Country Music Fair in Bergheim Germany High expectations – that fall to pieces!

Country
Music Fair in Bergheim Germany 04th – 06th April 2014


High
expectations – that fall to pieces!

The
event took place in a kind of gymnasia, a few security guys at the
door and right behind them sales booth, with guitars and cd´s and
artist information points. To the left there was a little scaffolding
for the entertainers.
When
you went down the cellar you came to the “Bluebird café”, and
every now and then an artist gave a performance.

When
you walked into the next room, there was a large coliseum, in front
of it a big stage, with a dance floor and a few chairs arranged in
about 10 lines. Behind it a tables with chairs to make the people sit
down and watch the shows. It wasn´t that creative, people could have
done better, they need more inspiration and fantasy to fascinate the
people with a certain kind of look, something to blow them away, if
you walk into the room. The first impression is very important!

There
was a very large sales counter to the left, that need a special
touch, it was everywhere so bare faced and cold, kind of
uncharitable.
A
few sales booth as well and information points, but nothing to knock
their socks off!
It
really was a shame for the floor in this hall, with all those people
walking around…..Everybody knows, that it is not allowed, to walk
with shoes over those kind of grounds, because it damage the floor.
For the next venue, people could be advised, to buy an industrial
carpet, he can be used again for the next fair and above all, it
would protect the floor. It would have been a good investment for the
future.

In
the next hall, there have been more stands, special with label
company´s and artist and here too, a few sales booths for example
with clothes and cowboy hats.
Mark
Merritt was the only big label company with “Amazing Records”
around; if he wouldn´t have been there, it would have been a
disaster, because he brought most of the artists with him.
Mark
Merritt – is also a very nice American country singer, with a great
voice and someone that inspires the audience. He is the man behind a
lot of things, like CD production, distribution and promotion of a
lot of good artists….like for example, Memphis Sky, Wild Bunch
(Katja Picker), Kayleigh Leith, Mike O´Donoghue, Michael Lonstar and
Barry P. Fooley, and a lot of other artists.
Compared
to Mark Merritt’s Stand, there was Eddy Gee, a very pleasant and
nice country singer from Holland. Eddy was there with his wife, which
supports him so much in his career. Next to him was Jeffrey Backus,
which is the son of a former pop singer, by the name of Gus Backus.
Jeffrey has quite a good voice…..and looks like his father. He was
there with his cohabitee, also a very nice young lady.
A
lot of artist, too much to name them all, did their best to keep the
fair going, without them it had nothing to represent. The artists and
bands, where the highlights of those days, they made the people
happy, made them smile and they touched their hearts, either in his
own way.
What
people really missed on this fair was gospel country. They had heard
so many cover versions of Johnny Cash, that day, but there is more in
country music. At the moment, it is very single track guided and that
is a great pity. It should not point in only one direction; there is
a lot to reconsider.
A
little bit of adverse fate was multi – present. Human failure and
technical failing, walked hand in hand. Very important things, make a
big difference, little and big things, needs a lot of attention for
the next venue to come.
On
Friday they had apparently a little problem with the electricity,
because at 10.00 pm the sales booth owner didn´t had any light
anymore…..Salesman talking here and there – Someone said, with a
smile in his face …,quote, „it looked like, they didn´t want us
here anymore…..!!!!, unquote.
For
intended events, the hosts should know, to get more food stands,
because it wasn´t enough. People went to other places, away from the
venue, and that isn´t good. Walking away is never good, in any
circumstances. There wasn´t much choice in food and some of the food
was sold out in no time. If you want to make the people happy, give
them alternation in food….long days make people hungry! Hungry
people are discontented clients – and these clients are the
visitors of the fair – with the utmost probability you lose them as
guests.
On
Sunday there had been not much public and you could see the emptiness
all around you. What a pity for the owner of the sales booth. Here
and there we noticed and heard stand owner talking, that they didn´t
make that much money, that they got a raw deal on the charge for the
location. That’s a shame, but, the devil is in the detail, you
don´t have influence of a fair…people come or don´t, it is always
a bit like a russian roulette. Of course you have to make a lot of
noise, so that people hear you. With noise is meant – tongue – in –
cheek. Advertising in many ways, is the key to success.
And
for the so called security guys, when you appear at a venue, where
the security people hanging around like lazy bugger, it doesn´t look
professional, it looks awful! Besides, a few of them looked like
young teenager, who would be afraid of them? When a gang of agitators
had appeared on that fair, these security guys had been in real big
trouble!
The
backstage area was the biggest disaster – without security in sight
and around, nobody there, not a single person – anybody walked in and
out. Nobody cares two hoods about it!
Than
the emergency helper – they sat in their car, making jokes,
laughing there head off, that is no problem at all, but, they had to
walk around in a certain time schedule, but this didn´t happened at
all, now and then and not as they had to do it. The very thought, if
there had been an accident on the fair, makes you shiver.
A
lot of people would bear down this peewee kind of handicaps, but who
knows, if they come back to a fair, that leaves this kind of
impressions behind and that on his first event, where you normally
try to give your best. Maybe the organizer thought the fair is a fast
– selling item, but this gunshot – could backfire!
Just
a thought…..
It
would be a very good idea for an organizer to create a win – win
situation, because the artists and bands has to pay in addition, they
have to pay for renting a sales booth, travel costs, food, drinks,
pay for a fair cd (if they want) and they have to perform for
nothing. That is a bad situation – that needs to change.
What
do the artists and bands get back, if we consider Sunday they didn´t
even had public to watch them…..a few guys sitting around…that’s
it! An artist or a band needs at least the honor he or they deserve
and when there is no public – what’s left?
Maybe
for the future the organizer of venues stand still by the fact, that
without artists and bands, they would not have anything at all!
Make
it attractive for the entertainer and they will be happy to come
back, pay for at least a few costs, like drinks, food and free space
for advertising at a sales booth, don´t take money from an artist or
a band when they make a performance – because for a lot of people
it looks like exploitation!
Every
cloud has a silver lining, when you have the experience to deal with
it!!!!
Gaby
Agrikola for Country Music News International

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