Monday, September 25, 2006

Charlotte Shout festivals

This past weekend I managed to attend three of the big happenings in town - Blues, Brews and BBQ Festival in Southend, the Festival in the Park at Freedom Park and the Southern Women's Show at Charlotte Merchandise Mart. I know Charlotte Shout, our annual month-long cultural festival, is supposed to be jam-packed with activities. But we have enough weekends around the year without festivals that I wish these events could have been staggered more. By the time you hit the third one, fighting crowds gets really old.

Questions and suggestions for improvement:

--Festival in the Park vendors shouldn't be allowed to pack up and leave before the festival ends. I went to the festival twice, once to scope out the merchandise and a second time the following day to purchase some things after I'd thought about them a while. Some of the vendors I'd planned to buy from had left - and didn't even leave business cards where they could be reached. Surely I'm not the only customer they missed.

--Why is it that the outdoor vendors at the Festival in the Park could accept credit cards, but the indoor vendors at the Southern Women's Show couldn't?

--I attended Blues, Brews & BBQ as a volunteer through Hands on Charlotte - I helped the judges who were picking winners in the barbecue competitions - so my experience wasn't typical of most attendees. But I heard from some visitors that they found the layout confusing and had a hard time figuring out where to go to buy barbecue. Signs could be improved next year.

In all, it was gratifying to see how well-attended each event was and to have so many choices on how to spend a beautiful weekend in Charlotte.


Blogger Cato said...

Three events in one weekend? What's a funnel cake vendor to do?

B,B&BBQ seemed like it was a good time, but I got there Saturday at about 6:30 and couldn't find any swine to eat. All the competitors had packed up. The event was promoted as lasting until 10. And yes, it was confusing. Some streets were blocked off, but traffic was running straight through. The organizers should find one continuous premises (the same location might work, but just have all the streets blocked off).

As usual, Festival in the Park was so-so. I did one lap around the pond, which seemed like enough. A lot of the standard Appalachian hippie-kitsch.

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

B, B and BBQ was great Friday night. A band from L.A. performed. Saturday it blew. We went during the afternoon. We were there for about an hour and a half without one cord of music being played.
LAME job folks.
Festival in the Park. What can I say ? It will be my last one. I've tried and tried but it's the same old garbage every year. Where's the talent in this town ?
The Belle Chere Festival in Asheville puts us to shame. A lot of their artists aren't even from Asheville. They come from Georgia, Florida, Winston Salem and Chapel Hill.
Why can't Charlotte organizers get a clue ? How many woven baskets or yard sale crap can people actually buy ?
Where's the good food ? Funnel Cakes, Kettle Corn ?
Give me a break.
What a shame. No vision. No taste.
Total trailer park festival.
Bring back jazz fest uptown. Remember 15 years ago ? Now that was a good time.

5:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems like these type of weekends (where there are several offerings) are becoming the norm these days. Charlotte really is sort of transforming right before our very eyes. Very cool!

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was a very busy weekend. We managed to make it to Festival in the park and Shout. Charlotte is growing up right before our eyes. Pretty soon we'll be having multiple events to choose from each and every weekend.

8:39 PM  

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