Glad to have missed Salmon Fest

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I did not attend the recent Salmon Festival concert and, it seems, luckily so.

Hearing the reports one cannot help but grimace in cynicism.

So, people pay extra bucks to become Very Important Persons and sit at the front.

The terminology alone is enough to make you squirm.

Variable-cost seating is common at entertainment events, but it is not generally phrased to be a reflection on the individuals’ measure of personal importance — whatever that might mean.

Then, to confiscate water at the gate so you can charge highly inflated rates for it inside!

Disgusting.

Combine this with the fact that the concert takes place in what is hoped to be hot summer weather, and (not to mention the horrendous lineups) it looks like a setup for extortion.

Face it, you’d pay everything you had for a glass of water if you were dehydrating.

Free access to drinking water is something we take for granted even at the most pricey restaurants. People should have been encouraged to bring water as a safety measure.

The practice of denying it in a “compound situation” has the smell of a basic human rights violation and should be investigated as such.

I suppose they could have made big bucks by charging for access to the washrooms, too, but thankfully that is still considered a step too far.

On top of this (according to the July 16 Telegram) the patrons were not allowed to leave the grounds and return. Well, how convenient — for the organizers. Can’t they get their act together to keep track of people without penning them in for the full 10 or 12 hours? There’s plenty of basic technology that can allow for this convenience — that is, if you, indeed, care about the needs of your patrons.

What if they were to run out of money and couldn’t afford to buy water?

As Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi might say: “Sorry, no concert for you!”

Hearing all of this, one can only wonder — what were they thinking?

Unfortunately, the answer is excruciatingly obvious, and is not a message we’ll be running in the tourist ads.

“Oh, but this is just the way it’s done everywhere,” might be the response.

Well, if this is the case, it is an indictment of an arrogant, backward, cruel industry, immersed in unenlightened self-interest, and in need of a drastic cultural overhaul.

Phonse Fagan

St. John’s

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Recent comments

  • gx
    July 18, 2013 - 22:03

    What they had at this concert was the perfect Newfie storm . a crowd still not used to putting off a BIG concert combined with a crowd not used to going to one. Guess who lost. Glad I wasnt part of that Joke. be glad you were not in alberta or quebec last month. There storms were just a bit more life changing. They dont have the time to whine.

  • Another buisness man
    July 18, 2013 - 09:50

    Congratulations to SRO Entertainment for pulling off a financially successful event. As for those who wish to smuggle water into the park: this is a business and by smuggling water, you are in effect, thieves. The organizers have every right to sell water at whatever price they felt fair and $4.00 is more than fair. And for all you Marxists out there, water is a commodity, not a right.

    • david
      July 18, 2013 - 11:46

      No..thieves are the ones selling $4 water to a captive, medically at-risk "marketplace"......

    • Tony
      July 18, 2013 - 12:29

      Another Business Man, please tell us the business you operate. I would like the opportunity not to put money in the hands of someone who views an essential element of life as a commodity that can be smuggled. You've watched Total Recall too many times and yearn for the day when you can start charging for the air we breathe.

    • carogers
      July 18, 2013 - 13:03

      You are very wrong, it is a RIGHT as determined by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights "Resolution 64/292, the United Nations General Assembly explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation and acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realisation of all human rights" 2002, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted General Comment No. 15 on the right to water. Article I.1 states that "The human right to water is indispensable for leading a life in human dignity. It is a prerequisite for the realization of other human rights".

    • Shannon
      July 18, 2013 - 14:56

      All I can say is WOW! Water a commodity eh? Did you drink out of fresh water stream when you were a kid anywhere on earth? If so, to whom did you make payment for the privilege? Nobody ... I thought so. So, did you consider yourself a thief? No .... I thought so. Access to clean drinking water is a basic human right. Oh, and access isn't defined as having it available at a cost. It's access to it regardless. If we all thought the way you do access to clean drinking water would be held for ransom to the highest bidder. Thankfully, not all of us think like you. As for the more than fair price you mention ~ $8.00 a litre isn't exactly fair. Think about it in terms of gasoline. Seems a bit steep eh?

    • a business man
      July 18, 2013 - 18:48

      Unless water was expressly included as part of the cost of admission, no one has a right to expect that water be provided for any less than the owner of the water wishes to charge. Adults are responsible for themselves, and no on was captive as people were free to leave if they wanted water. And anyone who was medically at risk put themselves in that position by not leaving to get water. No one was forced to attend, no one was forced to stay.

