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Old 07-26-05, 12:02 AM   #1
le pire
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,113
Talking St John

I just got back from the St John festival in New Brunswick, Canada and wanted to post a few thoughts while they are still fresh. First off, I had a GREAT time. Rob Torres told me a few years ago that a gig has to meet two of three criteria to be considered a good gig:

a) the money is good
b) the show is good
c) the people you work with are good

For St John, definately "b" & "c," and "a" was not out of this world, but I exceeded my goal for the festival.

First off, the line up was GREAT. There was not a single over-lapping of acts:

Matty Blade, sword swallowing / escape artist pirate from OZ
Aidan Orange, contorsion, yo yo and a lawn mower
Funk Fanantics, high energy break dancing
Les Tomlys, trampoline acrobatics and amazing gymnastic comedy
Pedro Tochas, Classic European street clowing with his own comedy and heart
and me, comedy juggling and balancing

Jessica, our "manager" was an absolute star and really kept things together and made it all possible. She coordinated everything from the sound system on the pitch, to finding Aidan's lost in transit lawnmower, to getting everyone to and from the pitch.

The town itself was kind of weird- pop. 70,000 in the Canadian maritimes, working class and I only counted 2 good looking women (the margarine girl and my volunteer for my second Sunday show). Crowds were fun, and they were generous considering where we were (this wasn't Waterloo or Halifax).

My only complaint was that on Friday and Saturday night they had a band come on from 9:30-11:30. We had to take a break on the pitch between 5:30-7:00 so the band could set up and sound check. This would not have been a big deal if they weren't such ASS HOLES. Saturday night, the Funk Fanatics were running no more than 3 minutes behind schedule and just about to do their hat lines, when the fucking roadies started kicking out their crowd. These guys have to do a four-way split on the hat already, so this kind of crap was so uncool.

It was also annoying to have bands in the first place because this was a BUSKERS festival (according to the press releases, posters and pamphlets, anyway) so what the hell are paid bands doing there? The band on Friday night sucked and (literally) cleared the place. The band on Sat was good, but most of the audience just milled about, and talked amongst themselves. It was like watching a big huge pile of $$$ getting drunk and begging to jump into your hat, but you have suddenly turned into Terri Shiavo.

The accomodations were not exactly stellar: St John University Dorms, but it could have been far worse. There was free internet (when it worked), free coffee in the morning (if you were clever) and cheap laundry facilities. For me, the accoms didn't really matter much because we were hardly there anyway.

All said and done, I had a LOT of fun at this festival because the people were great. All the acts were top notch and we had a lot of laughs... Although I really don't ever want to hear about Ricky Martin or "fisting" ever again.

etienne

p.s. Aaaaaarghh.
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