Jazzfest producer wins encore

Jef Jaisun jef@jaisunphoto.com
Thu Sep 16 21:53:01 EDT 2004

Well, the trade-off is cramming 3,000 people inside a tent with no decent
ventilation. There's nowhere for all that human-generated heat to go.
They've tried installing fans, which were completely inadequate. They've
tried rolling up the side flaps of the tent, but all that does is get
people standing on the sides to see the show, blocking whatever marginal
air flow there might be. (And as we all know, there ain't much wind down
there without a hurricane in town.) At least on the infield you're not
trapped inside a human sweatbox.

There's also the issue of having to sit in stiff-back chairs or on a
concrete floor, which is about as appealing as whacking one's head with a
hammer. Dancing on that stuff is even worse. The artificial turf installed
at the back of the tent in 2003 was an interesting amenity, but it also was
a feeble attempt to emulate the real thing we used to have on the infield.

Audio quality is inconsistent and usually pretty awful in the tent. You
can't get away from screechy, overdriven mixes just by stepping off to the
side, like you could at the old Blues Stage. At least there are options on
the infield, which don't involve having to extricate onesself from the
middle of a row of chairs.

When people come to Jazz Fest they expect to be out in the open, basking
and/or baking in the sun. People come prepared for those conditions. An
example would be the various "encampments" in front of the Acura Stage.
Those folks stake out their spots early in the morning and stay there all
day. They bring hats, water, sunscreen, unbrellas and whatever else they
may need.

As for the size of crowds at the old stage vs. the tent: I've seen it both
ways. When Marcia played the HOB stage the area was jammed. When lesser
known acts play the tent the audience size drops accordingly.

Then I guess there's that whole conceptual idea of shoving the Blues Tent
way off in the far west corner of the parking lot, past the 'OZ Jazz Tent,
past the Gospel Tent, past all the vendors and food booths, and directly
behind the Acura Stage. Gee, the blues as an after-thought, anyone? Not to
mention the blowback volume from Acura is frequently so loud it drowns out
or interferes with the blues acts. (Like the time Lenny Kravitz brought his
own sound and cranked it up to 15.)

Whatever they do, they got to do better than that.


On 14 Sep 2004 18:30:49 -0700, pat@PATBOYACK.COM (pat boyack) wrote:

 >Sorry, I hope they don't. The sun beating down on many is not missed. The
 >years I did see the blues stage on the infield it had smaller crowds than
 >the tent the last three or so it seemed that way. Also, I do notice that
 >you see people inside the tent, not off to the side enjoying that Jazzfest
 >magnifying glass of a sun draining the life out of them.
 >Pat B
 >>Jef Jaisun <jef@jaisunphoto.com> wrote:
 >>Changes a-comin', they say. I hope they get rid of that Blues Tent and put
 >>the stage back on the infield.

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