For starters, there’s only space for so
many benches, so only fans arriving an hour or more early to wait for
the show got a seat. Sometimes, even standing room is stretched beyond
reasonable limits, making it a very frustrating experience to those
trying to enjoy the music. Free entertainment is great, but if most
fans are uncomfortable, can’t see or hear well and find the whole
experience unsatisfying, maybe it’s not such a bargain.
While the Fair can’t do much about rude
people who spend the whole time chatting or, worse yet, yakking on
their cell phones, it’s time to make some changes. Organizers somehow
need to find some ways to make the court shows enjoyable in addition to
well-attended. One simple place to start would be to add a screen so
the performers’ images can be seen from more spots on the lawn, at
least by projection.
Since adding more space to the area
doesn’t appear to be an option, a higher stage would make for better
visibility for those on the fringes. And they should consider booking
some of the more popular acts for two shows a day or even two shows on
consecutive days in order to give more fans a chance to enjoy them.
Twice as many shows means twice as much space for fans. Some
consideration should also be given to using the grandstand for some
free or very low-priced shows.
Beyond these stop-gap solutions, the
addition of a concert venue on the grounds is logically the future of
Fair concerts. It would take some creative thinking and planning and
likely face financing challenges, but growth and improvement are
essentials to moving our Fair forward.