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Tall Ships Parade/Festival, pro/con???

05 Mar 08 - 04:35 PM (#2280541)
Subject: Tall Ships Parade/Festival, pro/con???
From: Barry Finn

The Tall Ships are coming to Boston in July of 2009. Hopefully they will get/have a better reception & presention than in the best.
I'd like to hear from others who've attended these types of festivities what they liked & disliked about them & what could be done to improve them.

Some of my gripes where/are
1) Accessability onto the vessels. In Boston in the past some of the smaller vessels were rafted up 3 deep to the dockside which made it difficult, impossible or dangerous to board. Even to the point where for public safety they've closed off some of the access ways to all but ship's crew. This also made it difficult for those vessels to earn "inport money" by not being able to showcase their wares or to take on paying passangers because they couldn't easily leave & return from their 'rafted' dockside spots.

2) A Polish vessel advertized a "free for the public" dockside concert & when they started up the beer tent they were tied up near started blasting rock & roll & made a mess of the concert. I don't know weither the concert was being held unknown to the orgianizers or not but for a vessel to be put along side of a beer tent that blasts anything at all hours was not cool.

3) I love the vessels but it seems that a good look is all the public gets out of it. A tour & then on to the next one. What's missing that other locations might have. I've seen or heard very little in the way of music, shipboard related activies or related cultural demo's/workshops/presentions such as ropework, ships-in-bottles, scrimshaw work, paintings, blacksmithing, etc. What do they offer at other locations?

4) I know that in Europe at music festivals they have what's called "Fringes" (side venues seperate from the main attractions??) which in not common to USA festivals. Is that something that's seen or used anywhere?

Now I'm not trying to say that here that "Sail Boston" hasn't done a good job it's just that I feel it could be so much more.

Thanks in advance for any & all comments


05 Mar 08 - 04:46 PM (#2280553)
Subject: RE: Tall Ships Parade/Festival, pro/con???
From: Amos

Better to moor 'em Med style with a stern plank out. They don't need the whole broadside-to if they have a reliable mooring anchor out forard, do they?

I love the fact that they do assemble, and anything that gives the public more access and experience is a good thing in my book.


05 Mar 08 - 04:46 PM (#2280554)
Subject: RE: Tall Ships Parade/Festival, pro/con???

Fond memories of parking on the Verazzano Bridge with a carload of kids so that they could watch the Parade of Ships pass. One lonely cop on a motor cycle passed by (I was not alone) and announced "You are ALL under arrest. Return to your vehicles and I will escort you off." The crowd laughed and applauded.
The kids thought it great that Aunt Mary had gotten them arrested - much better entertainment than the ships.
Sorry for the drift, Barry.

05 Mar 08 - 04:54 PM (#2280566)
Subject: RE: Tall Ships Parade/Festival, pro/con???
From: open mike

I have had the good fortune to be able to bunk onboard overnight..
perhaps that is an added feature that can be made available? Or how
about dining on hard tack and salt pork? yum yum...with enough rum,
it could be made palatable...
Chantey Ranger has been in charge of festivals that feature boats
and ships..and ferries...Balclutha, Thayer, and others..at Hyde St.
Pier in S.f. you might find more nfo on National Parks site...
Maritime Museum, etc. s.f.
also i think there is a wooden ship fest in oregon and or washington

05 Mar 08 - 05:06 PM (#2280574)
Subject: RE: Tall Ships Parade/Festival, pro/con???
From: Barry Finn

I like the idea of charging for dining or bunking on board. Tie it in with a "Meet the Captain" special.


05 Mar 08 - 05:21 PM (#2280590)
Subject: RE: Tall Ships Parade/Festival, pro/con???
From: ClaireBear

A couple of years ago, I went off to Port Alberni, BC for a tall ships festival. It was a gorgeous location, and we were able to board all the ships, which was great, but the associated festival was a "fun fair" type event totally unassociated with anything maritime, which seemed a shame. And yes, all the music was rock 'n' roll.

(In Vancouver the following week, though, they at least got Tom Lewis in.)

I'm with you, Barry, I'd love to bunk aboard. However, I don't know where they'd put the crew while I was there.... On the other hand, some of the sailors were quite the hunks (especially those Spanish and Russian sailors!), so p'rhaps arrangements could be made.



05 Mar 08 - 05:30 PM (#2280600)
Subject: RE: Tall Ships Parade/Festival, pro/con???
From: curmudgeon

Don't despair, Barry. Some (I don't yet have the count) of those ships will be coming to Portsmouth that summer, and you, I hope, will again join the rest of us singing on board - Tom

05 Mar 08 - 05:56 PM (#2280618)
Subject: RE: Tall Ships Parade/Festival, pro/con???
From: EBarnacle

The weird part of it all is that NYC is not going to be a major port of call for the event. The year is the 400th anniversary of Hendrik Hudson's visit to the North River, aka the Hudson River. In the past, I have been in charge of shoreside entertainment for several of the OpSails, as well as the New York Harbor Festival. I have also provided entertainers for on board entertainment for a few ships of these events, including the John Kennedy during OpSail 2000.

If you want a hand, call me or PM me, Barry. Perhaps we can get some event money going.

