The St Louis Gateway Feis was held on August 26th, 2012 at The Renaissance Hotel, St Louis, MO.
Venue – The Renaissance was really nice. A cool bar/coffee/restaurant with fun little niches for private conversations, eclectic setting and furniture, fun chairs with foot stools, nice lobby with ceramic title and cool mirrored surfaces, but, as a feis venue, it sucked.
There were 4 stages that were nice size in separate rooms, but the areas around all except the Champion area were small and very crowded. Seating was inadequate in each space as far as I could tell, on Stage 2 it definitely was. Squatters took up chairs making the issue worse, so people were standing in what space was left making it nearly impossible to move through the area. Hallways served as a camping areas, but chairs, coolers and blankets were not allowed by the hotel, so people stood around filling the hallways making getting around difficult.
Everything was extremely spread out. Stages were in the front of the hotel, food down the hall, vendors and practice stage farther down the hall, and results and awards even farther down the hall. Add to that the ‘change the mens rooms into ladies rooms for the event’ thing that occasionally happens, and that made the mens rooms literally on the far ends of the venue.
Parking was terrible. One lot was full and extremely hard to navigate through, and I was told the other lot was closed. The feis staff gave us tickets so that parking would only cost $2, but there was no instructions on what to do with them, so towards the end of the feis, there was a line of cars waiting to exit and no one could get out (go back to the ‘hard to navigate the lot comment’) and no one could get turned around, all of which compounded the parking issue even more.
Venue Score: 1
Judges – My daughter danced four dances and was judged by four different judges. You can’t ask for better rotation than that.
Judge Score: 10
Music – Each stage had their own musician(s) and stage two had a violin and an accordion player. This allowed one to take a break and the music could continue.
Musician Score: 10
Food – Hotel conference food which was pricey. They had a nice selection and had breakfast items early, and lunch items later and it all looked good, but still pricey.
Food Score: 7
Vendors – A feis tshirt guy, and George the shoe guy and that was it. And the feis t’s were just eh, the design was not great and they looked cheap. If you didn’t need shoes and like nice tshirts, you were out of luck.
Vendor Score: 2
Results – very well done. Out in 20 minutes or less for most dances and results and awards were in the same location. They did not tweet results which would have been nice.
Results Score: 8
Feis Flow – I thought this feis was pretty well run considering the irritations. We actually almost missed our first dance since things were running well (even considering the estimating start time that has worked nearly perfectly the past two feises). They kept the dances moving through and we were done with 4 dances by 2.
They had a lunch break, but brought the food to the judges and musicians, at least on our stage, which kept the break to around 30 minutes.
Feis Flow Score: 7
And the WTF Rating – If I was scoring this like I have the previous one, I would give it about a 4.5, but, I am trying a new scoring technique, scoring each section individually, and based on that, the score the WTF Rating is 6.4.