[Dixielandjazz] Declining Festival Attendance -

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Mon Dec 15 17:56:50 PST 2003

Re the attendance decline at Victoria. I think the claim was that this
year's Victoria festival (2003) experienced a decline in US attendees
because of the Gulf War, not 9/11.  By mid 2003, the  9/11 effect on Air
Travel was negligible.

Be that as it may, this kind of cop out is just that, a cop out.

I spent 32 years in the corporate world between 1962 and 1994 while
taking a complete sabbatical from music. The last 10 were as President
of a multi million dollar division of a multi billion dollar
conglomerate here in the USA. As such, I was required to attend a yearly
business meeting in front of the board of directors and CEO of the
parent company. We went over past performance vs. business plan and then
submitted a new business plan for the coming year, as well as modifying
our 5 year plan.

One of the reasons I survived 10 years in this environment is because I
did not throw a low of BS about why our past year performance was not up
to par. (Plus, we performed well) Many others did. Our products were
automotive parts. I led the powertrain division, (Engines and
Transmissions) The BSers were:

1) Expert weathermen who would say: The winter was too warm, not enough
snow and ice, so demand for our product fell.

2) And expert weathermen who said: "The winter was to cold, too much
snow and ice which lessened miles driven and so demand for our product

3) And quality experts who said "The manufacturer's are building better
cars, fewer breakdowns, so demand for our product fell.

And so on and so forth.

Bottom line, it's all BS. Everybody needs an excuse when they don't meet
expectations. Nobody seems to be man or woman enough take the blame.
Like "I made a mistake."

That's how it is with Jazz Festivals. 9/11, Gulf War, etc., etc., etc.,
instead of "I made a mistake."

Never the fact that many jazz festivals are trying to sell the wrong
product. Or have poor management. And that folks, is the real reason
many are not working properly.

Steve Barbone

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