One of my claims to *fame* is that I’ve been attending Jazz Fest since the early 70s. My parents were early adopters and in those years, kids were free or cost 50¢ or something. PLUS there actually wasn’t that much food, so my Mom brought in sandwiches for all of us to eat. My earliest memories of fest are just running through huge open fields…try that these days.
Last year I saw some truly atrocious behavior. So based on my many years of attendance, I came up with some Jazz Fest rules:
1. No disparaging any other genres of music, if it’s not your thing, move on. Don’t be ugly.
2. Offer courtesy to others. Be generous with your knowledge, your physical space and your sunblock.
3. No territorialism. Tarping a space the size of my house does not mean you are paying rent….which leads to…
4. Share nice. It’s about the music and the fun. Again be generous.
5. Leave celebrities alone. They’re here to have fun, not be oggled at. (This used to not be a problem. I saw Laurence Fishburne wandering at the fest years ago; all that happened was a vendor saying, “alright, Laurence.” I do blame our celerity obsessed culture for this one.)
6. Hold those damn bag chairs parallel to your body not perpendicular, if you must bring them. My parents have actually switched back to the old folding lawn chairs…they’re in their 70s, they deserve to have chairs. The rest of you? Make do with some fabric for the ground.
Does this make me sound crankypants? Maybe the crowds got to me last year. We’ll see how it goes this year. I already have my tickets, so I’ll see you out there.