Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Looking Ahead

We met last night to wrap up 2007 and to begin planning the 6th Annual Kansas City Irish Fest. Of course, entertainment was discussed. So I'm going to ask, albeit cautiously, for your input.

Who would you like to see at Irish Fest '08? Let me know.

A warning: if I start getting bombarded with 100 comments about a specific band in what is obviously an organized "hey fans, Irish Fest asked who they should book for next year! Everybody go post that they should book us!" effort, the offending band will be barred from Irish Fest for all eternity unless they buy a ticket. I'm very interested to know who you'd genuinely like to see on our stages next year. I'm not at all interested in getting the same e-mail from all 73 members of Paddy O'Furniture Ceili Band fan club. If that sounds harsh, I'm sorry. We gotta have rules.

So click the word "comments" down there and give me your thoughts. I've got my wish list. Who's on yours?


martha said...

Hi, Danny!
Funny you should ask...Kevin and I saw PADDY KEENAN last weekend and were saying he would be a terrific addition to KCIF. I'm also very fond of CRAOBH RUA; from Northern Ireland, they include fiddle, banjo, pipes, and guitar in a marvelous traditional mix. The other solo artist I'd love to see anywhere is CAOIMHIN O RAGHALLAIGH, the incredibly talented and innovative fiddler. It goes without saying, I suppose, that I want to see Fuchsia, Eddy, and the Elders back, as usual. And what about new local band KELLY?
Thanks for asking!
Martha K.

Anonymous said...

Great Big Sea would be a fun show and new to the Kansas City market. Saw Doctors for sure.

Now here is a question for you festival people... What would it be like to have a KC Irish Fest without the Elders? Just a thought.

Crazy person in KC

Brettski said...

Well, if this is a wish list... here are my stocking stuffers in no particular order:

Celtic Fiddle Festival
Eileen Ivers
Natalie MacMaster
Carlos Nunez
Baka Beyond
Salsa Celtica
Sharon Shannon
Tannahill Weavers

elizabeth said...

I like a lot of people on brettski's list but I want to add Tom Landa and the Paperboys.

Andy said...

I like the idea of Great Big Sea and LOVE the idea of an Elders "free" day at the Fest. Let them play one night so all of the KC fans can get their fix and then spend the money and bring in another band, like Great Big Sea.

Also, I love all of the bands on Brettski's list but would like to add Beth Patterson to it. She rocks and knows how to play a crowd. Her music is great and her stories change from show to show, not the same old ones every time you see her show...

Just my two-cents worth.

Oh... and also, CONGRATS on a fantastic festival this year.

Anonymous said...

Hear hear on one day of the Elders. Their show is great, but honestly...if you've seen them once, you've seen them. I'd much rather see them on one night and somebody else the other. GBS would be awesome!

Anonymous said...

I trust Dave S. to find some great entertainment. He has brought such great music to Kansas City. I would love the Saw Doctors again, Jimmy Crowley, The Fuchisa Band, Gaelic Storm, Great Big Sea, and Eileen Ivers.

Are the Coors still touring?

Dan Regan said...

Great stuff! Keep it coming. I'm going to add Four Men and a Dog to the mix. Gerry O'Connor is a banjo god. Arty Mc Glynn is a legend. And Gino Lupari just cracks me up.

Anonymous said...

The Coors? I thought this was a Boulevard event!

Jean Wynn said...

I thought the Searson Band was great, would love to see them again.

Kevin Kiley said...

My wish list...

Fuchsia Band
Eddie Delahunt and the lads
Jimmy Crowley
Paddy Keenan
Craobh Rua
Caoimhin O Raghallaigh
Lunasa or Dervish (but not BOTH)
Legacy ( From Jackson, MS )
Patrick Street ( appearing in
Jefferson City in just a few
weeks! Don't miss them! )
More KC local TRAD (non-rock)
bands like Kelly, Tullamore, etc.

With regards to the suggestion above about CONSIDERING an "Elders free" festival next year I had a few extra comments. Maybe since I am an out-of-towner I can be a little more objective than most.

