A few simple suggestions for your Foothills Fall Festival enjoyment
Welcome, guests and regular readers, to the 2012 Foothills Fall Festival edition of your Weekend entertainment section!
To those picking up this action-packed little publication down at the festival and perusing it for the first time, I say thanks. I hope you enjoy what you find herein. Before you dig into the meat of this guide, I’d like to go over a few Foothills Fall Festival do’s and don’t’s that will make your show-going experience more enjoyable and the jobs of organizers, security personnel and volunteers much more stress free.
First: Have patience. Relax. You may experience minor traffic delays and a waiting line or two, but remember — this weekend is designed for enjoyment, and losing your cool makes that enjoyment null and void for you and for others around you.
Secondly: Be prepared. The weather this time of year can be one of extremes; last year, temperatures reached the 80s, making it rather warm during the heat of the day; at the 2010 Foothills Fall Festival, it was so cold some of the performers couldn’t depend on their frozen fingers to properly strum a guitar. Forecasts call for balmy days and mild nights, but just to be on the safe side, bring a jacket or an umbrella.
Third: Follow the rules. The security guys on the festival grounds are regular Blount County folks who sign up for extra duty this weekend. If you live here, you probably know a lot of them. They’re good dudes who have a single duty — to look out for the good time of everyone. If they ask you to move along and not loiter, it’s probably because you’re standing in front of someone who’s trying to see the stage. If they ask you to settle down, it’s probably because you’re acting a moron.
Fourth — and this should go without saying — festival personnel (including yours truly and the rest of the working media) cannot get you backstage. We can’t get you an autograph, or a personal meet-and-greet. We can’t get you into the meet-and-greet events if you’re not on the list (those are usually reserved for festival sponsors and members of the artists’ fan clubs). In other words, we can’t bend the rules for you, no matter how convinced you are that, as Train’s biggest fan, you’ll immediately be received as a deity and asked to ride on the tour bus to the next stop.
If you want to see the singers you love, keep your eyes on the stage. Or gather behind the barricades, calmly and politely, on the far side of the food court. You might catch a glimpse of your heroes as they get off the tour bus, and some have even been known to wave to fans and, on rare occasion, stroll over and sign autographs.
Fifth: Plan on enjoying all of the festival, not just the ticketed entertainment. ArtWay becomes an outdoor bazaar of food, music, wares and entertainment; Adventure Land is a wonderland where kids can do and see some pretty amazing things. (A water-skiing squirrel? Come on. Where, outside of a Disney movie or a drug-induced hallucination, are you gonna see something like that?!?) In other words, the festival isn’t just concerts by nationally known artists. It encompasses so much more, and if you’re hanging around Theater in the Park all weekend and don’t make it out to the other areas, you’re short-changing yourself.
Finally — if you happen to meet or run across a festival volunteer or organizer, take a moment and thank them. They work harder than you realize to make this festival happen, and they’re proud that it’s become such a big part of life here in Blount County.
Got all that? Good. Let’s party on this thing. Enjoy the 2012 Foothills Fall Festival, and if you see me down there, stop and say hi.
Steve Wildsmith is the Weekend editor for The Daily Times. Contact him at (firstname.lastname@example.org) or at 981-1144.