Thursday, December 23, 2010

screening the crowd

Some moments down here are far too Mexican to avoid comment.

Our festival last week suffered the same problem most festivals do.  Few festivals are blessed with auditorium seating.

Cow pastures.  Football fields.  Parks.  All have been put to the service of the muse Euterpe.

In Melaque, the venue of choice was our jardin.  Our town square.  Designed for worried parents sitting on benches in the evening monitoring their children swim upstream in a sea of testosterone and estrogen. 

It is perfect courting territory.  But lousy for more formal entertainment.

The organizer had the foresight to build an elevated stage.  But that worked only for about the first two rows of spectators.  Beyond that, the only entertainment the audience could see were mosquitoes drilling for new Dengue club members.

The jardin had more chairs than audience the first night.  That helped because people could peer over heads in front of them.

But someone must have decided the chairs were part of the line of sight problem.  Because the chairs began disappearing in batches each night.  By Sunday evening, all of the chairs were gone.

The organizers had a new solution, though.  Taking a lesson from the Super Bowl.  They set up a camera and projector to broadcast the events on a giant screen.  Just like being home and watching television.

If you look at the photograph at the top of this post, you can see how the solution suffered in execution.

The image on the screen was clear.  And big.

But the screen is set up below the stage line.  As soon as the crowd showed up, the only people who could see the screen were the people in the front row.  Of course, they were the same who had a perfect view of the stage.

Improvisation often works down here.  But not always.  And this was not one of those times.

But, it didn't matter.  What the audience could not see, they could hear.

And that was recipe enough for a grand festival.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like Kellogg, Brown and Root had the festival contract.


Steve Cotton said...

ANM -- Quite possibly. But this one, not even I can put on the back of government.