Festivals-How the Grand Duchess would fix this.

Went to the Fiesta Latino yesterday at the Mint. Totally uneven attendance from side to side and vendors with items to sell were without customers. Food vendors were kicking ass, but no one else was (from what I could see).
As a result of this mess, I have consulted my good friend the Grand Duchess of the Vieux Carre. She told me long ago that she took the title of Grand Duchess out of respect to the queens already ruling their small nations around her, not daring to try to rule as a Queen in her own right- too many pretenders to the throne there.

After deep listening, insightful questions and careful thought (while sitting in her courtyard among her fig trees, and many, many cats) here is what she has imparted to me that she would decree. She has also asked me to tell the “officials” (she is not sure who that is but assumed I was aware of how to contact them) that the paid staff of the city would do well to enact her decrees if they wanted to maintain her good support and provide for her citizens.
Festivals are to be on Sunday (and maybe Monday if a second day is necessary) and not on Saturday.
Not that we, Grand Duchess, HAVE to explain.
However, we explain thusly:
Saturday is already a fabulous walking and visiting day for the FQ. No need to embellish.
And Monday is the slowest day- some locals can take the day to see the festival on a quieter day or come in the afternoon. Some tourists are still in town, they can go to it then. Everyone does not work 9-5 Monday to Friday. It’s crazy but it will probably work.

Start all festivals at 12 noon, run them til 7 pm.
We explain thusly:
If everyone knew exactly when they started and ended, everyone could tell others when asked or know what to plan for each and every time. Ask yourself how JazzFest continues to work with such a complex schedule. Because you know when it starts, when it ends and how each stage works.

All festivals will be held either on the Riverfront (with 2-5 music stages) or at the Mint (with 1 stage only on the Esplanade side) or on closed Bourbon and Royal streets with 2-5 music stages carefully set in areas that can handle the noise and crowds-300 block of Bourbon in front of Royal Sonesta, 500 block of Bourbon (it’s quite wide and stages could be on the hotel side), 400 block of Royal (on Supreme Court side), 700 block of Royal (in front of A&P/Rouse’s), and in alleys of Jackson Square on Royal side. Or on Royal anywhere after 7 pm.
We explain thusly:
We do not want to crowd out the stores and businesses that need access to their front doors and to be able to hear and move about. The point of the festival is to draw people to this area to shop.

The festivals will not have alcoholic drinks to sell, EXCEPT on Riverfront and then only beer.
We explain thusly:
Drink sales are to the bars of the French Quarter what milk is to a baby. Necessary and nourishing.

All vendors of said festivals will be operating primarily as businesses within the state of Louisiana.
We explain thusly:
Regional businesses will start to come to the city to vend and then maybe open shops or add products. This will help our city and our region, reducing the amount of division between outlying areas and the city. This is exactly what our fellow citizen Jane Jacobs taught us:
Cities are to provide resources to the outlying areas.

The festival organizers will provide a budget before and after to the vendors, the businesses surrounding the festival and post it publicly after the festival. What was spent and on what, what was made in income.
We explain thusly:
We all have to pay the piper sometime.

Vendors of said festivals will pay a percentage of sales to the festivals, not a flat fee. As it is the goal of the festival to build sales, the organizers make money when the vendors make money and do not when they do not. A simple small percentage will be paid and it will be done on an honor system. There will be mystery shoppers and tally takers who will be casually watching sales and making sure vendors keep a hashmark or receipt system. If anyone is suspected of supplying false numbers, they will not be invited to vend at any festival in the future. We will assist anyone with a receipt system if they are unsure of how to tally sales.
We explain thusly:
The vendors who truly want to sell an excellent product will work with this system. Those who come to sell crap or not account fairly, are not the type of artists that we want to work with in our festivals. It will benefit all.

There will be a revolving committee-artists, musicians, students of high schools, professionals (like lawyers, real estate you know leading citizen types that people every week of the society page), single moms, seniors, neighbors, non-profit organizers- of no less than 5 and no more than 11 advising the organizers. They will serve for 2 years and then cannot serve again for 6 years. They will receive free coupons for food and/or entry, a certificate given to them by the City of New Orleans and a dinner of their choice at any FQ restaurant at the end of their service. They must attend 80% of the meetings in person and volunteer 4 hours per year at one of the festivals.
We explain thusly:
Democracy is messy, chaotic and useful.

Staff of the festivals must be dressed with the official black and white of the classic waiter look and have a badge worn all of the times while on duty. The clothing particulars are left to grouo, but black pants or shorts with a spotless white top is necessary. We would also like to see an apron (or a lovely bow tie), but we will not decree this at this point.
We explain thusly:
This is the professional gear of the French Quarter. It is instantly recognizable and quite useful as a uniform.

All stages will either pass a locked tip jar (much like the baskets with arms passed in big churches) and/or designate an area to allow musicians to sell their cds directly or bring someone to sell them. If cds are to be sold directly, there will be a 30 minute gap between acts directly right of the stage that will be for cd sales. The musicians will be paid per person by doing a head count (done every 15 minutes and the largest one count taken) that they turn in (someone can do it for them if needed). Much like the vendors, they will be sporadically counted for veracity. Panoramic photos will be used by festival organizers when checking.
We explain thusly:
The door is usually the way that musicians are paid and since some work hard to get their people to the events, they should benefit. The tips and cd sales are all theirs too.

We do hope my laws are enacted fairly and clearly as they were intended.
Grand Duchess of the Vieux Carre (given verbally to her faithful friend, Dar Wolnik)*

*The territory of a grand duke is referred to as a grand duchy. The feminine form of grand duke is grand duchess.
Translations for grand duke include: in Latin, magnus dux; in Spanish, gran duque; in Russian, великий князь (velikiy kniaz); in German, Großherzog, Italian gran duca; in French, grand-duc; in Portuguese, grão-duque; in Finnish, suurherttua; in Polish, wielki książę; in Hungarian, nagyherceg; in Swedish, storhertig; in Dutch, groothertog; in Danish, storhertug; in Lithuanian, didysis kunigaikštis; in Czech velkovévoda or velkokníže.

A duchy, is never referred to as a dukedom, is a territory, fief, or domain ruled by a duke or duchess.
Some duchies were sovereign in areas that would become unified realms only during the Modern era (such as Germany and Italy). In contrast, others were subordinate districts of those kingdoms that unified either partially or completely during the Medieval era (such as England, France, and Spain).

About DW

New Orleans resident, writer, activist. Public market consultant.

2 thoughts on “Festivals-How the Grand Duchess would fix this.

  1. […] To read the original post explaining our Duchess: Duchess […]

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