They can command any number of large venues in the area anytime they want, baseball stadium included if their act has now grown to "stadium" level. I really don't see the point in having them command so much stage time and prime-time slots at the once-a-year KC Irish festival which should be a showcase for people that KC folks might not get a chance to see any other time of the year.

Yes... they draw a crowd. No doubt.
Yes... they sell beer. Double no doubt.

..but I think you are simply assuming at this point that you NEED them to be there, or something. I don't think it's the case.

I do NOT think the situation that developed on the Terrace Stage this year was entirely their fault. The advance publicity on Saw Doctors and the anticipation was such that the same Fire-Marshall shut-down might have happened whether the Elders were following them or not.

...but regardless of whether the Elders were the cause of it the situation was not just an "inconvenience" as described by some... it was INSANITY.

Something has to change, and if that means not trying to have "stadium shows" in an area that is obviously NOT a "stadium" then that's what that means.

That Terrace Stage area is not just limited capacity... at a certain point it becomes a DEATH TRAP. It's basically a concrete coffin with just 2 small (steep) staircases and 2 tiny doorway-size exits to the underground parking lot. You are lucky you haven't had a stampede incident already.

The staircases are no wider than the ones at that Russian Rock Concert where hundreds of teenages died a
few years back. To this day, no one is really sure what caused the stampede at that concert and it really doesn't matter. Once people are crammed into a space like the Terrace stage and they suddenly BELIEVE there is a reason to panic then they will.

At that point, the bodies will simply pile up on the staircases and in the small tunnels leading to the parking lot. Some people will be pushed over the walls into the fountain and may fare better but it won't be pretty if it ever happens.

You need to make SURE IT DOESN'T.
It's called CLEAR OUTFLOW PATHING. There has to be plenty of it or you risk disaster.
That means LIMITING THE CROWD on the Terrace stage to far less than has been allowed up there for the last 2 years. 2 years ago was dangerous. This year it was INSANE. It's been an accident waiting to happen. The only cure is prevention.

What about a ROCK STAGE over in Washington Park where there is clear "outflow" and no "concrete coffin" architecture going on?
That would be safer for trying to have these "stadium acts" like Saw Doctors and Elders?

The KC Irishfest Host Hyatt hotel was already the scene of one of the worst American crowd disasters in history. I don't think you should to continue to risk having another one in the same place. The media would eat that up with a spoon if it ever happened and heads would roll. Literally.

As I already said... the only cure is prevention and this year was (thankfully) just a "warning".

You can "shape" the crowd up there on the Terrace stage by being very careful WHO is there and WHEN.

The NEW Boulevard stage that now extends out into the street has safer OUTFLOW PATHING than the Terrace stage ever will. Maybe you should SWAP the focus and put the "stadium" acts over there and the TRAD back over on the Terrace. That would work much better ( and be safer ) at this point.

Kevin Kiley

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic! I'm really excited about the diversity of groups.

Has anyone heard Le Vent du Nord? I think they are really great.

Ed Scanlon

martha said...

I'm so glad Brett mentioned BOHOLA! Love their music, and Pat Broader is one of the nicest men you'd ever want to meet---and plays a mean bizarre!

Anonymous said...

From two different ends of the spectrum - The Clumsy Lovers and David Kincaid. The Clumsy lovers are an energetic, talented bunch with some Canadian flair. Kincaid still does the best historically-authentic Civil War tunes (most of them based on traditional Irish tunes) of anyone in the genre.
By the way, Great Big Sea does come to K.C. every so often (I believe there were here just last year), so to say we see them less often than The Saw Doctors isn't exactly accurate.
And it's The Corrs. The singers, not the beer.

Anonymous said...

By the way, Paddy Keenan is coming to Kansas City soon. Check the Irish Museum website for details.

Anonymous said...

