Author: Cornish, Rick

Fair and balanced

As you might suspect, we receive a huge volume of e-mails, snail mail, calls and Message Board posts immediately following our Fathers Day Festival. Lots and lots of positives this year, a ton of excellent suggestions for future FDF’s and very negative communications from three unhappy attendees. If you visit the Message Board, you’ve seen the positive stuff; since our motto here at CBA-Central is ‘fair and balanced’ (thanks Rupert, for showing us the way), we’ll share a summary of the criticisms…..

--I feel there are about twice as many volunteers as are really needed.

--I have seen Old people in wheel chairs and walkers with the volunteer shirts on and wrist bands, What kind of work can these people do. I saw little kids with the shirts and bands on, I know they are not working, just taking up space.

--The quality of the music this year was not up to the quality of the last few years.

--(The) Festival is advertised as a BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL. When did Chelos become a bluegrass instrument? If you are going to have this type of music, then advertise the festival as a Bluegrass/ Folk/ Country Music festival. People who are not members of the CBA don't understand why the other types of music are included when we advertise a BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL.

--I attend several True Bluegrass festivals every year all over America and ALL of them I have attended except this one and Parker do not allow alcohol or illegal drugs on the grounds or in the festival. They don't have the problems Grass Valley has with people with attitudes when ask to comly with the rules.

--I was very disappointed with the way the bands were presented this year. Having bands on Vern's stage and the other stage during meal times - were a real disappointment. Who wants to grab their chairs at every meal and run somewhere else to listen to a band, when there is no band on the main stage playing. Also, if I move my lawn chair from one stage to another stage, there is a big chance when I go back to listen to music on the main stage someone has put their chairs where mine were. And I've lost my 'shady'' spot. And you know shady spots are a premium. I hated sitting there about 2-4 hours a day waiting for something to start on the main stage.

--I couldn't volunteer this year as guests were visiting my home. After I really talked up the fest and bluegrass in general I was able to get us up there for Saturday. I don't think you folks could have done a better job of blowing my chance at making some more bluegrass fans.

--How about if you folks have some good serious bluegrass by professional musicians to show for the money instead of impressive and inspriring yes, but none-the-less, silly kids. The kids thing is awesome and would fight for it if it were to stop... BUT it should be an aside to a concert of professional musicians.

--As we were walking through the campgrounds looking for jams, we saw many young people in messy para-military type clothes. It looked like they were part of security but had no supervision and looked as though they were just out looking for trouble. One group was 7 young men which made all of us more than a little uncomfortable. (Editor’s Note: These were the Nevada County Sheriff’s Department Teen Cadets who volunteer each year.)

--The music we heard was the early and mid-day set on Saturday. It was predominately kids, which I did my best to explain was for the future of the music. The complaints of $40 for a lot of horseplay and mediocre musicianship hurt my feelings because they were right. During the whole Kids on BG set, the guitarist to our right onstage kept hitting his stand or something that caused a constand bass bump through the amps.

--The music was of a far lesser quality than what I was expecting, have heard in the past and had been promoting.

So there you have it. The minority report you might say. Naturally we’ve written back to each of the three individuals, thanked them for their comments, offered explanations where we thought that might help (e.g., the afternoon break was two hours and five minutes, not four hours) and, in all cases, asked them to come back in 2009 and give us another chance. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my scant ten-years in the music event production business is that you never take for granted the positive feedback and you ALWAYS listen closely to the negative.

Bruce is back tomorrow.
Posted:  6/24/2008

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