June 21, 2005 – Three Rivers Arts Festival   Leave a comment

Three Rivers Arts Festival logo

Pittsburgh’s annual Three Rivers Arts Festival wrapped up on Sunday. Since we can walk over to the Point from the North Shore, Lydia and I usually take this in each year. Overall, I was disappointed this year.

The walk and the sunshine are good, but I have a limited tolerance for “booth trolling.” I appreciate artists, artizans and craftsmen. I like seeing inventive, creative and original work. The thing is, there isn’t much of that. And the pieces that catch your eye have price tags that make you wonder if the sun is getting to you. On the other hand, it’s free to look.

I understand that the artists are trying to make a living doing what they enjoy. I admire that. I know, too, that they are probably shelling out a fair chunk of change to rent the booth for the show. I don’t begrudge them recouping that cost and, just maybe, making a buck or two to eat. That’s all to the good.

Speaking of eating, something I’ve come to expect, but not accept, from the festival is the over-priced and poor quality food. I think this is the nut of it: I want to support the festival, the artists and even the food vendors, but I come away feeling like either I got ripped off if I bought something or I didn’t give to the charity, so to speak, if I kept my money.

Yet, after saying all that, one doesn’t have to spend a dime to enjoy the festival.

And let’s be honest, I’m to blame to some extent for not getting the most from the festival. I didn’t do any research ahead of time. The festival has free concerts and usually there are one or two that interest me. For example, this year had Cowboy Junkies, Buckwheat Zydeco, Rickie Lee Jones, Aimee Mann and others. Who knew? Not I. So, I missed out.

I guess the lesson I’m taking away for next year is 1) research what’s going on ahead of time 2) plan to attend the bits that interest me and 3) pack in my own food.

If you want to read another review of the festival, Mike Seate, reporter for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote an article, Arts fest high in calories, low in art.

— Grant

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Posted Tuesday, June 21, 2005 by Grant in Random

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