« on: May 19, 2015, 02:02:34 PM »
Since Tony has been sharing, I wanted to add/chime in about MusicFest that was brought up in a different thread regarding why MusicFest has seating whereas other cons/concerts have open flooring.
1) It costs time and money to take away all the chairs and then put them back the next day for Masquerade. Time (for Union to take those chairs and put them back) and money (to pay Union to do that because the Civic is a union house, meaning all the work is done by the Union and you have to pay them to do that work) that is spent on more fun things like instruments for the band to play on.
2) The one time we decided to have an open floorplan in the Civic was for An Cafe in 2008. When the doors opened, everyone rushed in to try to get to the front of the stage. There were people milling about while waiting for MusicFest to start and it made the Civic look about half full. There were some attendees who didn't want to get squished and sat in the upper sections. When An Cafe took the stage, everyone rushed to the front and packed in so tightly that we (staff) were worried for the attendees who were potentially super squished. We ended up rescuing a few people that night and they were able to breathe.
After the concert, the band and their management were super apologetic about not being able to bring more attendees in because to them, the Civic only looked a third full (in full squish mode). The MusicFest staff apologized back and tried to reassure them many, many times over that it is not their fault and that was the most successful MusicFest to date.
As a side note, the Japanese do not have the same fire code regarding crowd capacity as we do here in the United States. I've been to a few concerts in Japan and they like to squish together but not to the point of being unable to breathe. Whereas the crowd for An Cafe was dangerously tight and we had Rovers constantly looking for people who were super squished and making sure they were okay.
When Con was over, Val (along with her staff) and I agreed that having seats would be the better option since it would make it so the Civic looked fuller, people had a place to put their stuff (and not poke other attendees's faces with their peacebonded weapons), and people can breathe without being squished.