As I think about the Queen City Feis, I realize that it was the first feis we attended, ever, back in 2008. TGC walked away with 2 third place medals that day. I actually wrote a mini-feis review on my personal blog. Who knew what we were getting ourselves into… so without further ado.
The Queen City Feis was held at the Duke Energy Convention Center on Saturday, May 10th, 2014. This was our 6th trip to this feis (missing a year for a school change), and the first year we got to be on the other side of the wall (the champ side). You can see my previous reviews here.
This review focuses on the PC/OC levels but has some additional info that crosses the levels. Not to worry, one of our newest contributors, Mellie Wilkes, wrote a grades level review for your reading pleasure.
We have been to this venue a number of times and I like it a little more each time. This year was no exception.
Stages & Seating
There were 7 stages in the venue with 1 – 5 being grades level, 6 for PC and OC, and 7 for OC. The grades level stages were 20 x 24 and plywood, and the champ stages were closer to 32 x 32 and covered in a light gray coating (not sure what it was). There was good separation between the stages and lots of chairs at each one. I did not see any stage maintenance during the day in the way of sweeping and mopping, but stage crew seemed to be on the ball for any FO (foreign objects) and removed them promptly. It seemed there were less opportunities for ‘feis shaming‘ since there were plenty of chairs at each stage, and it was the most respectful crowd I have seen at the champ stages in this regard in quite awhile. I did hear some grumblings from the grades level side that people were less courteous.
Camping & Access
Camping areas were plentiful and well marked, and the feis team set up a 6 – 8 foot wide walkway throughout the stage areas. This was occasionally more constricted due to camping overflow and loiterers, but generally you could get through pretty easily.
Awards & Results Areas
Grade level awards were posted at one end of the venue on a large wall. No matter where you are though, grades level results are hard to get too with the number of people trying to see them. The awards table was right next to where the results were posted.
Champ level dancers had a section off in a secluded area featuring the standard 3 tier podium and lots of chairs for viewers. ‘A’ chair for a viewer is out of the ordinary, so ‘lots for viewers’ was a bonus. This area was far enough away from stages so the announcements did not compete with music from any of the stages.
Parking was plentiful with various lots costing from $10 – $15 dollars within a block of the building.
Venue Score: 9.5
The stage we were on actually had 4 judges, 1 in training as I understand. The judges were attentive to both dancers on stage each time, and the scores seemed more consistent than they have at other feiseanna. Not sure if this speaks to the opinions of the judges, or a consistency in TGCs skills. Either way, I liked the judging.
Judge Score: 9.5
Having commented on musical confusion in other posts, I can say when you are in front of the stage or in the middle of the venue, this feis was no different. Lots of overlap from the various stages. I did make a point to walk the venue and try to hear the music from a dancer perspective (without actually getting on the stage) and realize that if you are ‘in front’ of the musician, it is a lot easier to hear.
Each stage had their own musicians and I heard no complaints.
Musician Score: 9.5
This venue had ‘upscale’ convention center food like Cuban sandwiches, Metts, Chicken Tender sandwiches, and then your burgers, fries, pretzels, deli sandwiches, etc… The concession was pricey at $8.50 for a deli sandwich but it was good size and came with a small pasta salad and granola bar (weird combo). Drinks were also pricey.
You could also find smoothies, lemonade and sno-cones and a nice roasted nuts and chocolates table.
Food Score: 7.5
You can see a complete list of vendors but the usual subjects were there, including George the shoe guy and Mare the ribbon lady. Otherwise, a few wig and hair things and some specialty tables, but sadly, no Irish M&Ms (Smarties). :(
Vendor Score: 7.5
Results for champs, as mentioned above had a nice area off to one end of the venue with lots of chairs for viewers, so props for that, but it was just over an hour for results to be tabulated and announced. This was not much less than the feis last weekend that literally had twice as many dancers in the comp. Still, an hour is not terrible.
Results Score: 8.5
We got to the venue early, we always do, but that is our fault. From start to finish, TGC did a special, both PC dances and got awards within 2 hours. Pretty darn good.
Feis Flow: 9
Two part scoring with a Feis Score consisting of Judging, Music, Results and Flow, and then the overall consisting of everything.
Feis Score: 9.125 – That is VERY respectable :)
And the WTF Rating is 8.71… Nice Job Queen City!
What Say You?
Well, not sure what is going on, but our polling software has decided to spazz out on us. Would love to hear what you thought, so can you do it in the comments below? It can be anonymous :) Thanks!