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hensis
Posted: Saturday, March 30, 2013 10:57:25 AM
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Since when has bluesfest become an 'old farts bring your chairs and peg out your patch festival' who are so precious about their personal space. I am no youngster myself but I have never come across so many people who have no idea about how to 'be' at a festival. There is always going to be a moment of discomfort here or there at a festival if you want to get around and see and hear some things, especially if you need to get out of the rain and cram in somewhere or allow people through a crowd or get through one yourself.
In two days I have witnessed some stranger than usual (aggressive) festival behaviour . Is it just me? or is the byron crowd losing its relaxed flavour.



Just one example below of at least 3 separate incidents in two days that we saw around us.
Had to step in between two guys who were about to have a fight because a young guy walked through the very crowded front of stage area to get out with his friends- and- as you do , you occasionally bump into people in that process. This is usually done with good heartedness in all my experience as this young man did as he walked through. The older guy went ballistic and had a go at him because he bumped into him and got aggro very quickly. The young guy thought he was joking-but he was not! I had to step between them and stop a potential fight in a very crowded area near the front of a stage which could have got quite nasty.

PS. If you are one of these people who bring in chairs and set up camp-so to speak- please enlighten me as to how sitting in one spot sometimes a long way away from sight and sound is enjoyable? .... or that you have any right to get pissed off with people who might get too close to your patch when they are sheltering from rain and you have a chair camped where three people could get out of the rain...and you aren't even sitting in it.



kimmytwohill
Posted: Saturday, March 30, 2013 11:54:03 AM
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My friends and I agree. Not only are the chair people taking up too much space, particularly when say, Santana, are playing they are an occupational health and safety risk. For example, if somebody fainted there would literally be no way out. They are also a tripping hazard, particularly during crowd surges when it rains. There should be no chairs during big acts anyway! There also should be more marshalling of the chair people. Last year seemed to be more organised in that regard. This year it's a chair free for all. All that aside, we've been coming to Bluesfest for years, the acts are fantastic and we love it!
BigKahuna
Posted: Saturday, March 30, 2013 12:02:29 PM

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easy to police, no chairs in tents. full stop let them sit outside

dtucker
Posted: Saturday, March 30, 2013 12:06:10 PM
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kimmytwohill wrote:
Last year seemed to be more organised in that regard. This year it's a chair free for all.


I agree. The marked chair-free corridors at the back part of the tents still seem to be working OK (except for people standing in them at the back of the tents so that you can't actually get to them) but once you get to the sound desk there is just a sea of chairs blocking the way.

My son and I were walking around with plates of curry trying to get out of the rain yesterday but the entrances to the Mojo and the under-cover table area behind it were totally blocked so we ended up with plates of cold soup. It would be nice if people moved out of the entrances a bit more, especially when it's raining. No amount of rain or cold food could dampen the quality of the music that was on yesterday though.

NSSherlock
Posted: Saturday, March 30, 2013 1:06:56 PM
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I'd probably be regarded by the Op as an old fart even though the Blues were thriving long before I was born.
I'd think I'd also be justified if I had a chair since after breaking my knee it's a struggle for me to stand or walk any distance. I'm paying for it after 2 days.
I didn't take a chair but I sat in the rain on one of the yellow supports leaning against a pole trying to stay dry while Steve Miller was on. Couldn't even roll a cigarette because the papers got wet.
Chairs and somewhere to sit can be justifiable but I agree there needs to be more dry space.
Maybe a solution is to have more undercover space with big screens. It's Easter, it always rains. I was lucky to get in towards the front for Santana (7th time seeing them) but that was a result of me sitting it out by the side in the rain for Steven Miller (I could hear it and was close but couldn't see much) and moving in as others moved out at the end of Steve Miller. Seems with the numbers there some are going to miss on something. I have.
Another option might be to hold Bluesfest at a different time of the year when it is less likely to rain. Easter = always seems to rain. Around these parts (I live 30 mins away) rain is possible at any time.

I'd caution the OP about tarring people with the same feather. I could justifiably claim that some of the younger %^%$$ were a hassle barging through the crowd up towards the front. It's Bluesfest - not Big Day Out. Geez, if was old school Bluesfest it'd all be sit down in a dark smokey lounge.
janey3333
Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013 12:06:32 AM
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Don't complain please guys. Next year I'm bringing in 4 chairs and I'm going to strategically place one in each tent. I'll then move as I choose between them. Are there people doing this already?
tenant
Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013 7:42:38 AM
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Hate the chairs, but understand the oldies have a right to be there too, they just need to decide if they want to be at a live show or home in their lounge rooms, where nobody has a right to stomp through their personal space! And I'm 47 by the way.

Worse than that though is the absolute waste of space that the new diamond members stands are!! There were 3 people in it for the Dropkicks and not many more for Iggy! It gives a perception of Noble and the gang making a cash grab at the expense of genuine punters who could be standing in that space, and multiplied by 10 the number of sets in that stand!

Have no time for so called VIPS and DIAMONDS at these shows, using your cash to prove your more relevant than real music fans just proves your definitely not!

Lovin'' the music though, and here's to the kid doin the chainsaw at Iggy last night!
dtucker
Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013 9:07:09 AM
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janey3333 wrote:
Don't complain please guys. Next year I'm bringing in 4 chairs and I'm going to strategically place one in each tent. I'll then move as I choose between them. Are there people doing this already?


