St. Patrick's Month, Part 2

This post is all about a performer's perspective from D.C.'s Shamrockfest, a one day festival full of Bands, DJs, and other Irish entertainment.

This year was Shamrockfest's first year under Red Frog Event management. I know of many attendees who were very unhappy, especially with how food and drinks in the VIP area were handled. I head of poor communication with performing groups leading up to the festival. As it's this company's first year hosting the event, I hope they will improve upon what they learned. All of that aside, I have to say that this year was the best treatment of the Irish dancers that I've ever been a part of.

For starters, we got to park in the performer's parking lot at RFK Stadium. No paying ridiculous amount for parking, and none of that being crushed in the hordes coming and going from the Stadium-Armory Metro station. Upon parking, us performers were given our wristbands to access all the areas we would be needing: backstage, performer's hospitality, and a way in and out of the actual festival, should we wish to participate with the other Shamrockfest revelers.

I chose for the most part to stay in the backstage areas. And really, why wouldn't I? In the performer's hospitality area, we had an entire tent dedicated to food and drinks! Shamrockfest provided me with lunch and dinner that day, as well as access to as much Angry Orchard as I wished. There were chairs we could sit in and visit with dance friends away from the crowds of festival attendees, but still in close enough range to hear the great bands without blowing out eardrums. (Not to mention that we were essentially rubbing elbows with all the band members performing that evening.)

Come time to perform, we were shuttled in a bus from the hospitality area to our stage, where we were told we had eight minutes to perform. This is a drastic difference from previous years. Before, each dancing group had about 20 minutes to do their thing, but this year's festival focus was more on the bands. We danced three numbers nearly back-to-back, only after having to halt set-up progress of the band on after us so we had as much dancing space as possible (which was wide enough, but very, very shallow).

To cap off the night, we danced with a Richmond-based band, Carbon Leaf to one of their most well-known songs, The Boxer.

View from backstage

I did not stay after that final performance to catch Reel Big Fish or the Blues Travelers mainly for crowd avoidance. I still had great fun that day! Here's to a few more festivals to come!

Goals: Stamina
Days till NANs: 92

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