Why I Do Not Attend Festivals

I often blog about the events that are taking place in around our city. Festivals like the RibFest that just took place in Port Moody, or in the winter there was the Candy Festival in Yaletown or everyone’s favourite, the Christmas Market near the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

There are other festivals like the Pemberton Music Festival or the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. In fact, there are endless festivals going on around Metro Vancouver.

These events are amazing and fun.

However, the fact is, even though I write about these festivals I choose not to go to the vast majority of these events. Let me explain.

In the early 1990s for a couple of years, around Christmas time there was an event that was billed as the “world’s largest office party”. If memory serves me correctly, the event was held in some convention centre or some big ballroom in Vancouver.

A friend of mine went to this “world’s largest office party” and reported back to me that it could’ve been more accurately billed as the “world’s longest line up to use the washroom”.

That is my experience with most festivals and large gatherings. MASSIVE line-ups.

Last winter I went with my wife and our two kids to the Candy Festival in Yaletown in Vancouver. That wonderful event attracted thousands of Vancouverites. One of the giveaways at the Festival was from Lindt Chocolates.

Almost unbelievably, there was a lineup of 80 to 100 people – to get one free chocolate!

Seriously? You’re going to stand in line with a hundred people to get one free chocolate? Seriously?

Another time I went to a barbecue competition in Langley. Fortunately for me I was part of the media team covering the event and so I actually had access to sample and taste some of the different ribs and barbecue stuff that the participants were creating.

At the same time I saw lineups of people who had paid five dollars each to gain access to the event.

That $5 gave them access to the scorching hot parking lot that had no shade and all sorts of wonderful barbecue smells – ribs and burgers and bacon and all the wonderful things that the participants were cooking.

Every couple of hours the competition participants would offer up samples to the people who had lined up and were waiting for a sample.

Just like the most recent barbecue competition – Rib Fest in Port Moody some people waited in line for 40 minutes to get a sample of a rib and when they got to the front of the line the guy said “sorry I’m all out of samples”.

Too many times that has been my experience. Massive line-ups for little reward. No thanks. I will happily report on them beforehand but it is the rare event you will actually see me at.