Monday, October 19, 2009

2009 Frisco Arts Festival: BEST. FESTIVAL. EVER.

This past weekend, I was privileged to participate in the Frisco Arts Festival as a performer, service provider, and festival-goer. I have to say this is the best I’ve experienced out of a very long chain of great Frisco events. From fireworks to concerts to storytelling, the city seems to have done it all—but this one takes the prize.

Over a hundred artists—painters, sculptors, photographers—showed up to sell their wares for three wonderful days in October (the 16th, 17th, and 18th). Newman Village provided the venue and major sponsorship, while the weather cooperated as if God himself wanted to smile on the event. Moderate temperatures and beautiful sunshine lasted from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening.

Performers from the Collin County Songwriters Association and others took the main stage and cranked out one great musical experience after another. The big acts (in my opinion) were the 8-Tracks and Urban Renewal. They both actually managed to take the crowd to a higher energy level, after a string of great performances by acoustic bands, dancers, and performing songwriters. I personally got kick off the show Saturday morning while stage manager Michael Schaefer launched a video webcast live to the world (thanks Michael).

I provided sound and support services for the community stage, sponsored by the Music Conservatory of Texas. We had a blast with groups from Neighborhood Arts and Music School (NAMS), School of Rock, elementary and middle-school music groups, fabulous young dancers from several academies, and Frisco Area Children’s Theater.

Three days will wear anyone out, so I have to give credit to my right-hand man—logistics expert, Blane Cox. Blane has some stage experience, so he was invaluable in anticipating my every need. We changed acts, stage and mic configurations virtually every half hour for the entire three-day operation. Phil Harman popped in on Sunday to add his fire-power, and we had the fastest pack-up that I’ve ever experienced with this much equipment. We also received outstanding support from Steve South, now the reddest guy in Frisco (a little sun there, Steve) who was the entertainment coordinator for the festival.

Behind the scenes there was the normal panic that is standard for an event like this. But excellent communication systems ensured that the participants did not feel the stress. To the audience, the vibe was something like a Disney park. You felt safe, the surroundings were beautiful, the music was wonderful, and you couldn’t drop a piece of trash without it being picked up within a few minutes.

I wish I could name all of the organizers, volunteers, and sponsors. The list would take another two blogs. Suffice to commend everyone on an excellent job. And thank you so much!