OK, at this point you’re bringing the show of your dreams or you’re just coming to attend. Either way, it’s vital you get this advice under your belt. Whether you’ve never gone to a state festival or gone to every state festival since Nero staged “A Funny Thing Happened When I Burned Rome in a Day – Kill That Guy For Not Laughing”, there’s three essentials to enhance your experience.
(1) Bring cash. Yeah, yeah, it’s a credit/debit card world and you can pay for your tickets ahead of time. (And you should pay for your tickets ahead of time.) But you’re at a theater for an extended period of time and you’re gonna get noshy, maybe thirsty, maybe see candy and where’s your cash? Yeah, see? Lobbies work by cash, folks, so bring some. As well, there’s usually someone raffling something snazzy as a fundraiser for the event or the adjudicators or the something-official-don’t-ask-so-many-questions. And I see there’s a karaoke event scheduled. You think that’s not gonna suck up some singles? So hit an ATM, and have a little sumthin’ on hand.
(2) Pen/pencil and paper. Back in the olden days, before phones did your taxes while you played Tetris, people took notes on little pieces of paper, sometimes collected for that purpose in what was an actual notepad. So, you’ll be chatting with Suzy Seatmate in-between shows and Roger InFrontofYou mentions a show he liked at his theatre, which reminds Suzy of this great play and Trudy BehindYou loved this delightful musical which would be perfect for this actress you all like and you go to type this all into your phone only it’s turned off cuz you’re polite and in a theater and know better and then the show starts and you forget all that stuff. No rules against Pen and Paper, people. Good for recording phone numbers, e-mail addresses, vendor information, restaurant recommendations and directions too. Conveniently available in pocket or purse sizes. (And if you’re in a hotel, a part of the room you get to keep.) Part of the fun of the festival is the stuff you discover – take notes.
(3) Brunch. Yeah, cuz you gotta pay up front, you don’t think you’ll do brunch. But then, at the festival, you make friends, find out that’s where the awards will be and remember you’re not leaving til later so you try to buy a brunch at the last minute. After the people running the thing have already been told how many to prepare for. If you’re gonna checkout Sunday, buy the brunch now. It’s a great schmooze time, the food is gonna be better nutritionally than anything you’re finding on the road home, and you see the awards given. -- And as further incentive, any bacon you eat at a hotel is fat-free and vegan. (According to the Tranportational Food Ethics Act of 2000-sumthin’, google it, you’ll find it.)
Trust me, these three things are vital to enjoying your festival experience. The shows are pretty good too, but lobby snacks, accurate notation, and pre-purchased hotel bacon will kick it up to turbo. And you want turbo.
See ya there.