After Shannon got back from giving Spunky a shot of insulin (Chris & Holly's huge kitty), we headed down to the Western Gateway Park to go to the Friday's shot of 80 - 35.
We missed the Des Moines Boyz and a bit of Ingrid Michaelson. I actually liked some of her music, so I may end up buying a CD. We hunkered down and watched Andrew Bird, who put on a good show, even though I prefer to see them in a group...but in watching it, it reminded me that I still need to get a Martin Dosh album or two (probably starting with one).
Then The Flaming Lips took the stage. With a combination of giant balloons (pushed out into the audience), huge confetti cannons, encouraged sing alongs, a big ball to get tossed around the crowd on, and a round screen behind them they put on a visually stimulating show. Going though a lot of music that I know and a bit that I wasn't as familiar with, it was probably one of the better shows that I've been to. Shannon enjoyed the spectacle of it too. It was a fun way to spend the 4th.
On both nights there were sets of painted ladies. Where they were wearing boy shorts and the rest of their body was spray painted (nipples covered with tape). It was interesting...
On the 5th, I was scheduled for work at 5:PM, but being that I didn't have much to do, I headed down at around noon. And found out that the morning shift was full, with nothing to, I headed back home and headed back down again around 4. I eventually got assigned to go work at a ticket booth selling tickets for water, soda, red bull, and ice cream along with tickets for beer (much more popular). The selling of tickets was not too exciting, but people kept buying in bursts. Over the night there were a few highlights. One less then sober individual gave me a 10$ tip (not that I was taking tips, but he wouldn't let me not take a tip). So I then proceeded to use that and others, to round out peoples money so they could get 3 tickets, rather then two.
There was a little girl that got a missile pop and proceeded to hold the Popsicle by the Popsicle switching off hands and when she'd switch, she'd wipe the off hand on her shirt and then switch back and wipe her other hand. She did this until she was showed how to hold it by the stick. I got to say that it was very cute.
About an hour and a half before the show was done, a guy came up and bought 100$ worth of tickets (30 beers). I was stunned, but who am I to say no?
At some point, we were told to just give away the frozen things (since they didn't want to have left overs). So the kids of some of the people helping at the booth (I think one was a principal at one of the local Des Moines schools), went out with boxes of ice cream sandwiches, lemon cups, etc, and would come back in 5-10 minutes with an empty box. It was pretty amazing.
While the volunteer thing worked, for the most part. I think most stations were covered. However, they needed to have things better organized on the front end. There was a lot of confusion about where to get the volunteer meals, where the assignments were (I would've taken the mini-map, X'ed where they were supposed to be for every person). When and were they made assignments. I showed up, they told me to wait, and then others showed up and they started sending them out to do things, so I got back in line and got assigned to do what I did. I would've made a clear distinction int he booths selling water, soda, red bull and the ones selling beer, and having the the wristbands entirely separate (some places they were, some, not so much). Maybe they didn't have enough people on the top end telling people what to do. They'll get better next year though.
So it sounds like it was a a success. 15,000 tickets Friday and Shannon said the news was estimating another 15,000 today, which probably more then paid for the $650,000 budget for the show (somewhere in the range of $750,000 - 1,050,000). I talked to one of the finance guys and apparently for their sponsorship, Olde Main Brewing Company donated the beer, and DMMC got to keep the profits. Which I applaud them for. And considering I personally stuffed an envelope 3 times with 3 inch or so stacks of twenties and one time when I was off eating another one there handed over a big stack, and we were just one of the many ticketing counters.
For Olde Main Brewing Company, I had, over the two days, tried all the beers that they served. The only one I didn't like was their light beer, which was a lot like bud light...and...well...I'm not a huge fan of bud light. But the rest were pretty good. I had already bought some of their Off Kilter Scottish Ale from Hy-Vee and gotten through most of the six pack.
So it sounds like it was a success. The weather was awesome (2nd day being hotter and a bit more humid then the first, but still fairly pleasant), and I hope it means they'll have one next year too. It's a great thing for Des Moines.