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Last Sunday, I attended a charity event at a local park. As a local event promoter myself, maybe I tend to be more critical of the things that I witnessed. I would certainly like to hear YOUR opinions about this debacle because maybe I put too much emphasis on organizational duties that people really don’t care about.
The event was a celebration of Latino food and music. I’m looking forward to good salsa samples and good music. I’ve got my sleeping bag to set up camp, stroller for the grandbaby, tickets purchased in advance and I am ready to make a day of it.
The event was to begin at 11:00 a.m. We arrive at the front gate with tickets in hand. Despite this, one of the twelve volunteers and the gate says it will cost $7 each for admission. I asked, “Is this in addition to these tickets”? “Oh, you have tickets”? Then, there is great discussion about whether to take the tickets, tear the tickets in half, mark the tickets or hole punch them. REALLY? Your gate is open and you are just now deciding how to take the tickets.
Next up, we walk in to the main area and find a cluster of nine security guards in jumpsuits with guns! These rent-a-cops had more gear on their belts than Batman and a real police officer combined. This was very intimidating to me with three of my grandchildren, my wife and daughter-in-law with me. I put on an event that has 6,000 people in attendance and I don’t have any security guards with guns.
Our next shock was the band on the bandstand performing a sound-check. Over and over saying, “check 1-2, check, 1-2-3” and not performing. A deejay starts playing music elsewhere in the park and the band yells at him through their P.A. system that they are in the middle of a sound-check and need him to stop playing music. He replies back over his P.A. system that he was told to, “begin playing music at 11:00 a.m., bro”. Unbelievable!
Being a hot day, I decided to purchase some bottled water for all of us. Four waters cost $24. I decided to forgo the $4 bottles of water and head to one of my favorite restaurants where I was able to buy our party of six an entire lunch for just $16 more. I also did a favor by sharing with my 1,150 friends on Facebook that they should not waste their time or money attending this event. The moral of the story is, no matter what you are planning, think it through before the gates open!
— Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor
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