Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall for Greenville 2011: Some Thoughts

Fall for Greenville ended yesterday, and because I have a few timely thoughts on the festival I wanted to get my you-know-what together and write this post ASAP ;) You see, when we moved here in 2009 we missed FfG by two weeks...which led to my being extremely excited for it last year. Of course I was looking forward to it this year as well, but it wasn't until I heard that the Dirty Dozen Brass Band would be playing Saturday night that I allowed myself to get totally psyched up about it.
Dirty Dozen Brass Band - Wells Fargo Stage on Washington - Fall for Greenville 10/15/2011
Now don't get me wrong - last year it was definitely crowded when we attended FfG on Saturday evening. But this year it was so much worse. I mean, I could barely stand it. When I returned for a brief period yesterday to use up the last of my tickets, it wasn't even half as bad as it had been Saturday night - and yet it was still crowded. Which brings me to my first point - there really needs to be better tent placement and crowd control at this festival. Huge intersections with tents at opposing corners were entirely clogged with people waiting in line...why why WHY would you put a ticket tent and a beer tent across from each other like that? Those are the booths with the longest lines for the most amount of time.

Another thing I don't understand is why the tents don't have designated, roped off queue areas. This alone would keep large crowds of people waiting in line, for, say, food from the Sabroso tent (this tent was the most crowded food tent I saw all weekend. Constantly.) from blocking practically the entire road.

Last but not least in regards to my less positive notes - the beer. You see, last year a craft beer "cost" 6 tickets. This year they were 7 tickets. You buy FfG tickets in sheets of 8 for $5 a sheet, which means that each ticket is worth approximately 62 cents. That means that last year a beer was about $3.75, and this year that same beer would set you back about $4.37. That's a pretty big hike for a single year, folks. And on top of that, they completely changed the beer tasting option so that it was nothing short of a total rip off. Last year it cost 6 tickets for the tasting, and with those 6 tickets you could sample seven beers. Each sample was about 3-4 oz, so you were definitely getting your money's worth. This year, you had to pay 3 tickets for a sample cup, and then each 2 oz sample (and believe me, they only meted out 2 oz per sample) cost an additional two tickets. I realized after two samples that this was, as I already mentioned, a rip off. Too bad I had already wasted those tickets on the little sample mug.
Tired of the FfG beer prices...time for drinks at Rey's!
Now, I don't want it to sound as if I didn't have a good time - because even with the crowds and the sky-high beer prices, I did. There was some great music - including that from the band I went to see Saturday night - and some yummy food. I was able to sample the pulled pork sliders and lobster mac-and-cheese from Soby's, the doughnut burger with homemade chips from Grille 33, and the salted chocolate caramel cupcake from Chocolate Moose. On top of that, some friends and I agreed that the food portions were notably bigger this year - and that's always a plus :)

Also, I'm not sure if the city officials stepped in to make a difference or what, but parking was much more affordable this year. In 2007 we were forced to pay $20 to park two blocks off North Main. Last year we had my sister bring us and pick us up so that we wouldn't have to pay for parking or worry about driving. This year, the Richardson garage was free as always (though of course it filled up early, though I was able to park there yesterday afternoon) and all other parking was just $5. No matter how it happened that parking was capped at $5, I'm happy that it was!

All that said, yesterday was obviously far less crowded as a whole and I think next year Steve and I will make it a point to do our FfG day on Sunday :)

No comments:

Post a Comment