Early Music Festival Utrecht 2014 part 24

So: surprise, surprise, Friday the 5th of September, the Early Music fringe concerts’ ticket boot had suddenly shifted to ground floor level at last. (See part 23). I suppose the over 50,000 people visiting this festival were lucky it had not been banned to a cellar parking lot at Tivoli-Vredenburg.

With my clutch of fringe concert tickets, I headed for the Tivoli-Vredenburg top floor café to check my mail and post blog-posts. I sat at a small table with a view of the escalators and information desk on the top floor. The information desk was strategically placed: facing everybody who got off the last of the four escalators. But it was unmanned.

Quite a few people arrived on the floor where – they had been trained during previous days – the fringe concert tickets boot could be found. There was nobody there to tell them, they actually had to take four escalators or the right elevator down again. People were left milling about, trying to figure out themselves, where to go to. Occasionally, a kind waitress, someone of the CD-shop, or a loitering volunteer (not manning the information desk) would direct people back to the ground floor of the building.

At least one person stampeded down all four escalators swearing at the top of his voice and damning the organisation to hell and slightly further. He was one of many who had had enough of the more than sloppy organisation of this year’s festival.

Like him and so many visitors, I had never before seen so many slip-ups, including a few very serious ones, in the over 30 years this festival had been organised. Little did I know I was in for another bunch of bloopers.



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