Thursday, November 20, 2008

last festival trip 2008...part 4

This trip to the Magnoliafest turned out to be a bittersweet occasion. I first attended the Magfest back in 1998; it was the second festival that I attended as a businessman. I have many fond memories of this festival...it's always been fun and I have made many friends down there in Florida. There are of course many of the same friends that also attend the Suwannee Springfest, which is held in March at the same venue. Beth and Randy Judy are the promoters of both of these fine festivals and they always do a great job.

This year I was walking away from the Meadow Stage when a fellow approached me and excitedly said "Hi!" He told me that we had met before...and that both he and his wife had been attending the Springfest and the Magfest for about 10 years now. He went on to tell me that they have had fun watching me dance all this while....they are especially impressed with the fact that it seemed as if I always get to dance with the most beautiful women! (I like that part, myself...>g<) He went on to say that they even have a name for me... (mmm..., is what I was thinking) When I asked what this was he replied: "We call you Mr. Dance Man!" I was of course amused by this, and then he asked me where in Florida that I live. When I told him that I live in Wisconsin he exclaimed: "And you come all the way down here for the festivals?!" I told him that I actually attend with my business and he then asked: "and what business is that?!" Now, I usually have in my pocket a live show or two on cd and I like to pass them out to friends, customers, and strangers. Included with the cd I put one of my business cards...it's a great way to share music and do a little advertising at the same time. The cd that I presented him was a Doc and Merle Watson show from Telluride 1985...and when I turned it over to reveal the card and he saw it he absolutely cracked up! It sure was a fun moment....>g<

Another highlight of the festival happened during the after-festival party, held backstage. I came across a jam goin' on....all three Rowan brothers, David Gans, Randy Judy, and a mandolin player who I didn't know were rockin' out to a whole bunch of Beatle songs...it was great! It is such a treat to be able to witness and hear fine musicians such as these havin' fun and playing at such a high level. I love it...

Ok---the bittersweet part of the Magfest for me is the fact that I probably won't be goin' back. For some reason that I can't for the life of me figure out, I don't do well at all, business-wise, at this festival! I promote it as I do all of the festivals I go to, it's of the same high quality as of all the other festivals on my schedule, the venue and the weather is top-notch, etc. etc...... It's a mystery to me; I sell out at all other festivals and actually have to turn away customers at most of them. My sellout is around 20 campsites, and for this particular Magfest I had 3....makes no sense. I don't do particularly well at the Springfest either...another mystery. I am very saddened by this, but I don't have a choice in dropping it from my schedule. I am going to go back to the Springfest next March to try it one more time, and hopefully I'll do well enough to justify continuing this festival. I have many many friends at these festivals and I'll miss all of them and all of them will miss me. I did tell quite a few folks about this during the festival and everyone had the same shocked response: "You HAVE to keep coming!" I am honored by their concern....

Wish me luck!

Peace, David

1 comment:

Jim said...

Dave, this is awful! I am all set to go to my very first festival, Magnolia Fest next fall, and a friend of mine who's used you at the Spring Fest and Mag Fest so delightedly before helped persuade me to go because he said I didn't need to bring any camping stuff due to your wonderful, perfect service. Help! As folks said, "You HAVE to keep coming.!!" Is there any way to get the word out so enough folks reserve early enough to make it a sure thing that you will do well? How can we make it work for you?