The San Diego Bacon Festival – Okay People, Calm Down With The Bacon

Posted: September 4, 2013 in Bacon, Beer, Drinks, Events, Food, San Diego
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Common knowledge tells us that the general populace loves bacon. People go crazy for bacon, but perhaps too crazy at times. This phenomenon may explain the background behind the San Diego Bacon Festival. This outdoor food fest dedicated to everyone’s favorite strip of meat rounds up bacon lovers from all over to huddle around tents all for little bacon treats to satisfy a never-ending hunger for bacon. Taking place on the sunny grassy knoll of Preble Field of NTC Park at Liberty Station, thousands of hungry patrons swarmed to this location this past Saturday afternoon for an incendiary day of pigging out in the sun amidst a crowd of equally sweaty visitors. The $60 admission got anyone in for up to three hours of bacon eats and beer pours until supplies exhausted. This all sounds great in concept, but perhaps everyone overrated this festival too much.

As the first year for this festival, the organizers should strive to create an event without any major malfunctions. However, no one can expect an event’s first run to operate flawlessly, and this event yielded a handful of mistakes. I would not come down too harshly, as after all, this marks their first Bacon Fest, so allow me to highlight some of the major problems that the organizers can fix for next time.

The greatest problem lies with the amount of tickets sold. The organizers clearly oversold this event by a few thousand attendees, causing massive queues & lines all over the place. Just waiting for the entrance prior to the start of the actual event made us feel like standing amongst the audience at a large concert. Once every attendee funneled in, every booth saw even more lines consisting of hundreds of attendees on average in each line. Can you believe many people waited in a line for over an hour for a one-bite bacon corn dog? To rectify this problem, the organizers must limit the amount of tickets sold, or set a deadline to purchase tickets. In the morning, they announced on their Facebook page that they still had some tickets left for sale. This indicated some sort of limit, but a high yet negligible limit. The organizers can also rectify the overcrowding by inviting more vendors.

Speaking of vendors, the vendors did not prepare enough food for the masses. Over half of the food vendors ran out of food within an hour of opening. With each vendor providing samples instead of full meals, we all wondered how they could not bring enough food. Did the organizers not inform the vendors of how many tickets they sold? This stems back to the previous problem & solution of limiting ticket sales. If the organizers limit tickets, the vendors will know exactly how much to prepare. This also makes us ponder – what exactly construes a bacon festival? Immediately upon entering, two carts handed out bacon strips to every attendees – plain bacon strips. Most of the other food vendors made some sort of bacon treat, while some made food with no bacon in it at all, such as a chicken taco.

Nobody can accurately predict the weather, but we certainly can prepare for it. When the organizers planned this event many months ago, they could not forecast the exact weather conditions of this date. However, they can still prepare against it. So why did the organizers not take overall comfort into consideration? Nowhere in the festival could anyone find any chairs, tables, umbrellas, or misters to keep everyone cool. Southern California recently saw a heat wave, and this day out in the sun did not make for a comfortable day. Add to the fact that you have thousands of bodies in a small area coupled with heavy consumption of salty foods and beer intensifies natural dehydration. Attendees found some sort of comfort in the Hubert’s Lemonade stand, but any sensible human knows that you do not offset salt with sugar, and vice versa. Only one booth provided free water, and it remained quite unknown until the very end when everyone needed water. In fact, one man passed out from the heat early on in the festival. The organizers should take care of their patrons by including more shade in the form of umbrellas or canopies, as well as chairs, benches, and tables for more comfort. They also need to make water more accessible to the attendees, considering how much salt and alcohol everyone consumed. Misters would make for a great addition too.

For crying out loud, as much as I love Slater’s 50/50, they do not need to attend anymore food festivals or any other event similar to this. Do not misunderstand – I love Slater’s 50/50, but their popularity transcends any form of marketing or PR that this festival could hope to bring. I would wager that at least half of all attendees discovered the San Diego Bacon Festival through Slater’s 50/50. By this point, I would rather just go to the restaurant and order a real meal there instead of spend time in a line for over half an hour for a sample of what I can order for real.

Everybody loves bacon, and so do I. After this mayhem of a bacon fest, I believe everyone needs to take a step back and assess what transpired. People paid $60 or more to spend an afternoon waiting in lines burning in the hot sun all for a few bacon treats. Okay people, calm down with the bacon – you can find delicious bacon eats at many great restaurants in the area, and you do not have to suffer in the heat or sun. I cannot fully blame the organizers for these mistakes, as beginners naturally make mistakes. Should they return for a second annual run of this event next year, I hope to see them fix the problems and create a smooth-running event that both attendees and vendors can enjoy.

  1. […] had to wait in a line. In the end, this event never turned into a wait fest, unlike some other similar events. Stay tuned to 100eats in the upcoming year as they plan to bring back some of their […]

  2. […] had to wait in a line. In the end, this event never turned into a wait fest, unlike some other similar events. Stay tuned in the upcoming year as they plan to bring back some of their other events, […]

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