Cami's two cents:

KCIF newcomers:
Luka Bloom (IF he can show up)
Great Big Sea

KCIF veterans:
Saw Doctors
Gaelic Storm
Fuchsia Band
Hothouse Flowers
Different Drums
Old Blind Dogs
and of course

Anonymous said...

As an out-of-towner who has come to KC the past two years, I cannot imagine it without The Elders. And the reason we pick KC for our travel is that for the last 2 years you've had both them and Gaelic Storm. Two incredible bands that I would hate to see taken from the mix. I also love Fuchsia Band, both as a group and as individuals and all their contributions to the fest. A real plus this year was being able to see Solas, and would also love to see Altan and/or Danu come to your event. You guys put on a spectacular festival in KC - please don't tweak it too much! I'm sure you will work out the crowd issues by next year.

Mick said...

Millish and Kila please
oh and Eddie Delahunt because he is a sexy bitch!

Anonymous said...

I would love to see Grada and/or Flook both are great trad groups from Ireland.
I agree that we have seen enough of the Elders.
I vote for more traditional based group and less rock.

Jackie in IA

Anonymous said...

Another idea would be Barra MacNeils from Canada. I know they were schedule a couple years ago and then couldn't make it. Please give them another try.

Jackie in IA

Susan said...

More local bands. This is a KC event after all and we have some terrific local Celtic bands.

jkellyd said...

Not a short list by any means :)
Michael McGoldrick
Jed Marum
Connie Dover
Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas
Baka Beyond
David Munnelly
The Black Brothers or Family
Carlos Nunez
Roger Landes & Chipper Thompson
John Doyle & Liz Carroll
Tom Landa and the Paperboys
Matt & Shannon Heaton
Niamh Parsons
Gan Bua
Eric Bogle
Andy M. Stewart

Think of the session with some of these people and imagine the workshops that could be had!!

Jeff P. said...

It would be absolute insanity to NOT have The Elders at all. They better play at least one day.

And The Corrs are about as Irish Folk as ABBA.

On my wishlist...

The Prodigals (again) - I missed them this year
The Saw Doctors (again) - they were awesome
The Mahones
The Levellers - although they might not be Irish enough
Ashley MacIsaac - even though his new stuff sucks

Claire said...

I would love to see The Corrs at KCIF. Would be fabulous.... I also have heard about, but not seen yet Leahy - and would love to see them too.

Re: Elders... I honestly don't think that some of you locals realize what a draw your famous KC talent is. Yeah, yea you can catch a show in Kansas City whenever you feel like it. I liken it to living by the beach (I don't) or living close to the mountains (I do), you begin to take that for granted. I think some of the locals are taking The Elders for granted. For the majority of us "out of towner's" the Elders ARE the draw to travel to KC for the fest, the rest is icing.

Space considerations - putting Gaelic Storm and the Elders back to back on the same stage was, obviously, not the best idea. Sunday night when they were on different stages was definitely more manageable.

My 10 pence worth

Anonymous said...

Chip and I go to at least ten festivals a year outside KC so we see many, many bands that never make it to KCIF.

You will remember that we begged for Enter the Haggis and Searson years before they got here.

All time Favorite is still Seven Nations :-)

Other bands we would love to see bands here:

The McKassons
Quagmyre (the principals of this band will be part of the StepCrew performance at Carlsen Theater in February 08.)
Grand Derangement (have only seen them once in Chicago with Saw Doctors and 7N but man oh man what a show!)

And had forgotten about the Paperboys...some of their new stuff is on the RootStomp CD...a compilation CD with 7N, Elders, ETH, more great bands.

-- Pat McG

Anonymous said...

Yes. The Elders on one night would be great! I've heard that it is becoming an Elders Festival. There is so much other talent out there. Here's my list.

Glengarry Bhoys
Tannahill Weavers
Patrick Street

Shaughnessy said...

Great comments! We are listening! Keep 'em coming!

Ellen K. said...

Note (in response to Andy's post), it's a 3 day festival. The Elders played 2 days, so there was indeed an Elders-less day, which was Friday.

