Saturday, Sept. 26, people gathered from all over to indulge and invest in some arts and crafts, listen to music, pig out and most importantly, have a nice time under the sun at the annual Tate Street Festival.
Unfortunately, this Tate Street Festival was under heavy rain for the entire day. The weather was truly dismal and the excited vibe and crowd movement one could normally expect on a sunny day was subdued by the pouring rain.
Most people who would otherwise attend the festival chose to forego it.
The torrential downpour on the vendors’ tents made students retreat to their dorms like a squadron of multiple drum lines beating tumultuously on their battle drums as the invader marches into town.
There was still everything at the festival that made it a festival, but the crowd just was not there. However, the festival carried on regardless; music still played, and vendors still carried on attempting to attract business.
There were people from all over North Carolina trying to sell their unique assortment of merchandise.
These included: assortments of handmade jewelry, drawings, paintings, skin and beauty products, rocks and tools and of course, food. Everything one could expect from a festival was there, but it just didn’t draw a crowd.
A vendor at the event detailed his thoughts about why lacking interest could have contributed to this in addition to the weather.
“Honestly it wasn’t a great crowd, but [when] you have a day like this, it’s hard to get a crowd for anything,” said Charlie, a first year vendor at the Tate Street Festival. Charlie went on to question whether or not the offerings at festivals such as the Tate Street Festival are simply losing interest among college students, and why.
If there’s one thing a festival like this needs, it’s people, customers to buy crafts and products of local vendors. Although the festival intended to attract mostly college-aged students, few attended the festival, thus few could contribute to this consumption.
As Tate Street Festival was located very closely to campus, one could come to the conclusion that all the potential elements for a successful festival were there, but the crowd just wasn’t.
This raises the question of why. Are college students slowly losing interest in art related festivals and events? Or was did the rain scare students away? Is Greensboro’s oldest street event gradually dying? Was this year’s festival just a fluke?
Students may just be losing interest in the festival.
It’s a short walk from their dorm. This makes one assume that the festival just doesn’t appeal to students anymore.
Even with the rain, students still would have come if they had the interest. UNCG students aren’t completely scared of bad weather. One could also argue that the vendors aren’t appealing enough for students anymore.
The merchandise must really be enamoring for a poor college student to buy it, as the average college student doesn’t want to necessarily buy an overpriced necklace that they’ll wear once every two months.
It could also could be the type of music that was played. Blues bands were playing the whole day. While blues music is a tradition in Greensboro, perhaps the Tate Street Festival wasn’t able to “showcase the heart and soul” of Greensboro, as they describe as their goal on their Facebook event page.
Blue’s music may have displayed the “heart and soul” of Greensboro years ago, but things have changed. People are not the same as their mothers and fathers. They have different interests. To truly show the “heart and soul” of Greensboro, one must first capture the general population’s primary interests.
Things may have been different if it didn’t rain, but if people were truly interested enough to go to the Tate Street Festival, the rain would be trivial to one’s motivation to attend.
So, for the purpose of capturing the interests of Greensboro’s modern population, it is encouraged for the decadent Tate Street Festival to conform and change to Greensboro’s current interests in order to grow.
Tate Street Festival should start a new movement, and display what truly is the “heart and soul” of Greensboro.