The Feis At The Falls was held on August 11th, 2012 at The Conference Center Niagara Falls, Niagara Falls, NY. Ever thought about going and didn’t know what to expect? Well here ya go…
Venue – The venue was nice and had two areas with six stages set up for ‘pre-champs’ in one, and two stages in the other area for Champs. Admittedly, since my daughter is in the Open/Prizewinner level, I don’t venture into champ land much, so I am talking about the area I was in. The stages were a nice size, had ample seating and good room between. The camping seemed plentiful but there were, as always, your ‘camping squatters’ who set up in the viewing seats and spread out their stuff. Can you tell that is a pet peeve? Parking was plentiful but pricey.
Judges – Three different judges rotated through my daughters 5 dances, so rotation was good. Two thumbs up.
Music – As far as I could tell, there was a musician at each stage and the musician at our stage took very short breaks, and only a few of them, so music was continuous. Great job on the musicians.
Lesson Learned: If you are a musician, don’t keep your side table to close to the stage because there is a good chance one of the dancers will launch it into the air with a kick while performing, sending your coffee, cell phone, etc… into the crowd. I know, it happened… I laughed.
Food – Typical convention center food at typical convention center prices. There is a TGI Fridays across the street, as well as a Starbucks, and some hotels with their own restaurants, so there were options.
Vendors – Standard vendors, the feis tshirt guy, Rutherford shoes, some wigs, clips, crowns and hair accessories, jewelry, etc… There was some Guinness shirts and Irish swag, but it was limited. There was also a window cling guy who had some fun dance designs, but I decided not to buy until he sells a ‘tag-a-long cause he had to brother’ cling to go with the dance Mom and Dad and dancer clings. If you are interested, you can view the vendor list.
I was also impressed by the dress area. Usually it is a disorganized mess, but these guys had it together. Dress sellers had to register their dresses, pay a small fee, and then pass the info and dress on to the ‘dress shop staff.’ The staff arranged the dresses by ages for easy browsing. Well done there too.
Results – well done. I would say the results were out in under 15 minutes for most dances (that I saw) but there was the occasional longer wait. They appeared to have a great system, higher tech than most, and the folks giving out the awards pulled up results on computer monitors. Well run. Can I make a suggestion guys? Ever consider tweeting the results? Just a thought ;)
Feis Flow – I thought this feis was very well run. They provided lunches for the judges at the stage tables so there was no ‘lunch break’ per se. It was so smooth that our last dance, the second to last one on our stage, was done before 2 p.m. That’s kind of unheard of in my experience. Very well done! (a local dance Mom did report that that was not common and it was the first time she had seen it at this feis too).
And the WTF Rating – What can I say, overall I was very impressed and give this feis a 9.0.