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Wisconsin Spring Feis PC/OC Review 2014

logocolorThe Wisconsin Spring Feis was held on May 3rd, 2014 at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, WI.

Editor’s Note:

Back to back feiseanna were held at the Wisconsin Center this weekend so the summaries and scores for Venue, Food and Vendors will be the same for both days and only listed in this review.

This review is for the PC/OC portion of the feis. Sorry, it got to hard to monitor stages and results for grades and pay attention to what was going on with TGC and her schedule. If you have comments for the Grades portion of the feis, please contact me and I can share them in a separate post, thanks!


This is the first (and second) feis I have attended at this venue and I am on the fence about the venue itself. It is huge and has lots of potential, but I do not think the space was adequately used.

There were 10 stages with stages 1 – 3 set up for PC & OC and 4 – 10 for grades. The huge hall was divided in half by a partition with the PC/OC stages butt up against it. Grade level stages 4 – 8 were in the same half of the hall, separated from the PC/OC stages by a large camping area, and an attempt at walkways between the stages and the camping area. Stages 9 and 10 were in the other half of the hall kind of off in the corners.

The other half of the hall had the results for grades set up on the partition that divided the hall, basically in back of stages 1 – 3. It also held the vendors (about 8 of them), a small smoothie cart and some tables for dining. It also held the awards area for PC/OC which was a nice size and accomodated that purpose better than any other feis I have seen while TGC has been at this level.

The PC/OC stages were very large, about 28 x 32 and covered with the non-slip material which made for a nice dance area. TGC danced on two different stages during the two days and had no problems, and I saw no slips or falls on either of them. TGC did say that stage 3 had either a loose board or high spot she noticed when she was practicing before the feis started, but that was the only complaint I heard.

Afraid that even though I watched a dance or two by friends on the grades stages, I did not notice to much about them.

Camping in the ‘designated area’ was not adequate for the number of people there Saturday. There was plenty of area in the other half of the hall but it appeared that rather than take a 60 second walk, piling on top of each other was preferred.

Camping in the viewer chairs, was as always, an issue. People ‘tried’ not to do that and piled there stuff behind the last row of chairs which impeded pedestrian flow. Add to that the people standing behind that gear, and the people standing behind them, trying to see the dancers, because they could not sit down for all the gear piled onto the chairs, and the walkway that was supposed to be about 10 feet wide quickly dwindled down to about 5 feet. Add in overflow camping from the other side of the path, well, you get where I am going with this.

The concessions were at either end of the hall and there was only one bathroom I saw in the hall, but more were located in the hallway outside, so not to bad.

I heard parking was $15 but to be honest, since we were in a hotel attached to the venue, we used hotel parking when we got there Friday night and did not get in the car till it was time to go home on Sunday.

If I had run the feis, I would have moved all the vendors up to the front of the hall between the main doors and the stages, there was probably 40 feet of free space that would probably would have fit them all. Then, I would use the other half of the hall to space out the stages more and add more camping, but that is just me 😉

Venue Score: 7  (but it has the potential to be 9 or 10. NOTE: Sunday seemed less crowded and more pleasant then Saturday)


PC/OC  always has 3 judges. They were attentive on our stage and took only one break that I saw. I realized with this back to back, that although there is always similarities in PC/OC judging, having 3 judges does not automatically mean a high score. Saturday was good, Sunday, less so.

Judge Score: 9.5


Each stage had their own musician and according to TGC, the music was fine on the stage, but in the viewing seats it was really hard to distinguish between which stage was playing what. I also saw one dancer jump the gun which I believe was due to having a hard time hearing the music.

Musician Score: 7


We only caught the lunch menu and it was much what you would expect for a ‘convention center’ venue. Hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, pizza. We had two cheeseburgers,  and one fries and it was $17, which seemed high, but the burgers were good and pretty big. There were lots of options if you wanted to venture outside the venue, but not many fast food establishments.

