- One of my favorite things about music festivals is discovering new bands. When you go to Bonnaroo, you're given a little pocket-sized booklet as soon as you enter the gates. This book-- besides having some really great articles and even some coupons for fest vendors-- features bios of all the bands. This is a brilliant idea. Helps the new, unknown bands gain an audience (I remember going to see a band my first year just because they were from Knoxville-- where @etammoor & I lived for a summer-- and they were in a tent, and it was hot). Jazzfest sells their booklet-- well worth it, especially for the coupons. And the industrious New Orleans monthly music bible, Offbeat Magazine, has vendors outside the gates of Jazzfest every day, giving away their phone-book-sized version. I would have seen more new bands if I'd been clued into who they were. And it's genuinely a nice break to go find a shady corner somewhere during the heat of the day and have something to read.
- I saw exactly four children at HullabaLOU. Teens galore. But only four little kids. I saw lots of oldsters, including a surprising number of people with walkers and/or oxygen tanks. But music festivals should speak of "community." And community includes kids. Bonnaroo and Jazzfest feature kids' activities and even musicians geared towards the kiddos. HullabaLOU should do something about this.
- We're a foodie city, but you wouldn't have known that at HullabaLOU. Sure, there were a number of local vendors. But the food court was not memorable by any stretch of the imagination. Again, at Jazzfest I budgeted at least $25 a day for food and was more than happy to spend it to taste food from restaurants that I normally couldn't afford to go to and have food that was only available at Jazzfest. In the slower hours of HullabaLOU, it seemed like there was a beer/booze vendor for every four fest-ers. Maybe they should consider giving that real-estate to more food vendors.
- Anyone know who designed the Dave Matthews Band HullabaLOU poster? It was gorgeous, and I can't find it online.
- Ok, he he, my funny Ben Sollee story. (And understand, I totally am giving the guy the benefit of the doubt here.) So after his fantastic set in the blazing heat, Sollee came up to the Media Center, and I happened to bump into him at the food buffet. Reminder: I am quite possibly the shyest person in the world, so it to herculean effort for me to muster the courage to speak to him. Which I did. Complimented him on his show, stammered a bit, and then he engaged me in conversation about first the buffet and then the festival. I explained to him that that day's fest (Kenny Chesney) was very different than the previous day's fest (Bon Jovi). And he said, "Which one (Chesney or Bon Jovi) do you prefer?" I stammered for a moment and then said, "Well, neither is my cup of tea, but I have to say-- Bon Jovi kinda rocked." And he walked away. No comment, no smile, no nod of understanding. Just cold walked away, leaving me holding a plate of chicken fingers and my pride. Was it me (sweaty little awkward mess)? Was it Bon Jovi? Or was he just done with the conversation. Who knows? But when people ask me why I'm so shy... yeah, this is why, folks. UPDATE: See the comments for Sollee's very kind response. All a big ol' miscommunication.
Again, thanks for tuning into the "All HullabaLOU All the Time" portion of this blog. I really enjoy covering events in depth-- I've done the same thing with IdeaFestival, Humana Festival, and Bonnaroo before, and it's always been fun. But back to picking and choosing my topics for now. And thanks for the Churchill Downs Entertainment folks for making it possible.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming.