Detroit International Feis

50ffc40156882c9af9bec82a2a2af9c1The Detroit International Feis was held on June 1st, 2013 at the Ultimate Soccer Arena in Pontiac, Michigan.

Venue – This is the first time I have attended the Detroit Feis and the first feis I have attended at the Ultimate Soccer Arena, and I thought it was excellent as a feis venue.

There were six stages for the feis and compared to recent feiseanna I have been to, these were huge. I did the mental math for the one we were on at it was 32 x 24, which seemed to be the standard for the four under-champ stages, and the 2 champ stages were as big or bigger. Didn’t really do the mental math for those two.

The venue was huge so there was a lot of room between stages and for camping. Stands served as viewing seats for stages 1 – 4 and chairs were set up for stages 5 and 6, so there was plenty of seating. Instead of chairs for the dancers, there was a sideline bench, which I guess are readily available at a soccer stadium,  next to each stage. Considering the size of some of the comps, they probably could have added an additional bench to each stage for the dancers.

I did see a few dancers trip on one spot on stage 4, and saw and heard of some slipping issues, but the feis staff was proactive and they took breaks to mop the stages.

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Feis results were posted on a big wall in one corner of the room, and the awards were co-located in the same spot, so all very convenient.

Parking seemed adequate in front of the venue and was free. We got there when lots of people were showing up and easily found a spot a few hundred feet from the door.

Vendors were at one end of the room, and I personally thought they were a little close to stage 1 which had A LOT of dances on it, so it was fairly crowded to begin with. Concessions and bathrooms were outside the main area as well as a pub, but they were indoors and connected so were easy to get too. Wifi was available, but my 4G phone was faster.

Venue Score: 9.5  (not sure what a perfect venue is, maybe I will when I see it, but this one is pretty close) 

Judges – Daughter danced 4 times and had 4 different judges. You know me, that’s as good as it gets, but it seemed like the other stages did not have as good a rotation, so I have to deduct a little.

Remember ‘distracted judge’ from the Cleveland Feis last weekend, well he was back, and we were a little disheartened to see him as the first judge for my daughter. But, since the girl child placed first in that dance, we no longer see his distraction as an issue, in fact, that man is brilliant ;)

Judge Score: 8.5

Music – Each stage had a musician or two, and speakers for the stage, and there did not seem to be any issues, and I heard no complaints about the music.

Musician Score: 9.5

Food – A complete 180 from the food experience we had in Cleveland. One concession was drinks, smoothies, coffee, healthier snacks, some breakfast pastry kind of stuff, candy bars, etc and the prices were closer to convenience store prices (maybe a bit higher) but nowhere near some of the bigger venue pricing. Another area had hamburgers, pizza, wraps, chicken strips, etc.. all very good size and tasty. Three of us ate lunch for about $17 including food and drink.

There was also a pub on premise and although I did not venture upstairs to see it, the beer prices I saw at a beer cart downstairs were similar to what you would pay in your neighborhood bar, so who could complain?

Food Score: 8.5

Vendors – George the shoe guy,  the feis tshirts, the wig ladies, fun Irish stuff like Guinness jersies and Hanna Hats, a few artsy things, shortbread cookies, the engravers, etc… so over all, not bad. See a complete list of the vendors.  Not quite the selection of some, but a nice mix.

Vendor Score: 8

Results – I was surprised/impressed, and maybe I never paid attention before, but FeisWorx had results posted for the events in usually 30 minutes or less. Hard copies did not make it to the wall for closer to 45 – 60 minutes. When we went to get an award, the people at the table were kind of amazed Feis Worx already had them, and could not do anything for us until they received their hard copy.

Awards were right there with the results, and I liked the color coded ribbons that went with each specific medal, a bronze ribbon on the third place medal for example.

If there were any negatives, other than the amount of time it took results to get to the wall, for those people not clued into the FeisWorx connection, it was the fact that at some times, there was only one person working the awards, and if she was busy filing result sheets, people would be lined up waiting to pick awards up.

Thinking back, taking an hour to get to the wall would probably have irritated me if I did not notice the FeisWorx option, so I can only give a pretty good score for results.

Results Score: 7

Feis Flow -Not bad. My daughter danced 3 dances and a special reel. We started at 930ish and were done at about 3, and I think this was due mainly to a longer than average (in my opinion) lunch, and the special events being held after lunch instead of during like at other feiseanna.

I also saw that Stage 1 was loaded down with competitions and when our stage was finishing, Stage 1 was at about the two thirds point on their dance list. I admit, I have never run a feis, but I think there was plenty of room in the venue to add at least two more stages and spread out the load a little bit. There were two judges sitting at one of the stages for a while, so it appears they may have had the judges available, but that is an assumption. Seating for viewers may be an issue here, but I thought there were too many chairs at Stage 6, and possibly stage 5 too. (Remember, all my opinion).

Also, the specials dances seemed really unorganized. They were supposed to start right after lunch and the feis staff did not seem to have any idea exactly where they were going to be held 10 – 15 minutes after lunch was supposed to end. When they got it sorted out, the girl child told me the judge for hers gathered the dancers and asked how many steps, how many dancers at a time, etc… so she (the judge) did not seem ready.

That last comment was more about the specials, and in general, I thought the feis was run fairly well.

Feis Flow Score: 7.5

Scoring

Remember, scoring now has 2 parts, the feis score consisting of Judges, Music, Results and Flow and then the overall WTF rating for all items including the venue, food and vendors.

Feis Score – 8.125

And the WTF Rating – a 8.35. A very respectable score, great job Detroit!

What did you think?

What did you think of the Maple City Feis 2015, (on a scale of 1 - 10 with 1 being lowest)?

  • 7 (44%, 8 Votes)
  • 8 (22%, 4 Votes)
  • 10 (17%, 3 Votes)
  • 6 (17%, 3 Votes)
  • 5 (0%, 0 Votes)
  • 4 (0%, 0 Votes)
  • 3 (0%, 0 Votes)
  • 2 (0%, 0 Votes)
  • 9 (0%, 0 Votes)
  • 1 (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 18

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One Comment

Mary DeNunzio

I have to admit being disappointed in the Detroit Feis this year. Granted it’s been 2 years since we were there because of opting for Buffalo 1 year and last year’s ban but things ran smoother in the past. We were usually done by noon but this year didn’t finish dancing until 3-ish. DD was on stage 3 and that seemed to be moving S-L-O-W-L-Y. I know they had to stop the competition in the morning to wash down the stage so that complicated things. I wish they would have washed it down again in the afternoon because dancers were still falling and sliding – DD included. She slid during both her hard shoe dances and while she was awarded 5th place in HP she was only 1 point away from 3rd. I think she could have been top 3 if the slide hadn’t occured. This isn’t the 1st year we’ve dealt with the floors being slippery there. It seems to be an ongoing concern and I’m not sure how it can fixed.

DD also had the same judge for 3 out of 4 of her dances and that’s a BIG pet peeve of mine. I will say that this judge was fair and it didn’t seem to be a case for she disliked DDs style so she just scored her low – her hard shoes scores were good in spite of the slipping situation.

Food prices are always good, same with the beverages – especially the beer. I thought results were coming up at a moderate pace and that Feisworx connection certainly helped – especially because DD was extremely frustrated at the end of her last dance to the point of tears because the sliding. It was very helpful that I was able to show her the scores and things weren’t as bad as they seemed.

I like the Detroit Feis – I always say we won’t do a feis 6 days after the A/C feis weekend and I’d like to say we will be back but I’d like to know that they will handle the floor situation better. Look for my take on things on Confeissions of a Feis Mom.

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