NOTE: When you are done reading, please see the comments for a follow up by the Feis Chair.
The Pittsburgh Halloween Feis was held on October 6, 2012 at Hyatt Regency Hotel at the Pittsburgh Airport in Pittsburgh, PA.
Venue - The Hyatt wasn’t terrible as a feis venue, but I did have some ‘issues’ with it.
From the syllabus I see there were five stages but I really only saw three of them. They were good size and although they were all in the same room, there was adequate room to move between them. They also had sufficient chairs for viewers.
OBSERVATION: I did not see any ‘campers’ in the seats around the stage, not saying it did not happen, but it was not rampant as it is in many feises. A nice, less aggravating seating plan :)
Camping spots were available in the halls and other meeting rooms around the ballroom and seemed adequate.
A venue ‘issue’ was the concession set up. They set up serving tables in one of the halls which happened to be the main hall between the dance areas and the results area, and the lunch rush was just a huge traffic jam of people trying to get from one area to the other. They could have used one of the meeting rooms which would have helped the congestion.
Vendors were also set up in the halls which constricted flow a little, but it was not terrible.
Parking was bad and due to construction at the airport was extra bad. We ended up in extended stay parking the first attempt, and the nice man in the exit booth routed us to the right parking. Hotel parking (aka Long Term) was very full so there was a bit of a walk to the hotel, not good for some attendants. The feis did pay for parking, and they provided us with tickets to pay, but it was not obvious on how they were to be used. I saw some ‘aggravation’ with people trying to leave who were unsure what to do.
Venue Score: 6.5
Judges – My daughter danced four dances and was judged by three different judges, pretty darn good.
Judge Score: 9
Music - Each stage had their own musicians, always good. Our stage musician took several breaks, one seemed a bit ‘extended’, so much so that it was obvious. Other than that, nothing out of the ordinary.
Musician Score: 8
REALIZATION: I think I may be getting burned out on feising…. I feel like I was not quite as observant at this feis.
Food – Hot dog, pretzels, pizza, salad, drinks and sundries… all reasonably priced. A negative, a quarter pound hot dog was $3 and a salad was $5, which kind of put the kabash on healthy eating decisions. Not bad, but could have used a little more variety since it was catered by the hotel.
Food Score: 6
Vendors – A feis tshirt guy, and a shoe booth (not George)… always there. Nice jewelry and knit goods, the wig ladies, need I go on?
Vendor Score: 7.5
Results - This was a huge negative. My daughter danced her first dance between 11 and 1130, they broke for lunch, and then continued dancing. She finished her 4th dance at nearly 2 and the results for the first dance had not been posted when we checked before her fourth dance started. It was out shortly after, and the last three results came out by 3 so it seemed to speed up some, but in the meantime, there was a LOT of grumbling from dancers and parents.
Results Score: 3
Feis Flow - I thought the feis flow was pretty good. Age group dances were kept together with only a few dances between, always help the flow. During the lunch break I saw one of the feis staff go around announcing break was over, and got everything going again about 30 minutes after break started. I thought that was good and had not seen that much effort put into keeping the flow. (I did find out there was a wedding reception planned for later that day in the same room since the hotel double booked, which may explain the extra effort).
Feis Flow Score: 8
And the WTF Rating – a WTF Rating is 6.86.