  • Pat
    July 18, 2013 - 09:43

    Hey Brad......do us a favour and stay there. For a while, I thought you were a considerate family man.......what kind of person are you to be on holidays with your family at Disney World and writing messages to the telegram? You need to get your priorities straight.

    • david
      July 18, 2013 - 11:30

      Another classic Newfoundland bully post. Brad's post was relevant to the topic, and quite interesting to read...unlike yours.

  • Brad
    July 18, 2013 - 09:05

    Currently in Florida with my family and have attended all 4 Disney parks in the last week. With an average attendance of 50,000+ at the magic kingdom, a person can bring in whatever they want....water, food, juice, etc and according to Wikipedia, the Walt Disney resort here in Orlando makes about 96 million daily. Yet....a person cannot bring in a bottle of water in to a concert in Newfoundland.....even here at Disney, a bottle of water isn't 4 bucks. And then we all wonder why people leave NL for vacation. I'd gladly spend 10 grand to have a hassle free vacation at the happiest place on earth then deal with the " Mickey mouse" operation that is the salmon festival concert. Cheers

  • dan
    July 18, 2013 - 08:46

    Hey Phonse, based on your attitude we are glad you didn't attend either. Our town don't need people like you anyway. We had issues this year and fortunately that will not deter us from improving things for next year as we continue to show up the rest of the province how to run a major event. This town continues to prosper and though many thought our town would die as a result of the closing of the mill, the opposite happened....our town is thriving. Thriving because we have a first class council and a very supportive community. Anyone thinks we won't have another 25,000 or so at next year's Salmon Festival is fooling themselves....just wait, we'll prove you wrong again.

    • Phonse Fagan
      July 18, 2013 - 10:18

      On the contrary Dan. I want the concert and the community to thrive. Hence I took the trouble to raise the issues of concern. Obviously the musical lineup was first class and there were no complaints about other aspects of the festival. If the organizers are able to advertise that all of these problems are rectified in advance of next year, I would expect even more people will attend. But we all have to learn from experience or we else we repeat mistakes or dare I say - abuses of power.

    • Phonse Fagan
      July 18, 2013 - 10:19

      On the contrary Dan. I want the concert and the community to thrive. Hence I took the trouble to raise the issues of concern. Obviously the musical lineup was first class and there were no complaints about other aspects of the festival. If the organizers are able to advertise that all of these problems are rectified in advance of next year, I would expect even more people will attend. But we all have to learn from experience or we else we repeat mistakes or dare I say - abuses of power.

    • carogers
      July 18, 2013 - 12:59

      Here is what the international community thinks about not providing the water: On 28 July 2010, through Resolution 64/292, the United Nations General Assembly explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation and acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realisation of all human rights. The Resolution calls upon States and international organisations to provide financial resources, help capacity-building and technology transfer to help countries, to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all. In November 2002, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted General Comment No. 15 on the right to water. Article I.1 states that "The human right to water is indispensable for leading a life in human dignity. It is a prerequisite for the realization of other human rights". Comment No. 15 also defined the right to water as the right of everyone to sufficient, safe, acceptable and physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic uses. Sources: •Resolution A/RES/64/292. United Nations General Assembly, July 2010 •General Comment No. 15. The right to water. UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, November 2002

  • david
    July 18, 2013 - 07:52

    Well the Salmon Fest concert is obviously the most important provincial news story for 5 days and counting ---- even among people with no personal interest in it whatsoever. What a dynamic, relevant, economic miracle Newfoundland has become!

  • A nfldander
    July 18, 2013 - 07:47

    Isn't if strange that all the complaining the people are doing over this event not once had we heard from any of the organizers or most of all the Major of GFW.Where is this man in hiding.He has never once addressed the people,the concert goers or even offered an interview to say where they went wrong,but before the concert he was on the news every other night bragging about the big headlines.Where are you Mr Mayor.

  • Calvin
    July 18, 2013 - 07:17

    Well said Phonse. I will never go near another Salmon Festival as long as I live, I don't care if they re-animate John Lennon and the Beatles perform. Gouging people on WATER of all things?! I hear there are parts of the world that restrict access to clean, plentiful drinking water...... war torn Africa for instance. Just ridiculous. And for those people throwing the arguement around of "Who goes to a concert to drink water?", grow up!! Not everyone at the concert was an aspiring alcoholic.