Saturday, July 25, 2009
I was lying in bed last night thinking... (as I tend to do when I should be sleeping) and my mind wandered back to the Ukulele World Congress. I don't think anyone who attended could possibly have anything but great memories from that weekend. The location the atmosphere and the hosts were absolutely perfect. As I was laying there thinking about how great it was I couldn't help but begin to worry about how its awesomeness could eventually be its undoing.
I have heard many folks who were not at The Congress talking about attending next year. In fact it seems there are many more non-attendees getting excited about next year's event than there were people who actually attended. And in my opinion, popularity can be a double-edged sword.
In Oregon we have an annual event called The Oregon Country Fair. If you've never heard of it (I would be amazed if either of you have), it is essentially a Grateful Dead concert/weekend minus the Grateful Dead. If you wondered where the hippies went during the second weekend in July, they all went to the Oregon Country Fair. I wont go into details of the fair itself, you can read all about it here. And see pictures of it here and here... (and NO these pictures are NOT safe for work). But in the old days the Country Fair was self policing and the drugs and alcohol flowed freely and openly spawning a giant naked-body painted-drum circle of weirdness that always seemed to be teetering on the verge on anarchy. Then in 1997 after complaints from the neighbors around the fair grounds, the county threatened to close the fair down and seize the land if alcohol consumption and marijuana use were allowed to continue (apparently nakedness was never an issue). Fair organizers had no choice but to hire security folks to police the fair, confiscate all contraband, and eject those who violate the new "no fun allowed" policy. Now this is not to say that people don't still partake (naked drum circles abound) but as far as dope smoking and drinking are concerned the freaks are just much more discreet about where and when they do it (And just to be clear, I don't condone drug taking and deviant behavior... I'm only trying to make a point).
And finally, here IS that point. I have a feeling that by June of next year the legend of the Ukulele World Congress will rise to epic levels. There could easily be twice as many people as last year. And I worry that in five years (maybe sooner), it will grow to the point where "we" will wear out our welcome with the kind folks of Brown County and have to institute new "no fun allowed" rules. Can you imagine parking lot attendants, vendors, frat-boy security guards, and roped off beer gardens? I hope this never happens....but sometimes popular events take on a life of their own, and one thing is for sure, whether we want it to or not, this one is growing.
Posted by Boozelele at 11:22 AM