[Dixielandjazz] Uniforms At Sacramento

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Thu Jul 8 21:01:56 PDT 2004

In a message dated 7/8/04 8:13:59 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 
robert at ringwald.com writes:

> A week or so ago, someone (I think either Barbone or Wiggins) said that at
> the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, bands got graded down if they were not wearing
> uniforms, or at least, not dressed alike.

It was not Wiggins, although I seem to be getting credit for a lot of things 
I did not say lately, :))

Now I will Say this and have no problem being quoted on it.

Although I happen to favor Uniforms for bands, I have no problem with them 
not being downgraded for not wearing them, however I would up grade those that 
choose to do so for esthetic contributions to the festival as a whole.  There 
is a time and a place for all of them and those choices should be made in 
advance with careful planing as to which acts perform on which stages at which 

If a Band choses not to wear uniforms and they are musically skilled and 
dynamic enough to wow an audience without using them, then more power to them.  
Actually I do gigs both ways with and without uniforms, but you can bet your 
bippy that if I am hired to do a major formal event I will not allow my guys to 
show up in Hawaiian shirts and thongs or Levi's.

Now hire me for a Hippie festival on the Russian River and Hell I'll let play 
but naked if they want to, hire us for a big Ass Rodeo and we'll dress as Bob 
Wills and the Texas Playboys if you pay us enough.   I think I'll change the 
name of my band to "The Burger King Gang"
Have it your way.

The questionnaire that the Site Managers fill out on each band at the
Jubilee, is mainly for attendance.   Since the Jubilee is so big, no one can
get around to see every band & every set.   Thus the report on each set.

If a band has a couple poorly attended sets, but say, 8 good ones, then you
can pretty well figure that they were well received & maybe the sets were
out of the way, or early or too late.

However, if the band reports say that 8 out of 10 sets were poorly attended,
then you can judge accordingly.

With all respect Bob I beg to differ with you.

That is one of the Jubilee's major problems, too many bands trying to play 
too many sets all against and in competition with each other in too many venues. 
 Thus if the ticket buyers want to see any specific Headline act, then it 
stands to reason that the up and coming acts are going to suffer in attendance at 
some if not all their performance sets.

Not to mention the problems with travel logistics of the fans trying to get 
from set to set in time to see certain acts but have to pass because they need 
to get back to the other side of the festival to see another headline act that 
they will miss if they go across town to see the act that now has no audience 
to play to.  This is not the bands fault that they have no audience, it is a 
scheduling problem by the Festival that they have absolutely no control over 
or say so or input at all.

I have personally experienced this problem at Jubilee just as an attendee and 
not as a performer.  You guys like to say that you can stay in one location 
and the festival will come to you, That is not the way fans do things for the 
most part, they will try to go see every set of their favorite bands rather 
than sit and wait to see who is going to show up next set on the stage they 
happen to be sitting in front of.

You would serve them better by programming each stage with the same or 
similar types of groups and music for specific hours of the day and rotating the 
audience rather than rotating the bands all over town wearing them out and 
stressing them out and then expecting them to get up and deliver a great show in the 
Sacramento Heat.

If you are going to diversify your music and attract a diverse audience then 
you should structure the stages to cater to those specific audiences, keep 
them generally in one area and not wasting their time riding back and forth or 
walking back and forth very far to see the kind of music they paid to come and 
see and hear.   I guarantee you the guys who paid to come and see the Zydeco 
bands are not about to go stand in line for an hour to catch a bus to go to Cal 
Expo to hear a two beat Dixieland Band, then waste another hour trying to get 
back to Old town to hear Sister Swing, and miss half the show or maybe not 
even be able to get in because the venue is full before they can get there.

I have been there and done that more than once in one festival.

About the only other thing that is reported on is if the band uses profanity
or is rude to the audience.   Also, if they start late or end early.

This can be avoided mostly by the Festival being responsible to transport the 
bands to and from each performance in a timely manner and not leave the 
musicians to fend for themselves trying to get through 50,000 people and get 
transportation to the next set in time to start on time.   This can usually be done 
expediently by the use of Golf Carts donated by a sponsor, unless of course 
you want to send them from Old town to the Red Lion Hotel between sets.  They 
should be kept in one general area for performances where they can easily walk 
or golf cart between sets

About the only other thing that is reported on is if the band uses profanity
or is rude to the audience.   Also, if they start late or end early.

These are valid points for sure in evaluating the professionalism of any act, 
however I saw at least one act at the last Jubilee that imbibed a bit heavily 
and used some very colorful language and unless the audience was sufficiently 
hip and understanding of their show would have been greatly offended by their 
banter with the audience.  Fortunately at that show they had their audience 
and all went well.  Didn't bother me, but if there had been any Baptist Sunday 
School Teachers in the audience they would have fainted for certain.


Tom Wiggins


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