Food Score: 7


The shoe guy, NOT GEORGE, who also sold t’s and sweatshirts, some nice knit wear, Irish nic nacs, jewelry, the wig ladies, Guinness wear, a ribbon fob booth but not Made by Mare, the photographer and the feis tshirt booth. Plus, we were able to find Irish M&Ms (Smarties) and I found Lucozade, which I first had in my Grandmothers store in Ireland when I was a kid (queue the reminiscing music). All in all, a nice vendor turnout.

Vendor Score: 9


I am still getting used to how these PC/OC results work and I don’t know if I have determined the average yet, but I didn’t think these were hateful. It was about 90 minutes from the end of TGCs comp and the results and she was in a huge comp.

Awards were given in a large area off in an isolated part of the hall, so there was plenty of room to gather and the noise from the viewers was not a distraction to the other competitors.

Results Score: 9

Feis Flow

Gotta say that the flow of the feis was pretty good for the number of competitors. TGCs comp was done with both dances in about an hour and the comp was the biggest comp for a standard feis I have seen.

Casual observation of other stages and it seems like the flow on those was smooth and steady as well.

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: 8.625 – Music brought this down a bit but the Results and Flow were pretty good considering the sheer numbers there.

And the WTF Rating is 8.36… not to bad and this is a feis we would definitely consider going back to.

What Say You?

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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.


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


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?

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Michigan (Muskegon) Feis Review

Michigan Feis was held on September 15, 2012 at Muskegon Catholic Central High School, Muskegon, MI.

Venue – Although spread out a little, the Muskegon Catholic Central High School was a pretty good feis venue.

Four stages spread throughout the school provided plenty of room for dancers and viewers. I spent most of my time in the gym where stages 3 and 4 were, and they were good size with lots of room between. There seemed to be plenty of seating in the bleachers for parents and friends. Another of the stages was in the auditorium and was well lit and had plenty of seating. Afraid I did not look at the 4th stage.

Camping spots were limited but everyone seemed to find a spot and there was a ‘less crowded’ feel to the venue then other recent ones.

Parking was ok, but it filled up quickly and things got a little tight. We were in at 930 and found a spot on the outer edges. I assume as the early crowd started rolling out, more and more spots opened up a little later in the morning.

One WTF Fan (well, reader anyway) who I saw at the feis did comment about limited bathrooms, and I said I would mention it. There were some close to the stage we were on, so I had no complaints.

Venue Score: 8

Judges – My daughter danced four dances and was judged by two different judges, one for her first three dances. Sorry, that is a poor rotation.

I mentioned it to feis volunteers and it got back to the feis coordinator immediately and she was very proactive getting it resolved asap, but I still feel the rotation was not well planned. The judges on the stage we were on rotated once in the morning session, and it was before we got to the stage, so I would have to say many girls were judged by the same judge for all their dances. Between me mentioning it, and the lunch break, we did get a different judge for the last dance.

Judge Score: 3

Music – Each stage had their own musicians, always good. Our stage musician did take several breaks. Since I have become use to those huge bladder judges the last few feises, who hardly take breaks,  I have to knock the score down a little for this one.

Musician Score: 8

Food – Cafeteria food, pizza, sandwiches, donuts, candy, soda, etc… all reasonably priced. My son commented that the pizza didn’t look good but tasted great, so, no complaints. Could have used a little more variety (especially since you had an Irish Festival just down the street… hint, hint).

Food Score: 7.5

Vendors – A feis tshirt guy, and George the shoe guy… always there. They also had a few other vendors, nothing awesome. I have to say though, with all the vendors at the Music Festival, having any of them show up at the feis is probably most difficult.

Vendor Score: 7

Results – Well done, but with a twist. They were posted a bit slowly, but it seemed that the awards table had them much faster. DD placed in an event and after it was posted, she went to get the award, and they gave her another award for a dance she placed in only minutes earlier, whose results had not been posted yet. That was pretty quick.

The other big kudo is that they passed out summarized sheets with all results, and judges comments, shortly after the dancers last dance. I very seldom see that.

