Friday, June 27, 2008

Event fatigue?

This is a question I've never really considered, except in the narrow confines of downtown Bend. I don't go to many events, (like none), so I can't speak knowledgeably about crowds and turnouts and such.

But....I have a sneaking suspicion.

Look, some of us bloggers talked about a housing bubble a couple of years ago, and I think we were proven right. I've been talking about a Commercial Real Estate bubble for the last year or so, and I'll be proven right or wrong over the next year or so. In both cases, I'm talking more about the number of subdivisions and houses and buildings and stores more than I am about price.

Events? All I know is that the number and variety is astounding for a small town. How can anyone see through the clutter? How can you tell which events are fully thought out and well planned and which are Mickey Rooney 'Let's put on a play!"

The Source, bless them, looks like Willamette Weekly from all the events advertised.
I wonder if there isn't a case of diminishing returns.

But, it's free enterprise, I guess. The hardiest will survive, but in so doing there may be some traditional events that go down the tubes. (Cascade Music Festival.)

Debt is what I look for in businesses when there is downturn. Those that haven't overextended, over borrowed or overreached may survive.

In the event calendar, I guess I'd be looking at which events are subsidized, which events have a founding father who has created the event from sheer willpower, and what happens when he/she moves on (Bend Movie thingy), and so on.

I guess we can't complain. Too much choice?

Still, just as an indicator of the real level of business: I am the only card shop, the only game store, the only comic shop, and the only anime/manga store, and the only pop culture toy store, etc. etc. (Though of course I'm none and all of those things.)

It's a pretty good benchmark for me. If a town like Eugene has 2 comic shops, and 2 Celtic Festivals; and Bend has 1 comic shop and 3 Celtic Festivals (I have no idea how many Celtic Festivals there are; I'm just using it as an example) that can't be a good sign.

Just like my question about retail square footage -- (I presented the challenge that Bend is the most over retailed market in the U.S.A. outside of Vegas and no one has contradicted me yet) -- there is no way for me to know. I just don't have access to the information.

But looks pretty overpacked to me.


eyepublius said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! I've never seen a place that has so many "festivals" packed into such a short time span. And THEY'RE ALL THE SAME!

Wes Hare said...

Hi Dunc,

Bend seems to define trendy, but I'm not sure whether that's important or not. Events always have a life expectancy, just like the rest of us. I still have my Art Now! pottery mug that your mom gave me for helping to guard the old barn in 1968. I assume that event is long gone, but the mug remains a prized possession. We'll be over in Central Oregon next week for a wedding in Gateway. I'll call if I can get to Bend.



Duncan McGeary said...


So it died of natural causes? Old age?

Hope I hear from you guys!