Tag Archives: events

RiNo Music Festival, not a great first run.

So this weekend, I went to the RiNo Music Festival. This was it’s first year in a space that I guess (from what I read) aims to become a music venue in the neighborhood (which is pretty sweet).

The line up was impressive, bands I knew from the radio.

[update] I realized I glossed over this to get to the bad, but the line up really was impressive. Every band had at least one song I knew from the radio so I could recognize them when they played.┬áHaving all bands a casual radio listener would know is (I assume) no small feat for a first time music festival. So while there’s plenty I think the organizers could have done better, the line up was a success for sure.

The location was not bad, hard packed dirt with room for food trucks, a stage at the far end of the pie shaped space.

That’s about where the “good” ends.

The show started at 4:30 and we got there about 5. Not too many people had arrived yet so it was easy to get beer from one of the two trucks, easy to visit one of the 5 or so food trucks.

Beer was cash only, yet they used square registers with iPads. One more step and they could take credit cards. One step, and they could have been totally awesome, and modern, yet they opted for cash only with shitty signs you couldn’t see until you got to the front of the ever lengthening line.

Oh and every food truck there, totally capable of taking credit cards. Fail one, RiNo Music Festival.

We grabbed beers and food and were able to grab a table with an umberella. As we sat and enjoyed our beers, more and more folks showed up. A good thing for sure, the festival was clearly not a failure.

That’s when things went off the rails.

As we sat there, the the line for beer (remember just two trucks, cash only) got longer and longer.

The line for the food trucks started to get longer. The line for the ATM got as long.

When our cups were empty it was “stand in a 100+ people line” or leave.

We left.

Leaving was a zig zag obstacle course of overlapping lines.

On leaving the security guy asked the guy in front of us if he was coming back in, “Fuck no, i can’t even get a beer in there”

Well said brother.

We walked to the Blue Moon Brewery, paid $2 less for a beer, and got a larger cup, and used our credit cards.

I feel ike the RiNo Music Festival was so close to executing an awesome event. They surely had an idea of how many people were coming, because it wasn’t free, tickets were required. They surely knew about square registers, so why not speed up the process selling beer? Why not add another beer truck?

I had friends who showed up and lasted 10 minutes.

Next year if it happens I’ll think twice about attending even though it was right in my backyard.

Some common fails in events

So I went to an event over the weekend, and frankly it was a 100% absolute shit show. No lie, it was packed to the gills with fail.

And there wasn’t any reason for it, other than poor planning. Like I said, events are easy.

In no particular order, here’s a few pointers to make sure your event rocks.

  1. Have an ID checking line? don’t have vendors checking IDs, have them looking for marks and/or wrist bands. It slows everything down needlessly and pisses off everyone. Why did i wait 30+ minutes in this line if i could have waited 30+ minutes AND ended up with a beer!
  2. Prepare vendors, make them aware of expected attendance, even if it’s a wild assed guess. Overage is never fun, but it’s better than shortage. Donate it, give it away free the last 30 minutes, whatever you want to do, but running out of your product in the first 40 minutes of a 6 hour event…. big fail, and 100% avoidable. I will never give my money to that vendor now.
  3. Free events are hard to gauge expected attendance. Add in weather, location, etc. It’s tough. Guess high. An event in a public park? An event with an active user base? Guess high. Have an RSVP list, use it as a gauge and bump by several factors (depending on when you cut it off, or whatever makes it “stop”).
  4. Is the event largely to move something of yours? Have enough of them!!! My main reason for going to this event (Other than being supportive of a cool sounding event, and the people who organized it) was to get a certain product that was advertised as “Come here and get it at the pre-sale price” and by the time I found the booth (Still in the first hour the event was open) the product was gone, sold out, but I could put my name on a list in case they get more, or i could not give my money or support to you ever again.
  5. Having food trucks? Have more. Food trucks are tough. Pick trucks that can move food fast, and have as many as possible. Prepare them for attendance, then remind them every time you communicate with them so that they don’t forget or ignore you. This event had four (That I recall), and each (remember this is the first hour of a six hour event) had a line almost 100 people long… in 40 minutes.. wonder how long the food lasted?

I had RSVP’ed online which entitled me to my first beer bring free. I spent about 20 minutes in line to get my ID checked, after asking those around me what the line was for, and sending my wife up to the front to investigate. Then another 15 to get my Beer ticket. I couldn’t buy more beer tickets from this booth, it was just to get my beer ticket, so my wife was going to have to wait in the beer ticket line which looked at least as long as the ID check line. We walked to the beer tents, those lines were each about 70+ maybe 100 people and was also checking IDs. I opted to not have my free beer, then we walked the row of booths on one side, first one that looked like tasty food, “Sorry guys, we’re sold out”, Oh ok, weird this thing just opened. Get to the food trucks, hundreds of people in lines. We’ll eat later. Head to find the thing I want to buy, almost can’t find it (there was a tent with hair dressers and shit in it, and when we shoulder our way to the booth, “Oh sorry, all sold out”

Next year it won’t be on my calendar, I certainly won’t recommend it to others. Totally avoidable.