Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Behind the Scenes - Part 2 - Where are the Portajohns?

When you think of Fun 4th Street Festival, I'm sure you think of the great bands, delicious food, exciting rides -- basically all the things that make you want to come to a festival. That is, of course, what we want you to think about. We don't want you to have to think about whether or not 15 minutes is enough time to change bands or whether or not that food you're eating or that ride you just put your child on is safe -- so we spend the greater part of the year worrying about that for you.

Those are the big picture things we spend a lot of time on here at Grassroots, but what we've discovered is that it is the little details that make or break a festival -- and frequently the ones that come back to bite you in the you know what. Back in 2007-2008, when we were planning the logistics for the 5 Bicentennial events -- a huge undertaking -- we became so afraid that some small, but critical detail would be overlooked, that we created a catch-phrase. I posted this phrase on my wall of Things I Need To Remember, during the Bicentennial, and it has remained there ever since, reminding us that the devil really is in the details.

Yes, you guessed it already, the phrase is "Where are the portajohns?" It's a detail that can easily be eclipsed by the big picture, but boy are we going to hear about it if we forget them. And sometimes, even if we don't forget to order them, we are held hostage by the delivery man. One year, when we were still doing Heritage Day at Blandwood as part of Fun 4th, despite the fact that we had provided a detailed map to the delivery person, the portajohns were delivered to a spot two blocks away across the very busy spot where Freeman Mill Road dumps into downtown.

So when you come to the festival, and you are dreading that moment when you will actually have to go make use of that hot portajohn, just think how it would be if we had forgotten them -- and all the other critical details that make for a seamless festival experience.

Behind the Scenes Photo of the Day: My Wall of Things I Need to Remember.

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