Warning, this is long. I kept adding to it and editing it at work throughout a 10 hr day.
Finally it’s Wednesday. 4 days post Riot and my hearing is finally returning to normal. I had such a good time on Saturday, I’m already mentally preparing for Viva. I’m hooked on Weekenders! I want to add Sacramento Swing time and Rock around the Park (Disneyland) to my list of events to attend!
The following is a list I've been compiling of must haves to keep on my person at all times, mostly for reminding myself for whatever event I attend next.
- Chap Stick: It was sunny and windy, and once my lipstick was gone, my lips got thrashed. I’m still recovering from the chapped lips.
- Parasol: The sun was harsh! I was jealous of those ladies with parasols, and kicking myself that I had left mine at home. Mine is paper, and I think I want to invest in a proper fabric one soon
- Sunglasses: I usually have them by default, but having a backup pair in my kit is going to be a lifesaver, plus possibly make me someone in my group’s new best friend.
- Tylenol: or Aleve, or Advil. SOMETHING! The sun gave my friend and I wicked headaches, and neither of us was smart enough to bring anything. Derp :/
- Earplugs: I’m already sensitive to loud noises, so you would think I would’ve thought ahead and had ear plugs for the drag racing. Nope! What a dummy. I will definitely have several pairs in my bag so my poor ears don’t hate me. (This will also probably make me lots of new friends, having extras).
- Band-Aids: because cute shoes and walking means blistering.
- Kleenex: The dust and exhaust from the drag racing was hard on the allergies and asthma
- Hair Pins or clips: By the end of the day, my hair was dead. Curls were thrashed and tangled, and it was not pretty. I need to be prepared with outfit appropriate hair accessories to pin it out of the way if it gets messy.
- Foldable fabric shopping bag: It tucks down to a manageable size so you don’t have to lug around a big purse (like I did). Vendors don’t always have shopping bags. Case in point, I made a large purchase from a friendly bow vendor and she had AMAZING packaging, but I had such a large quantity of her boxes, I really needed a bag to put them all in. My purse came in handy, but by the end of the day, it was an albatross.
Other things to remember,
Camera with charged batteries
Business/calling cards. Something with your contact info on it to share with your new friends!
If you’re not staying on site, planning to get your drink on, and don’t have a designated driver, have money set aside specifically for cab fare. Or call a friend. Just don’t drive. Nevada Highway Patrol, Reno PD, and Sparks PD do not screw around.
Things I would (and will) suggest to Riot organizers:
- More advertising! Especially in markets with large subculture communities.
- Non ugly event shirts. The gray was bad. Also no girly cut shirts? Why you hatin? Advertise that they are Riot shirts. I almost missed that booth because it looked like a random screen printing company.
- More detail on the website. “Bands play” is fine while the event is 6 months out, but it was that way until about a week before. Less money on graphics, more time on informing your attendees.
- More partnering with the casino. I had no idea where the indoor events were. Nevada room? Where is that? Where are the directions making me want to go find it and what is going to be there when I find that room?
- The vendor layout was awkward. Having them in a better cluster would be smarter, and away from the cars lined up. It was hard to talk to Heather the bow vendor when 15 feet away, someone is revving their car engine.
- GSR has a “beach”. Use it! Viva has a pool party, throw a beach party! Perfect Sunday wind down activity, or Friday night kickoff party. Get people there on your slower days! A $5 cover (or slightly raising ticket prices) will offset the cost of lifeguards, etc.
An indirectly Riot related complaint. Starbucks in GSR KNOWS it’s going to be hot and knows it’s going to be crowded with people, and they don’t have any of their hibiscus tea or cool lime whatever drink? Who is in charge of planning?? Demoted! The girls behind the counter get extra points for victory rolls and being very friendly though.
My favorite vendor of the day was Heather from Whimsically Wicked. She was knowledgeable about other weekenders and rockabilly, engaging, and really fun to talk to. Her mom was the best! She rocked the hell out of that feather fascinator. Another vendor (name withheld) was friendly, but she had a group of friends sitting in her booth behind her table staring sullenly at people. It was a huge turn off. I bought a few mini bows from her and got the hell out of there. It’s really off putting to try to look at someone’s booth and have 6 sets of eyes staring at you. No good!
Obviously my favorite part of the day was the Deke Dickerson and the Ecco-Fonics set. I know I expound a lot on this subject, but I LOVE Deke. He has such a great sound and stage presence. With the smaller venue, we were able to get up close to the stage and really enjoy.
Next year I plan on getting a room, even though I’m a local. I think it would be nice to have somewhere to relax when it’s the hottest part of the day, plus I’m more likely to have a few drinks and want to stay into the wee hours for the evening activities. Room rates are reasonable, and I’d be splitting it with my girl Leanne.
Overall, the event was so fun, and I was glad to meet the adorable Deborah from Hellcat-Vintage and her equally awesome husband. I’m glad I can be a Riot Hipster and say “I was coming here before it got sooo big” *affectations of boredom* It has a lot of potential to grow into a really awesome event. Not an alternative to Viva, but a great reason to come to Reno on father’s day weekend.
As a side note on Viva, apparently my boss is a “Billy” (who knew??) and wants to go as well. Don’t we go on vacation to get away from our bosses?? Good thing he is so super awesome, I wouldn’t feel weird running in to him.