The Big Apple Feis was held on Sunday, March 22, 2015 at the Marriott Marquis on Times Square in New York City.
NOTE: The images are screenshots from the Voy Boards that were sent in by the reviewer. She submitted them to let us know her opinion was not uncommon. (Click each for a larger version)
I am not sure where to even begin with this feis. We attended this last year and thought we would give it another try since everyone can have an off day. This year was worse than last year, and I thought last year was bad. This feis has so much potential with a great area. Who wouldn’t want to go to Times Square and dance? A great time could be had by all, but unfortunately that is where this feis ends.
The syllabus comes out very late (and has for many years). It was hard to plan this year since they moved to a different venue and changed the date. This made it difficult to plan for out of area families. The website looks like an 8 year old put it together. In fact, the website is not viewable on most iPhones and iPads. While having twitter was a great way to communicate, please provide correct information. One tweet would say all champs are on floor 9, but the schedule had champs on floor 8. The schedule changed with each bright sunrise (albeit minor), but no revisions were labeled, so it made it difficult to know which schedule you were working from.
This is a hard section to write. I know we are all dependent on our volunteers to help with any feis. While the intent was clearly present, the feis lacked execution in this category. There was far too few to go around, and the few that were asked question didn’t know any answers. There was a 25+ person backup to pick up number cards in the morning with only one volunteer. There were lines throughout the day to pick up awards. Stages were missing monitors and judges had to monitor and judge at the same time. Maybe they could coordinate with some local schools to increase the volunteer pool in the future?
Times Square!! Does it get any better than that? The hotel was large and beautiful. Unfortunately, the feis was spread over 3 floors and there was no signage at all to tell people where to go. Multiple elevators and escalators will take you to where you need to be, but that is where it ends. The schedule listed room names that were nonexistent. There was no room rate, so if you had a spare $400/ night, you were lucky enough to stay there. While not the feis’s fault, multiple times during the day bathrooms were without toilet paper and paper towels. I’m just waiting for the illnesses to start later this week. Extremely cramped small hotel rooms. Extremely cramped. While there was a lack of space in the rooms, plenty of dancers found places outside in the halls to practice.
Oh my! While times on the schedule are certainly not guaranteed, most of the stages ran somewhere between 1 ½ to 3 hours behind. I knew we were in trouble when the feis was supposed to start at 8 and it did not begin until 9. Stages that were lucky enough to have a monitor moved faster than others. The stages looked good, built up from carpeted hotel floors, and sounded good. I did not see many falls, and my dancers said they were not slippery, so kudos there.
Unfortunately for me, my daughter was on Stage 3. Stage 3 had a musician for grades, until he got up and left. Yes, left for good right as the champs were starting. Maybe he had an emergency, I don’t know. But the next few hours were spent begging parents to hand over their iPhones if they had any music on it. Many thanks to all the parents who did, because my daughter would never have been able to dance if they didn’t. Musicians on the other stages sounded good and as far as I know only the one musician left. Apparently this happened in previous years as well.
Provided by the hotel, but certainly lots of choices. I always forget how much a sandwich is in NYC. I better take on a second job…
The usual vendors, shirts, shoes headbands. Nothing special and only a few. I did notice an Irish tourism booth though. I kept thinking I would rather be in Ireland than the feis. But I digress….
This is the most redeeming aspect of this feis. The coveted crystal apples! This feis produces beautiful awards. They come in all sizes from gold small ones for grades to very large crystal ones for opne champs. Beautiful, lovely awards! I just wish they didn’t run out of them….
Rating: 8 (would have been a 10 if they didn’t run out)
Like I said in the beginning, this feis has great potential given the area and the hotel. More volunteers, signage and a room rate would make this feis very special. Please order more crystal apples… we love them! Sadly, I‘m not sure we want to go back until the kinks are worked out.
What did youse guyz tink? ;)
What did you think of the Big Apple Feis 2015, (on a scale of 1 - 10 with 1 being lowest)?Big Apple Feis
- 1 (36%, 4 Votes)
- 3 (18%, 2 Votes)
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- 10 (9%, 1 Votes)
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Total Voters: 11