Pete Morton and I had something else in common (other than sharing a cab) – “jet lag.” Now you might find that amusing – Pete did – since he flew across the ocean and my flight was 1 hr and 9 minutes… Now that I think about it, I guess that is amusing. Oh well, I finally slept and I was ready to go.
Folk Alliance events were in several locations – I was off to the Conference
Center – Palais des Congres – to meet Ann and Abbe from the Folk Alley team at the Exhibit Hall. It was 10 degrees Farenheit and I ran through Chinatown to get there. I later learned of underground tunnels with shopping malls, but I still prefer sunshine and the air was fresh.
The place was huge. I found the registration booth, checked in, and entered the Hall. Under the high ceiling were rows of folk record label reps, (Rounder & Red House) instrument makers (Martin, Taylor, and Guild) along with agencies, musicians, publicists, and periodicals. I couldn’t walk 10 feet without seeing someone I knew or someone I wanted to know. Suddenly there were faces and voices behind the e-mails. Poor Ann couldn’t leave the booth to get lunch and I couldn’t get through the conversations to reach her. It was like going to 47 different Christmas parties at once. And everone had candy: brochures, CDs, magazines, showcase schedules, and yes, candy. My tote bag was being stuffed as I walked – my backpack was filling up too. I finally broke through to fetch Ann a sandwich, and I was off again. I had another deadline – the Lifetime Achievement awards were at 1:00 PM.
Two of the great benefits of a conference like this are the gifts of unity and strength. Normally during the year each of us attending work alone. Following the luncheon is the one time where the greatest group of us are in one place. Looking across the room I began to realize that I’m not alone. I see the potential we can have as a group.