2007 Battle of the Bands

As some of you know, I produce the Battle of the Bands competition for the Five County Fair here in Farmvegas. Last year’s show was nothing short of awesome; I wrote a couple of entries about it on my Myspace blog, and more details of that show are in the Battle of the Bands section on the Five County Fair website (which we at MoonStar develop/sponsor, being in the web design and web hosting business as we are) .

This year’s show is shaping up quite nicely indeed, although it was after considerable hair-pulling and gnashing of teeth. First we had issues with the entire FCF website as we were attempting to switch to the newest version of Joomla (content management system). Then I found out this morning that my spam filter was eating all the Battle of the Bands entry forms, and was only able to recover the three submitted since yesterday. Add to this that Dana, the sound guy who has provided the equipment and expertise in sound reinforcement for the past three shows was unavailable due to prior commitments. A shame, we really liked working with that guy.

As of this morning, I was a producer of a show, already with committed sponsors, on the highest attended night of the fair, with less than two weeks to go. No entries to put on the stage and no sound system to hear ‘em even if I did. The fact that the sponsors were on board, the venue has been reserved, advertising dealt with, and all the other successes so far paled in comparison to the looming threats.

Of course, this is nothing new for any music show (or any theatrical production, for that matter). For any theatrical production, any given crucial thing can and will go wrong at any point prior to the show. Up until the house lights go down and the curtain rises, one should actually expect some major, critical issue to either not be worked out or explode in your face. Sponsors pull out. Performers pull out. A lighting bar will come loose, almost killing a sound guy as it crashes to the stage, and then a fight breaks out between the electricians and the sound people (not that they typically need any excuse to fight). But something always happens that lets it work out. When the house lights go down and the live feeds are coming from the cameras pointing at the stage, it’s a magical time where all that critical stuff has secretly managed to come together and it is revealed that the show will indeed go on.

Of course, it’s not like all the issues are resolved in that exact moment of the curtain rising; all the individual issues get resolved individually in their own time. The point of the above is just that one should expect that things can look like they’re going straight to hell at any point prior to the curtain rising. One can have faith that, no matter how bad it looks prior to the call to take down the house lights, it can and will be okay. All you have to do is to work the issue and don’t get freaked out by how bad it’s looking at the moment.

Anyway, as I mentioned, this morning I found out that the entry form wasn’t working. A hot Myspace girl sent an email to ask if a certain band was playing. I replied that they hadn’t sent in their entry form, to which she replied that they said they had. Oops. So I look in my spam quarantine, which keeps all my spam for 24 hours before deleting it, and what do I see but three entry applications. They were all from the last 24 hours, of course, and notably didn’t include the band I just mentioned.

I set about fixing the spam filter (not really, but it’ll do), and updating the fair website and the Myspace event listing, the Farmville Area Music Scene group bulletin, and a bulletin on my personal Myspace, in the hopes that any prior entrants will see it soon. Since then, I’ve gotten the entry from the band in question; I hope if there are any others, they will notice.

As I was finishing that up, I got a call from one of the show sponsors, Southern Soundz. “Do you have a sound system yet?” “No, unfortunately not” “Want one? :)” Paraphrased response: “HellzJEAH!” After re-arranging their schedule a bit, they indeed are able to supply their equipment and expertise. Big stacks, good amps, 32ch mix for the house and a separate monitor mix. I begin to drool just imagining it….totally yummy. Let’s hope the bands live up to it, da bitchez. *grin*

Not only a sound system and people to run it, I’m garnering a professional M.C. for the show as well (my friends who I previously begged, pressured, cajoled, or tricked into the job may breathe a sigh of relief now). And there’s enough bands to do the show even if no more enter (although there will likely be so many I have to cut some, that always happens too).

Now all I have left is to get someone to be the stage/backstage manager and to line up some judges, and this thing will be fully arranged over a week prior to curtain. Amazing, although one wonders what exactly will go wrong now. This is suspiciously way too perfect at this point.

3 Responses to “2007 Battle of the Bands”

  1. Rodney Dunning Says:

    Lon, Thanks for visiting my blog. Sorry about the spam filter mess. When I was in Alabama, my spam catcher routinely ate airline tickets purchased online. It was a piece of junk.

    You may not understand this, but your blog reminds me of everything that was great about living in Birmingham. It’s good to know there’s a little bit of the Magic City in Farmville.

    I followed one of your links to Hobo Stripper. That’s the coolest blog I’ve seen in a long time, but don’t tell anyone at my church I said so! ;>

  2. Lon Says:

    Hiya, and thanks for visiting my blog as well! :) I found yours via the FBC->MikesMusings path (poke Mike for me regarding posting his sermons and musings, he’s getting a little slack *grin*). It took me a while to figure out the nature of our small world, only recently striking me that your wife is the director of my son’s preschool. And I believe your daughter is good friends with my friend and ex-business partner’s daughter (her initials are J.D.). I find myself looking forward to our eventual meeting.

    As for the Hobo Stripper, indeed. That girl needs to write a book or something; she has a way of expressing herself unmatched by many bloggers IMO. Girls like her come to mind when I hear people generalizing strippers as being dumb or immoral.

  3. Lon Says:

    Oh and on the spam filter thing…..the worst part about it for me was that in my case….I’m the guy who designed the thing. MoonStar’s spam filtration system is fairly complex, and the precise rule that the BotB applications were violating is something I thought I was being pretty sharp about inserting.

    In truth, it is a good rule; I just didn’t consider that the BotB site was violating it in normal operation. The deal is that I have a rule which greatly increases an item’s “probability of being spam” score if the mail is coming from one of our mailservers but has a from address which isn’t one of the domains we host. The trouble is, mail from the BotB site is indeed coming from one of our servers, but on that site, I set the from address to the email address of the band (for easier replies). So my mailserver saw mail coming from an internal location, but bearing a from address of yahoo or wherever, and called bullshit on the mail item.

    As soon as I get off my butt and make the BotB entry thing php and mysql based like God intended, everything will be much better. :)