On Sunday night I was planning on writing about how great The Weakerthans were, and how people think that the song, "Plea From a Cat Named Virtute" is actually, "Virtue" those people are wrong(apparently it's from the Winnipeg motto “Unum Cum Virtute Multorum” (one with the virtues of many). And then follow it up with talk of how just fucking amazing Battles were.
But right now I can't focus on any of that. Yesterday I was physically assaulted by a Bumbershoot staff member, and it was while I was outside of the festival on a city sidewalk.
I bought a poster at flatstock, and I left the festival to go put it in my car for safe keeping. I was walking on the sidewalk, they opened the fence to let in a van or something.
The fence swung open right in my face, so I stepped to the curb and kept walking. A dude in a staff shirt stepped in front of me and said, "Everybody stop" or something similar. At this point, we were like a foot apart so I kept walking and
he pushed me.
I rolled off his push and stepped down with one foot on the street and I was past him at which point he grabbed me, forcibly and hard from behind by my hoodie and yanked and pulled me into the street.
My hoodie was unzipped. If it was zipped I think he would have ripped it, and/or thrown me to the ground in the street. Instead I just stumbled in the street and regained my balance.
I was shocked to be grabbed at all, let alone in such a forceful way. I immediately threw my hands up in the air and screamed, "I am on a public sidewalk, you are not a law enforcement officer!" repeatedly.
One of the other staff people said, "Let him go," and he did finally.
I spun around, still with my hands in the air, and I said, "What are you doing? I am on a public sidewalk!"
He had rage in his eyes and said, "You are/were in in the street impeding traffic." I said, "YOU are NOT a law enforcement officer!" The only reason I was in the street was because that was the direction that I was forcibly thrown in.
He took two steps towards me, at which point other staff people stepped in and got him away from me.
It was frightening, and absolutely ridiculous. I can not believe that this happened to anyone, let alone to me who was just legally walking down the sidewalk, not even inside the festival grounds.
That was the third day of my first bumbershoot experience. It was again oversold and overcrowded. I bailed before the evenings headliners.
A few tips for Bumbershoot 2009:
-Put the food in a court with an entrance to the area. Look at how the Capiol Hill Block Party had their food area set up, learn from them and implement it. It was impossible to walk past the food area for most of the festival.
-Hire staff that won't try to physically restrain pedestrians on sidewalks that are located outside of your festival.
-Sell at least 1,000 fewer tickets per day. Your monetary greed leads to an unsafe and unfun environment for your audience. Also, the overcrowding can cause your staff to go fucking nuts and attack your law abiding concert goers.