I suspect so. According to my son who was up the back at Wilco (I was up front so didn't notice), there were a huge number of empty chairs. The owners were either up the front too or somewhere else.

To make your idea even better, Janey, turn up at gates open time, strategically place your chairs and then go home and relax for a while. When you turn up later, you have booked seats waiting for you.

Chairs left empty for more than 10 minutes should be taken outside and dumped near the toilets. That way people could sit down while they were waiting in the toilet queues.


katieforfree
Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013 9:08:12 AM
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Chairs are an issue as the numbers grow and we compete for space. It is disappointing that so many plonk them down and then leave never to be seen again. Crossroads is working well but MOJO not so. That said I chair but it's not the way I like to go. You don't see much anymore that way and I will probably ditch it for the Monday.

In regards to the gem stones section. I guess we are the Smokey Quartz section that is the core of the festival. It's a pity the diamond section is not being used as I eyed it all festival wondering what had happened to Byron.
tenant
Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013 9:42:07 AM
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Even better dtucker, how about we leave the chairs there until next year? Get a great spot!
dtucker
Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013 11:56:06 AM
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tenant wrote:
Even better dtucker, how about we leave the chairs there until next year? Get a great spot!


I was thinking about leaving them in place overnight but you are clearly a big picture person. I like the way you think.
bluesfestadmin
Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013 12:36:36 PM
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maybe we put in permanent seating up the back - and don't allow chairs in tents ?
how does that sound ?

Bboard admin
NSSherlock
Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013 12:46:23 PM
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bluesfestadmin wrote:
maybe we put in permanent seating up the back - and don't allow chairs in tents ?
how does that sound ?

Bboard admin

That was something I had thought about and would be a great idea.
Permanent seating in rows takes up less space and is much more ordered then people can stand between the rows.
The only hassle would be navigating between and through the rows.
weaves
Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013 12:46:45 PM
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Do it Bboard Admin! Great compromise!
reddragon
Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013 1:44:57 PM
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bluesfestadmin wrote:
maybe we put in permanent seating up the back - and don't allow chairs in tents ?
how does that sound ?

Bboard admin


Here bloody hereApplause

I vote for permanent chairs at the back end of the tents behind the mixing desks. It worked well last year with the white lines in the crossroads tent. A chair free for all is a health and safety issue, it's no fun tripping up over chairs in the dark.
diane0606
Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013 4:22:56 PM
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Permanent chairs behind the sound stage sounds like a plan. I suspect it is the so called "old farts" sitting down that have kept the bluesfest alive for the last 24 years. Many of us with chairs are actually very nice and accommodating and it is only a few that don't abide by the rules and are causing this horrible, horrible tension around the place. When some of you young 'uns get to our age you will understand that though our minds are young, our bodies are not so youthful ......but this does not make our love of the bluesfest any less.
hensis
Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013 5:38:23 PM
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I am hardly a 'yung un' and have been coming to the fest for well more than half of all its years but something has to be sorted. Its true as was noted that 10 chairs take up the space of where 30 people can shelter when it rains -and we all know it always rains at bluesfest. I do not mean any disrespect to any of the older stalwarts of the festival because I do not believe that these are the people that have become so precious about this grab for personal space.

Maybe the answer is 'no chairs in tents'. There may be no perfect solution but for me... i'd rather my back and feet screamed at me at the end of the night and go home tired but feeling like I was part of it.
Obviously some people just cant do that so we have to make some allowances but having rows and rows of often unfilled chairs is certainly not an answer and is only going to add to the frustration of many well worn festival goers who know this has become a big problem.
The mojo tent last night was a sea of chairs- There seems only a few small areas of access into that tent because of it. I have never seen that at bluesfest before.
Mojo lost a bit of its mojo as a result ....unlike Iggy at crossroads which didnt seem to have the same problem and the place went off!!!!
maskellaway
Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013 6:20:09 PM
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can I also mention the terrible decision of putting some great bands in the Cavanabah Stage where my wife was even told to sit down by management because she was blocking the view of the plastic chair people, wasn't until a larger group burst in to dance up front that we were able to get up. I also agree the chill factor has gone as i saw a lot of young 18-21 type festiv goers plowing through to the front of stage in Mojo with no regard to anyone and causing a lot of grief to the older gen. My wife and I in our mid 30's loved bluesfest as it didn't have all the idiots from other festivals where you get pushed and shoved for the entire night but that seems to be changing.
bigfirerichie
Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013 11:04:51 PM
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How about no empty chairs? You get up you take your chair.? Security grabs them when vacant and bluesfest sells them for charity? Some people are taking 5 chairs and planting one in each venue.
katieforfree
Posted: Monday, April 01, 2013 6:29:20 AM
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It certainly is the empty chair problem. However the hate against chair people is off putting. Throwing away half the audience in Crossroads on Sunday night made for easy enterence and exits but an empty tent. No chairs after a certain time is OK by me but if permanent seating and no bring in chairs is brought in I will not be able to come any more. I have been to most of the 24 festivals I can only remember missing 2. Blaming lack of room to come in out of the rain on chair people alone is not quite right. Standing people have behaviour problems as well.
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