And in response to Kevin Kiley's post, it was Saturday they had the crowd problem and temporary stopped entry to the terrace level, and it was Sunday that the Saw Doctors played. I think... don't book the Elders and Gaelic Storm on the same stage on the same night (or at least not on Saturday night) -- not unless you got plans for a lot more space!

As for requests... Millish, Leahy, Jonathan Ramsey.

Top of my list of bands I liked to see again who have played previously (not counting local and regional groups): Enter the Haggis, Young Dubliners, Eileen Ivers.

Though I'm sure whoever's booked I'll like most of them. :)

Anonymous said...

What difference does it make to the size of the crowd to have Gaelic Storm and The Elders play the same stage? They're not playing at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Dream BIGGER! Come on! BIG!

April said...

I'm not sure that folks in the big big crowds DO drink a lot of beer. To be honest, from about halfway through 2 acts before the Elders til the end of the night, I'm not spending any money.....I'm in place in front of the stage. Who wants to fight the crowd just to get a drink that will make you need to fight the crowd to go to the restroom?

Yes, the Terrace Stage crowd has gotten scarily dangerous. And closing off the stairs for awhile was the right thing to do for safety reasons, but you have to figure out a way to NOT have to do that again. Families and friends separated by that situation, people who came long distances to see a certain band not being allowed back up near the stage....not good at all. A far, far better kind of "not good" than a trampling situation, of course, but you have to plan for that in the future.

As far as I'm concerned, the blow up kids toys could go somewhere almost out of sight, but that doesn't help the limited egress situation up on that level. (and do those things need to be on grass?) Plus, that far back from the stage, you can't see anything even if that space were cleared. Not without some kind of big screen...and that screen itself would probably block the movement of people. The Terrace level is just too long and narrow to handle the big crowds for the evening rock acts. Plain and simple. Admit it.

Speaking of rock acts, the suggestions tend to run towards acts with a more traditional sound so far. Please don't take this to mean that rock is not wanted. I am one of those folks who leans more towards the rock sound. I enjoy trad, but when evening comes 'round, I want my celtic rock.

My top choices have all been listed by others already. My fave bands are (in no particular order) Elders, Gaelic Storm, Young Dubs, ETH, Saw Docs and Great Big Sea. Many of those have appeared on your stages more than once. I know for the long term health of a festival, you have to mix things up and not play the same acts over and over. But, anytime one of those acts is on the stage at KCIF, I will probably be in front of it (unless I have to choose between two of them, of course). Then there is the whole "discover new bands" thing at fests...that's an important part of the whole experience. I just have a tough time fitting that in sometimes...

Much as I like to tease Shaughnessy that he is evil for setting up schedules that make me choose between great options (and all of them ARE great choices) havings GS and the Elders at different stages at the same time was a good idea and helped even the crowds out.

I'm not a techie, and have no idea of the acoustic challenges/advantages to the different spaces, but making the Boulevard Stage the one for the biggest expected draws might not be a bad idea. Speaking of the Boulevard stage, when the official KCIF view that there was no 'main stage/secondary' stage distinction came out this past year, I have to admit I thought "poppycock." Sorry Dan! Equality of the acts booked, okay, I'll give you that. But in previous years, there WAS a distinct difference in the stages. This year, they were MUCH more equal and the differences between the two were subtle enough that I can get behind the idea that there are two main stages. Just don't try to tell me that the setup in the Atrium is their equal, okay? I won't fall for that one....there are only about 25 seats with decent sightlines in there. But the Air Conditioning adds to that venue's benefits...

As far as the Elders and KCIF...that seems to be a bit of a thorn to some people. They sometimes have a bit of an awkward situation with finding the right size venue for their own hometown. So many places their teen and under 21 fans can't go, but this is a venue both they and the more grownups can all have fun together. I think you get a lot of KC area Elders fans who this show is one of the best venues for them to really enjoy the lads. And a lot of out of towners who come in BECAUSE of the Elders. I'd hate to see that not be available.

Anonymous said...

