Last weekend was the first Arizona Bacon Fest held at Reid Park that I talked about here. As a lover of all things pig I was bummed that I would not be able to make the porcine festivities due to work. Now from the information from people I know that went, and the plethora of post on the events Facebook page, looks like I might have been disappointed if I did go.
Now working in restaurants, I have worked these types of “Festivals” and such in the past, and there are some things that you just can't do if you want them to work.
First, they opened late. That alone set them up for failure. Huge inrush of people + waiting in the heat = angry mob lines.
Next, they were running out of food. It’s not Beer-fest or Sun-fest; it's Bacon Fest. They came for the swine! Now I know from experience, from prepping food for events like this to being there to serve, it’s likely you will run out of food…at the end. The food was running out way too early, not even halfway through the event. The restaurant people were either misinformed of the amount of people coming, they weren’t really pacing the food, or they way oversold the event. $25 bucks and no pig, strike two!
Another comment that was repeated often was that they ran out of the commemorative glasses. You should know how many tickets you have sold therefore you should know how many glasses to order. Seems logical to me, unless we go back to the oversold concept.
One good comment I kept overhearing was that there was beer aplenty. On the other hand, there were also many comments that, while food and beer samples were included in the ticket price, folks were paying to buy bottled water and stay hydrated in the Tucson sun. It’s the desert and with alcohol being served, water should probably be given freely.
So the overall impression from those that went looks to be an oversold, understaffed, non-organized, and disappointing event. However, it does look like the organizers are aware of the glitches, as they posted this on Facebook Sunday:
Thank you for everyone who turned out. Had to stop letting patrons in and had to turn away many people. Lots of mixed reviews but our efforts will continue to make the festival everything it can be. We appreciate all the comments, recommendation and all will be taken into consideration as we continue our quest to make bacntopia all it can. Thank you to the food and beer vendors for their contributions and all the volunteers for their time and effort.
It makes me really sad that something about one of my favorite proteins was thrown such a bad party. Maybe next year, they'll throw a superior tribute to swine.