurora, Colorado, originally from Texas. I went to college at Ole Miss. In May of 2014, I started a screen print, embroidery, signage company, called Denver Apparel, because I didn't know what to do with myself. I figured experience is better than anything, so I started Denver Apparel and ran it for about 5 years. During that time, I went through Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. 8 chemo treatments and a month of radiation but all good 5 years later. Around 2018, I began partying day to day, and eventually, it became an issue, so on November 8th, 2019, I checked myself into rehab in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at Peaks Recover Center. I got out around the end of February.
2. How did you get into what you do right now? Please tell us more about your journey?
I came across Sober AF Entertainment while I was in rehab. Duke Rumely, the Executive Director, gave a speech at my Intensive Outpatient, and I approached him because I found what he was doing very interesting. Now I am the Vice-President of a NonProfit called Sober As Fuck Entertainment (SoberAFE.com). Sober AF Entertainment has been around for about 2 years. Sober AF Entertainment is the voice for the community looking for Sober Fun by creating Sober Sections at Events. These Support Sections are traditionally at non-sober events. We also educate our community of sober support groups that are already in place. Our goal at Sober AF Entertainment is simple. Promote Sober Sections and Sober Support Event Groups. We offer Sober Tailgates to engage our community. Our website includes a calendar of events nationally with other sober support groups like The Phoenix, YPAA, and the Collegiate Recovery activities.
Then the Coronavirus happened. Luckily, I was out of rehab at that point and not living at a house full of people. Great timing, wouldn't you say? What is currently going on in the world is quite hard to believe is actually happening, especially when you are staying at home and look out your window and see a beautiful day, and everything is quiet. One night I couldn't sleep and was thinking about how I could be possibly stuck at home for a while… SAFE Virtual Music Festival came to me at 2 am one night. Since I recently joined Sober AF, and as I was laying in bed I was thinking about promoting the brand as well as what to do while stuck at home. Amazing what you can think of when you think you are tired and ready for bed! Sober AF had a bunch of events planned, but everything was canceled. I opened my phone, and a bright idea came into my head just when the bright light hit me in the face. Quite interesting how things come to mind when it is the middle of the night.
3. Who are your role models?
My role model is my mother & father. They are still together after 30+ years, and as my mom has been on multiple boards and raised millions for the American Heart Society, my dad has been running a very successful business. I find it so amazing how they were able to support, be there for us and to try and give us the best of everything. Let me be frank; I wasn't an easy child to deal with. Somehow the juggled everything and did such an amazing job. That's why they are my role models.
4. What inspires you?
What inspires me depends on the day. Some days I just want to lounge around, but some days I just get a jolt of excitement and sing, dance, and work. What inspired me for Sober AF Entertainment is that I am not an AA meeting or 12 step person. I figure if I surround myself with something sober related, I enjoy it and would work better than what works for others. I enjoy the F*** out of it. The SAFE Virtual Music Festival was inspired by the fact of the Coronavirus spreading around. A lot of Sober FA entertainment events were canceled, and we wanted to help support the world with something people will always enjoy…. Live Music!
5. Which social media channels work best for promoting your work? What exactly do you do on the social media channel that makes it work for you?
Facebook is the best social media platform. Even SEO helps a lot. I am extremely good at digital marketing from my years running Denver Apparel.
You can check out the Instagram handle of SAFE Music Festival.
6. What's your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is letting down myself and the people around me. The second greatest fear is not giving something back to the world for the amazing experience I have had in my life. The world has made me who I am. If it wasn't for the world the way it is, I don't know who I would be.
7. Looking back, what's one thing you wish you understood better before you ever got started?
Looking back, I wouldn't change a thing, not cancer, and not rehab because where would I be otherwise? I don't think about it too much.
8. What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?
Hmmm… going out an experiencing as much of the world as possible. Being personable and meeting tons of different people. I put my self in a spectrum of situations, and each one helped me realize it got me where I am today and will keep me on the path to giving back to the world.
9. What keeps you going when things get tough?
My girlfriend, Hannah, is one of the most amazing people. She stayed with me through rehab, one of the toughest times for both of us. She is there for me when I need to talk or need a hug, and from the memories, we have created, make me smile when I think back. She supports, listens, and makes me smile pretty much every day. I don't think there is anyone else like her.
10. Any message for our readers.
Support our Virtual Music Festival S.AF.E. We want to give the world something to do and be entertained and to help see the creative beauty of people. Music has brought us together for thousands upon thousands of years. Let's bring the world together for support for one another in these precarious times.