Dropkick Murphys
Great big sea
Asylum Street Spankers
Gaelic Storm
Fuchsia Band
& Eddie!

nuf' said.

April said...

I forgot something in my novel up there....

I saw Dougie MacLean in Philly this year. He was great - please work on getting him to KCIF.

(And is anyone else having to do the "type these letters thingie" twice in order to post here?)

Anonymous said...

Someone mentioned big, so here's my big: How about the Frames? Or what about the Swell Season? Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová are an amazing duo.

And I'm with Elizabeth re: the Paperboys.

Ellen K. said...

Not sure if the anonymous post after mine was a genuine question or a sarcastic criticism (they look alike without tone of voice). But just in case, or in case someone else is wondering, here goes.

A combo of two bands that appeal to the same people will draw more than either band separately. Some come who wouldn't have come at all if it was just one of the bands. Some come for one band and stay for the other (or get there early for the other). That's generally a good thing. Except when the number of people overwhelms the space and there's no good way to limit admission.

P.S. to April. Yes on the typing the "word verification" twice. :)

kevin kiley said...

With regards to sometimes having to submit comments and do the "Word Verification" thing TWICE here on this forum... here is the scoop.

This is something generic to Google's Blogging service, which is what this board uses.

What's going on here is that the group of letters that are "auto-generated" each time you come to this page actually have a TIME LIMIT.

If you read comments and submit responses fairly quickly then you will only have to do the "Word Verification" thing one time.

If you take more than a few minutes then the letters that appear on the page have "timed out" and are no longer "valid".

That's why the whole page can come back with ANOTHER set of letters for you to type in in order for your comment to be submitted.

If the "Leave your comment" box comes back EMPTY then your comment has been submitted for moderation.

Nothing more to do.

If the "Leave your comment" box comes back still full of your typing and a new set of letters appears then your comment has NOT been submitted yet and you have to do the "Word Verification" thing all over again but this time it should be
accepted and the "Leave your comment" box will come back empty.

Google will not TELL YOU that this is what is going on. It just looks like something went wrong. You are just supposed to KNOW that you exceeded the time limit for the group of letters that was being displayed on the screen.

A lot of people are ending up with their shorts in a knot over all this and blaming blog moderators for NOT posting their comments when, in fact, the poor moderators are never actually receiving them.

Some posters don't notice that the input box is still full of their typing when the screen comes back and they don't know this means the blog moderator has still NOT RECEIVED YOUR COMMENT.

They think that just because they pressed the "Publish Your Comment" button that it actually happened.

Why this behavior?

Simple. The whole point of the "Word Verification" thing is just a kludgy way of trying to make sure that only real human beings are trying to post comments and not automated-spam-bots trying to flood public blog sites with advertisements disguised as comments.

The reason it has a "time out" is that none of these scheme is perfect and with a fast enough computer and good graphics analysis software any spammer can pull the right letters from the screen and
still succeed in "pretending" to be a real person.

By limiting the amount of TIME that the letters are even valid Google believes it is stopping some spammers from "figuring out" what the letters are with automated graphics analysis software.

What a world, eh?

Okay... enough "off topic" techie doo-dah... back to the music!...

April said...

Kevin - if the blog has the comment moderation feature turned on (like this one does) you see a message near to the top of the screen that says something like "your comment has been submitted for review to the moderator" when it has been accepted. I'm paraphrasing cause I can't see that message at the moment and I don't have it memorized. If you look for that, it helps clue you in whether or not you need to check and see if the word verification needs to be done again. And if you need to do a second word verification, there is also an error message in yellow right under that part of this page, but it is not very noticeable. All very easy things to overlook though, eh? A slight layout/design/wording change on those (on google's part) could save a lot of headaches.

But thank you for letting me know it was a timing thing - I thought it was a new glitch that I was gonna have to do that twice every time I commented. (And was not looking forward to that) Now I just know I need to say less and type more. :)

Anonymous said...

dream line up would be Seven Nations,Great Big Sea, Gaelic Storm, and the Elders