To the organizers of Homegrown,
On the surface of it, having a “Highway 61 night” theme to Wednesday’s homegrown festivities seemed like a good idea. But it would have been a much better idea had there been adequate transportation up that namesake road to the Lakeview Castle, the main venue of the later evening, as was advertised. Frustratingly, there was not.
The night started well enough at the Twins Bar, with a stellar (as always) performance by the Rez. The “first” bus left on its journey to the Castle at 9 PM as scheduled. I wasn’t on it, but I imagine it was fairly sparsely ridden, as the bar was still pretty empty and the first act was still playing at that point.
Though none of the Homegrown volunteers working the Twins seemed to know anything specific about the bus times, the Homegrown Guide gave the impression that the bus would go up, turn around and come back, making multiple trips throughout the evening. But it turns out we were falsely led.
I talked to several people, who all were under the impression that the next bus would come be at 10. Between 9 and 10, the Twins went from sparse to quite full. Several people arrived specifically to catch the 10 PM bus up the shore, maybe to have a drink first. At least a couple dozen people were waiting for the bus around 10, but it didn’t show up and didn’t show up. Finally, we received word from a volunteer that the bus was parked at the Castle and wouldn’t be leaving there until 11 for another run.
What should have been a completely fun night became tainted with frustration. Had the bus done its job as advertised, we all could have gotten up there in time to see Old Knifey (a travesty to be missed) and stayed long enough to make the 25-minute trip worthwhile. But as it stood, you had a couple dozen people out waiting in the rain instead of at least being informed of the situation in a timely manner so they could go back inside, relax and enjoy the music at Twins. It also became a potentially dangerous situation when people who had already had a few drinks got fed up with waiting and decided to drive themselves up the shore instead of taking the bus. And once those unlucky enough to stick it out for the bus got on and got up the shore, they only had an hour or so of musical talent to enjoy at the Castle.
9 PM is a fine time to start running a bus if it’s your FIRST bus. But it’s too early to be the ONLY reasonable bus. Advertising a back-and-forth shuttle and then not having one just isn’t cool. Better to have no bus than half a bus and leave people stuck.