Thursday, February 19, 2009

More on Fests, Faerie and Otherwise

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored" on a rare double-post day! Get two helpings of drivel for the price of one. In these economic times, who can pass that up?

First, the promoters of FAERIECON 2009 have weighed their promotional email in the balance and found it wanting. For those of you just joining us, the Con is moving to a venue near Baltimore and said in its literature that the site is "safer" than Philadelphia. We at "The Gods Are Bored" must not be the only ones to have taken offense at that particular wording, because here's a tepid retraction sent out by the Con:

"In our Newsletter yesterday we also referred to the new location as being in a "safer and more hospitable city," which in retrospect we realize could be interpreted as a slight to our guests from the city of Philadelphia. We apologize to any of our guests in Philadelphia who we might have offended.

Our true sentiment, was that FaerieCon 2009 will take place at a "safer and more hospitable venue," where our guests, especially with children, won't need to drive or wander in a downtown area late at night after the event and night-time masquerades. We sincerely want to thank the city of Philadelphia for graciously hosting and supporting FaerieCon for the last two years!

As a nearby resident of Philadelphia, I feel so comforted that the folks at FaerieCon don't think the area around the Convention Center and the Trocadero Theater isn't safe to be wandering around in at night. It happens that both venues are bordered by Chinatown, possibly the safest place in the whole city.

Of course, the safety considerations of city life do pale in comparison to a convention held in a Marriott hotel in posh Hunt Valley. (Con says it's "10 minutes to downtown Baltimore." Nope, not even at 3:00 a.m.

Let us leave behind the consideration that FaerieCon 2009 attendees will be more or less stranded in a big hotel, buying big hotel food from big hotel restaurants (as opposed, say, to wandering Philly's iconic Reading Terminal Market, right across the street from the convention center). Let us instead leap right to the bottom line.

How much is a faerie worth?

*Anne says bye-bye to her final pair of glasses*

The hotel is offering a generous $99 per person rate per night for the Con. Two nights with tax, about $225. Add to that the generous pre-registration fee for the three-day event, $75. I'm out $300 before I enter the door. Gas would probably be another $40. Before meals or even a Pepsi from the vending machine!

I would blissfully pay this for a Daughters of the American Revolution convention, but I won't be paying this for a Daughters of the American Revolution convention because $300-$400 will cover a whole lot more festivals throughout the year if I spend it wisely. To whit:

1. East Coast Vulture Festival: One evening, $20 for a ticket, $22 for a gorgeous t-shirt with a huge turkey vulture on it. All drinks and desserts included. The main event is a display of live birds from the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences. And they make a profit that goes to charity.

2. Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm: About $40 for gas, $45 for tickets ($15 per day), reasonable eats. Camp out free if you volunteer. And they make a profit that goes to charity.

So that's two fests, one of them three days with free camping, at an expenditure of about $250 (self and daughter The Spare).

I'm still about $130 to the black, so how about a little jaunt to Berkeley Springs? $40 for a year's membership at Four Quarters Farm (Pagan campground, a charity), admittedly $50-$60 for gas, and BYO eats. Oh yeah, I forgot. $25 for a Roman bath in Berkeley Springs State Park, well worth every penny! More math:

The visit to Berkeley Springs will cost me about $150, realistically. But I'm $130 to the black. So it works out I can go three places for just $20 more than I'll spend to sit in a Marriott in Hunt Valley, staring at rooms full of vendors.

Wow. I have more to say about this. Ta ta till tomorrow!


Sarita said...

It's crazy the way some things work out. I would agree with you on that it's better to go to a bunch more events that are great on the same amount of money you'd spend on just this one.

And the glasses - that's interesting. You see, my Otherworldy helping spirits (you might call them fairies, even though I don't think of them as such) have been getting after me about my vision. I don't think it's a simple thing of just getting glasses for me, since I got my current pair last December. It's an interesting... coincidence (ha)...that your fairies are stealing your glasses while my helping spirits are getting after me about my sight. Talk about weird.


yellowdog granny said...

first thing tomorrow, make an apt with your eye doc...get them checked...don't make me come up there..or sic' my fairies on you.

Hillbilly Fairy said...

well when you come to berkeley springs to get your bath, let me know -- in all the years i've lived here (has it really been 9?!?!) i've never gone!

i hear you on the faeriecon thing.

see you at spoutwood!

Hillbilly Fairy said...

Hillbilly Fairy said...

BTW there is going to be some kind of weekend pass at Fairie Festival this year. and remember, you have to be a "significant" volunteer to camp -- I don't know what the criteria is this year, there should be something on the website soon if not already.

Anonymous said...

Ok I’ve never been to Philadelphia, and am Maryland raised, so I’m a little predisposed to Baltimore. But to say that Baltimore is Safer has me cracking up laughing. Baltimore has a recorded 45 murders based on 2007 data, Philadelphia, a measly 27. We’re constantly vying for the top murder record between us, Washington d.c., New York and occasionally New Jersey. Sounds to me that someone in FairyCon was able to make a more cost effective move, keeping more money in there pockets.

Anne Johnson said...

I'm sure the promoters were disappointed with the turnout for the FaerieCon in Philadelphia. The convention center was a dreadful place to host such an event, but I'm sure a suburban Mariott won't be much better.