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Old 08-14-11, 07:37 AM   #18
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davidkaye's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 131

Originally Posted by martin ewen View Post
David, your going to have to get used to massive differences of opinion on pnet. hard not to take it personally but what you may not be aware of is that although it's a slow moving site at present, in part because of corporate bleed-off.
I don't that any of it personally. I'm a longtime veteran of Usenet, so I've seen it all. And your point about "corporate bleed-off" plays EXACTLY into my point.

This specialised little online community has existed for over a decade now and has some cumulative wisdom.
I'm actually not new here, though my description says so. I hadn't logged in nearly 5 years and recently came back. I also know some of the performers who pop up on the streets and at various shows, Eric Cash, Scot Nery, Daniel Browning Smith the Rubber Boy, Chris Karney, Paul Nathan, Sigred, Molotov, etc.

I mention that because your point about a small ecosystem wherein one big event starves all the others is just a provincial fact rather than anything a principle can be built on. ie, festivals are bad because regular venues become empty during them.
San Francisco is a city in a metro of nearly 8 million. It's a world destination and the #4 metro in the USA. Sorry, but it's hardly a provincial setting. It's just that there is a finite audience for everything. It's also true of movie festivals as I've noted elsewhere. Movie festivals are thriving; movie theaters are closing.

and if 'festivals' threaten established venues, well there must be something they offer that established venues do not.
Look at it this way: Lots of people hate WalMart because it's called a "category killer" meaning that it kills off businesses within 50 to 75 miles. This is a known fact. Starbucks has been a category killer in a lot of communities. Chain stores drive out mom'n'pop businesses all the time.

We can say that they're offering something that the other established venues are not. For example, McDonald's offers a bland, uniform dining experience. It doesn't change much from city to city or country to country. People who visit us in San Francisco flock to McDonald's even though SF is one of the finest restaurant destinations in the world. People want the bland, uniform dining experience of a McDonald's.

That's well and good for what it is, but aren't we performers because we want to offer something different?

Take street fairs, for instance. SF has dozens of street fairs -- Noe Valley, Castro, Fillmore, Bernal Heights, Potrero, North Beach, Polk Street, Glen Park, etc., but most of those are identical with the same crafts, the same music, and the same food because the booster groups that put most of them on have contracted with one promoter to run them. (And every one seems to feature LaVay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers.)

I just don't want to see the McDonaldsization of street performers.
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