Monday, March 20, 2006

In praise of: concessions

While attending the Lucinda Williams show on St. Patrick's Day (FABULOUS!) at the Ford Center, I noticed something peculiar: a concessions stand. The kind that is normally located in venues with concerts and plays and film festivals: complete with bottled beverages (coke, diet coke, sprite, dasani water, etc.), candy, chips, etc. / $1 per item. The kind that was repeatedly denied to us when we were planning the 2005 Oxford Film Festival at the Ford Center. Curiously outrageous. Outrageously curious.

Us: hey, we're planning a 6-day festival in your venue. Our patrons will be wanting to eat and drink things. Your venue has the facilities for selling such items. What say we do that?
Them: absolutely not*.
Us: but what if we let you keep all the profits?
Them: absolutely not.
Us: okay. what if we provide our own volunteers?
Them: absolutely not.
Us: okay. what if we have them set up in the parking lot, like with the recent India Night event, catered by a restaurant in Memphis, which fed around 800 people?
Them: absolutely not. Your event will not have near the attendance of India Night.
Us: could that be at all related to the absence of food and drink, requiring everyone to LEAVE THE VENUE for a snack?
Them: we don't see how that concerns us. We do not use adhesive on walls.

(* As an official transcript of our negotiations is unfortunately unavailable, this is an approximation.)

At the 2007 Oxford Film Festival, we will enjoy all kinds of concessions, at the fabulous Powerhouse Arts Center. Hopefully popcorn! And maybe even something with curry. Just because we can.

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