Overall great, but not near perfect because of the slower postings.

Results Score: 9

Feis Flow – I thought this feis was well run. They kept the age group dances fairly close together, which unfortunately impacted on judging a little (see slow rotation note), and they had a lunch break that went a bit long, but otherwise, great job.

Feis Flow Score: 9

And the WTF Rating – not bad with a WTF Rating is 7.36.

Rock River Valley Feis Review

The Rock River Valley Feis was held on September 8th, 2012 at the Wellness and Sports Center, Harper College in Palatine, IL.

Venue – I thought the Wellness and Sports Center was a nice venue. Everything was in close proximity to the stages and there was room to move around, more so than some recent feiseses.

There were 6 stages all within what most of us would call a basketball arena. The OC and PC stages were in the center, taking up most of the basketball court, and were a really good size. There were three stages on one end of the court, smaller and a little close together, and then one on the other end of the court, similarly small, and off by itself. If there  was a negative comment, I would say that the three that were together were too close and that music bleed from one stage to the next apparently made it hard for some judges to focus on the dancers on their stage (valid concern not smartbutt remark like you may have come to expect from me).

The ‘arena’ was two floors tall and the top of the bleachers on one side exited into the vendor area, and the bottom on the same side exited into the results area. The concession was at one end of the arena, and awards and registration were just a short walk down the hall.

Parking was great and there was lots of it. There was a bit of walk if you didn’t get there early enough, or refused to park in staff parking (I probably could have but it was marked staff only, and there are a college cop giving out tickets).

If there were any negatives to the venue, its that the bleachers were hard to navigate for smaller children and older people, and there was no good place to display used dresses for sale. Dresses were hung on the end of the bleachers and there were literally(probably) a 100 dresses hung over the top of one another in a small space. Bad selling and buying experience.

The first issue is hard to fix but the second one should be easy 🙂

Venue Score: 9

Judges – My daughter danced five dances and was judged by four different judges. Good rotation.

Judge Score: 10

Music – Each stage had their own musician and I did not see any of them take a break. I also liked that there was variety, accordion, violin/fiddle, flute etc… Nice mix.

Musician Score: 10

Food – A local pub catered the event, the food was good and the prices were very fair. Not a lot of variety and no hotdog/hamburger things that may have appealed to more people, but I didnt hear any complaints.

Food Score: 8.5

Vendors – A feis tshirt guy, and George the shoe guy… do you see a pattern here? They also had some nice jewelry, the wig lady, and some gifty things. I really like shirts and I am a big guy and not much catered to my taste, but it was a good selection otherwise. You can see the vendor list here.

Vendor Score: 7.5

Results – very well done. Out in 15 minutes or less for most dances and results were right outside the stage area. Awards were just around the corner……. They did not tweet results (I think) which would have been nice, but I did notice they had posted results on their Facebook Page which I found later and am not sure if they were doing that during the feis.

If there were any ‘issues’ with the results/awards, it was the awards table. Those people were doing their best but you know how it is, all the girls wait till the end, flock the table, and there was no lines there. The awarders were passing notebooks with results back and forth, so there was no telling where you should line up and I heard one or two moms getting a little testy. Thankfully, I found our stage notebook right away and fended off the testy moms while the nice lady gave the DD her awards. I can see where it could have been handled better though. Sorry -2 extra points for the awards distribution.

Results Score: 7

Feis Flow – I thought this feis was well run but I heard a lot of griping from parents. I realize though that the gripers were the ones who didnt get started till after lunch and if they are like me, they get to the feis early so as not to miss anything.

They kept the age group dances close together and although we did not get started till 245, my DD had 5 dances done and scored by 415. Thats pretty darn good.

They had a lunch break, and that is when they did their Rock and Reel which, although a lot of fun, took a long time to get started and finish which added to the length of the day. That was one of the main griping points for some of those afternoon parents I mentioned earlier. I didn’t think it was horrible.

Feis Flow Score: 7

And the WTF Rating – Pretty darn good with a WTF Rating is 8.42.