Swag's Fest Photos: Taste of Dallas Festival

July 19, 2005
Dallas, TX


I haven't attended this Festival since 2002, and in that writeup, I bitched about the heat, the food, and the ticket system. Well, I can report that, three years later, Dallas is July is still hot. The food selection seemed better, but I can't be certain since I ate nothing, because the evil tickets are still in place for food and beverage purchases. Nine coupons for $5, and no refunds. From the "be careful what you wish for" department, beers have incresed in price from 8 to 9 coupons, so you can now but a strip of tickets, get a beer, and not have to worry about the leftovers.

I understand that using tickets can be useful way to keep vendors and their empolyees from skimming off the top, but you could sell them for 50 cents each, sell singles, and offer refunds, and still achieve that same results. Once again, there can be no explanation for the current system except for (a) either trying to keep inebriated or math-challenged patrons from realizing just how much that corny dog is costing, or (b) ensuring that many folks will leave with a couple of leftover tickets in their pockets, thus lining the pockets of the Festival organization.

And that's crap. Fest admission is still free. To me, combining a five dollar beer cost with a couple of top-notch bands for free does make for a good value proposition. But apparently the Fest folks disagree. So here, once again, is my challenge to them: Offer a good product, at a fair price, that turns a fair profit. If the current offering falls short, then fix it. It the current offering meets that, then fix the current coupon system so that your customers are not ripped off. You may even find sales increase more than enough to make up for the lost profits from unused tickets - I know I personally would have bought some food, had I not been avoiding the inevitable leftover ticket dilemma.

But anyway... Did you notice that I said the music was top-notch? It was. It's been years since I've seen Horton Heat, and they still rock as hard as ever. On the other hand, I've seen Robert Randolph a bunch of times the last few years. This show was solid, as always. His usual originals, plus some interesting covers (Billy Jean; Papa Was a Rolling Stone; Don't Worry, Be Happy).

The Reverend Horton Heat
Robert Randolph and the Family Band
Robert Randolph
Robert gets some company.

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Photos copyright 2005 by Swag