This was a tough one today. I had a set in the children’s area at 1 pm which is hard enough to play with swings, inflatable bounce machine and several nice climbing apparatus installations. There was a treat of rain (which never happened) so they moved my site down to a pavilion below the playground. We set up a sound system and pointed one speaker towards the activity area and I started in. It was me and several folks eating food and escaping the sun and heat in the pavilion. Very awkward.
A few kids came down but stayed only for a few songs. I decided to pack up and play acoustically in the middle of the playground under a big tree. Still, not much response as kids and parents trucked right on by, giving me curious glances and my bag o’ tricks. I was saved by a young boy and his older cousin who picked up maracas and did some nice extemporaneous dance moves. I finished up.
The new lady booker apologized for not having the stage more centrally located but I said that I could be more flexible next time. There’s also a cultural shift as well. The other shows were a clown/magician, a juggler and a ventriloquist, so a kids’ musician doesn’t seem to fit into this “show” type of entertainment. I couldn’t develop a critical mass of folks today. But, it was a pleasure to hang out after my set to see my friend Al Grout work his act in front of a good audience. He’s a pro.
Not every gig is a good one, but I’m glad I remain challenged and engaged in my art.
Sunday night, Steppin’ Out! returns to Musikfest!