Among the conscientious in the event promotion world -- there are a few -- some common sense tenets are etched pretty clearly. One is: "Don't name your event what a neighboring community names theirs."
New Bedford's Summerfest has been entertaining the masses since 1854 or something, when what we now call "folk music" was known as "new wave." But The SouthCoast is an area well-known for its
lazy careless determined nature. Crippled by symptoms like short term memory loss, unrelentingly plodding reinvention is what passes for innovation. (cue Chamber of Horrors theme) The Fall River Spirit -- with a totally straight face -- notes that Fall River's
Summerfest was conceived after the Fall River Area Chamber of Commerce in late May canceled FRCA 2010, citing in a statement "challenging" economic conditions such as fewer corporate sponsorships and volunteers and a "substantial" increase in costs The popular event had drawn thousands of people to the city's waterfront every summer for 25 years.The "FRCA 2010" mentioned actually fell apart under its own staggeringly ungainly self-importance, volunteers finally sussing out three days without pay is indenture, and the public balking at paying for something that they felt "was always supposed to be free." And that explains why Fall River's waterfront festival should have the same name as New Bedford's. Blame the Chamber.This weekend's Summerfest event (the one in Fall River; there are 9,402,871 others, btw) appears to feature something called Kid's World Festival (which breaks the "no punctuation in the title" rule, in this case making it appear to be ONE particular kid's world, sharply diminishing attendance.)
The SouthCoast has always eschewed respected precedent. Consider the moral, legal, and ethical challenges presented on a daily basis in local government; business owners' reliance on outmoded or delusional paradigms; the deep rejection of the terms "industry standards" and "quality requirement." Also, there's a widely pervasive "my kid can do that" mindset.
Which is why watching SouthCoast amateurs try to concoct marketing projects that should be left to actual professionals is so rewardingly hilarious. Of particular note is the use of "new" media by "old" media and how they'll describe "recordings" as "podcasts" or "commenting anonymously at the end of a news article" as "blogging."
There is, however, no website for Heritage State Park's Summerfest. And I'm not sure who the audience for the Kids World Festival website is. And its creators certainly had no idea either. Most special event websites are sharp and active with welcoming animated graphics and quick incidental blurbs of enticing adspeak briefly identifying attractions.
The Kids World Festival's (apparently unedited and mostly unreadable) site seems cobbled together from press releases and distracted musings aimed at adults but illustrated for children. Children who would no doubt find its banal clip art and 1980s fonts insulting. 750 words is a nice grant proposal but not an inducement to a fun-filled family weekend.
Oh, and is this a "501c-3" or "501(c)(3)"?
Are you sure?
I know that a new non has to go through backbreaking paperwork, pay exorbitant fees, and complete that rabies control quarantine program. Most organizations have to wait a couple of years before they even show up on common lists of charitable foundations. But since an important local media operative is in charge at Kids World (and we all know how the media is so exhaustively well-versed in non-profits), I could not be dissuaded from checking on the outfit's self-definition. The I.R.S. is, understandably, succinct:I'm sure, however, that we're soon to see official evidence of the indomitable self-confidence of those brave community-minded SouthCoasters who have started this endeavor in the worst economy in Massachusetts since 1621 and among the least philanthropic sourpuss bastards in the world.
Good luck with that.
And have fun this weekend!