05 Mar 08 - 08:22 PM (#2280755)
Subject: RE: Tall Ships Parade/Festival, pro/con???
From: Barry Finn

Erick, I talked yesterday with Paul from Clearwater, he didn't know about the Tall Ships, never mind the dates So he's now awear & he's gonna let his people know to see if they might be able to piggy back the 2 events. Prior is not likely seeing that it's a race to Boston but maybe prior to Halifax (even though that's a race too) they can attract a few ships. He says that it's not likely that the Clearwater will be joining the fleet though. I don't know about John on the Mystic Whaler, he may be on the Hudson too, although he could probably squeeze in both. We'll see what he's up to at Mystic if he makes it this yr. I see you there if you're going?

Hi Tom, I'll be onboard singing again, it's always a blast but as small an event as Portsmouth is it's got more of the culture & music going on than the whole shebang in Boston. I'd love to see Boston's event take some pride in it's history & showcase it's past. After all, some of the naval battles fought during the Revolutionary War were seen from the shore & beaches of Boston area & were sung about & with Old Ironsides shitting in the center of it all you'd think that there would be at least a little of the 'Limelight' would be shinning on her.


05 Mar 08 - 08:34 PM (#2280762)
Subject: RE: Tall Ships Parade/Festival, pro/con???
From: Charley Noble

I'll check and see if Portland (ME) is planning anything for 2009.

Thanks for the heads up.

Charley Noble

05 Mar 08 - 09:04 PM (#2280783)
Subject: RE: Tall Ships Parade/Festival, pro/con???
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie

My group played dockside in San Francisco, Long Beach and San Diego when the Tall Ships made that tour as part of the California "Sesquicentennial" celebration in 2000. (We were doing period stuff, as much 1850's-ish as possible. Nuff about that; on to the question.)

Yes, access is a b----. I remember that Frisco (I lived there; I'm entitled to call it that) was particularly bad because of the tide rise. Saturday wasn't bad but when we showed up on Sunday morning the tide had come in. We were dockside, as I say, but the caterers & such had a really interesting time getting all their equipment up the gangplanks and one older visitor, rather on the heavy side, needed a lot of help to get aboard.

In San Francisco, these ships used the regular commercial wharves, so they were separated from each other either by the intervening warehouse or a substantial bit of open water; it didn't much matter what was going on on the next ship. Long Beach, where we were was more of a yatch harbor with ships in pairs on rather narrow piers. There it did matter what the neighbors were doing. We were asked to stop playing for a while so the neighboring ship could hold their, "We'd like to thank all the little people" guffah, but that was OK too. San Diego had everybody spaced out along the sea wall, with no piers involved. That worked OK too.

The only other problem was the sun, as this was pretty much midsummer. I guess anybody going to something like that should think about hats and/or sunblock. (The advantage of being in Victorian clothing was we didn't have that much skin to burn.) I think the event planners must have felt the same. At San Diego there were a few pop-ups; I can't remember whose they were but I remember we managed to crash their party during lunch. Long Beach and Frisco made no provision at all, as I remember. We just huddled up to the side of the warehouse and waited for afternoon shadows to lengthen.

Don't know how helpful this is, but anyway, the public seemed to think long lines and awkward boarding at times were worth it. The sponsors of "our" ship were glad they had booked us to play--it helped the folks in the lines pass the time, and some of them stuck around afterwards just to hear more, so I believe it really did help. What else can I tell you?

Chicken Charlie

06 Mar 08 - 08:41 PM (#2281723)
Subject: RE: Tall Ships Parade/Festival, pro/con???
From: Barry Finn

Chicken Charlie, what 's the name of your group?
You needn't answer if it's to personnal.

06 Mar 08 - 09:15 PM (#2281749)
Subject: RE: Tall Ships Parade/Festival, pro/con???
From: Charley Noble

I'm thinking back to what our experience was with Op-Sail 2000 in Portland, Maine. Well, Roll & Go was hired to be strolling singers both days, which meant we choose where to sing and do our thing. We choose to sing where we had a nice wall to back us up, or where there was a line waiting to board a ship. The "regular entertainment" with full stage and sound system was off limits to us and tended to be rock or brass band. We were never invited aboard any ships or to any parties with crew members, but we didn't lobby hard to do that. The best we could do is get paid to be "nautical atmosphere."

I did try to communicate with the organizers at an early stage but there was never a sense that I was talking with anyone who was seriously interested in anything than implementing a special event plan that would impress the powers that be.

With lead time, we might be able to do better the next time around. But the key thing would be to have a presence on the organizing committee itself.

Charley Noble

08 Mar 08 - 06:41 PM (#2283248)
Subject: RE: Tall Ships Parade/Festival, pro/con???
From: Barry Finn


28 Mar 08 - 10:24 PM (#2300131)
Subject: RE: Tall Ships Parade/Festival, pro/con???
From: Barry Finn

So what do folks like at these festivals/parades and what would folks like to see that are missing? I imagine that bewteen the USA & the ones in Europe there are vast differences and I was hoping that those from the other side would give me ideas of what makes those tick that we here in the US are missing. Because from the ones I've seen in Boston we'er missing alot. And from all that I've read over the yrs about the European one, they seem to have it muck better.