Taste of Minnesota forces food down your throat

picture-2After some back and forth with David and the @tasteofmn folks on Twitter tonight, I finally jumped on my computer to check out the site and band line-up. Why?

Well, they built their Web site in flash, and it won’t load on my Blackberry Bold, which is my primary surfing device. Strike 1.

And although the band line-up does feature Judas Priest and Whitesnake, they aren’t enough for me to make the trek out of the burbs. Strike 2.

And I discover you have to PAY TO GET IN this year. Strike 3.

That’s it. I’m not going this year.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love Taste of Minnesota (see posts from 2006, 2007).

I used to live in downtown St. Paul where I could see the evening fireworks from my balcony. We would walk over every evening, listen to the awesome classic rock bands (Kansas, Deep Purple, Charlie Daniels, Alice Cooper) and get raped on 8-ticket juicy lucys. Some nights my wife and I would split something, spending less than $10 total. But some nights I myself wouldn’t spend any money — instead just enjoying the festival, people and festivities while our friends blew their wallets on fried things and powdered thats and super expensive beer and lemonade. We went every night one year and have gone multiple nights every year.

But this year, going multiple nights will be pricey up front, and despite the recession, my wife and I would have to pay $20 (plus parking and gas, mind you) just to get in the gates. Festival organizers say they need to charge an entrance fee to keep out the riff-raff, justifying it by saying visitors will get $10 in food tickets and they only charge after 3 p.m. If you ask me, 3 p.m. is a looooong time before the 8:30 headliner time.

Personally, I don’t like them forcing you to buy food tickets and think it will severely limit their turnout far beyond the riff-raff their hoping to keep out. That’s too bad for local bands like Quietdrive, The 757s and Throw the Fight (whose lead singer is battling cancer, and I believe this is their first show back).

What do you think? Will a family of four over the age of 12 really shell out $40 just to get in the gates? Will the entrance fee keep you away?

3 Comments so far

  1. outzider on June 24th, 2009 @ 8:32 am

    I think it’s a smart way to go about it, really. It’s the Taste of Minnesota. You’re going to eat anyway. The admission fee goes toward food you’re probably going to eat.

    Plus, you live in the suburbs. Everywhere you go costs money in gas. Take a bus, or move back to the city. :)

  2. David (jacc) on June 24th, 2009 @ 11:11 am

    It seems to me that the pricing is fair. Isn’t admission to the zoo $12 for an adult and $8 for a child? So that’d be 40 bucks, plus parking.

    So it’s like TasteofMn is buying you some food and drink for showing up.
    (When was the last time the zoo bought you a drink or some food and aren’t music tix above and beyond admission at the zoo?)

    As for the impact on local bands, it’s hard to say if charging admission will make much of a difference to their turnout. It’s all theory, attendance numbers could actually go up.

  3. tipper on June 24th, 2009 @ 12:51 pm

    Since when do the riff-raff let admission fees stop them? They’re the ones who know how to sneak into places!

    I’ve been to Taste of Minnesota once. Didn’t buy food. Watched Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band next to a couple of middle-aged women smokin’ the reefer and being very noisy.

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