Managed to pull the long haul -- queued up to get in and closed the place down. Was thankful there were more water stations this year.
Athena wrote:I don't know how the fest worked previously but I would not want it to be any smaller as there were still areas that were stuffed full of people in various lines.
Your observation is astute. The only places where it was really overcrowded were where multiple lines were smooshing together. But here's the thing about the lines: They were self-perpetuating hold-ups. Don't wait in line. Just walk up to a server and ask for a beer. The problem with the lines is they come to a point at the end of a table. So there's 2-3 servers but the line is only really being served by one of them, as they can't all cram themselves over to one side. This leaves lots of empty space and 1-2 servers who are eager to serve. Also, people dawdle. If everyone queued up, got served, and kept moving, there'd be no problem. But they don't -- they stop and sip and chat and shmooze, so the line doesn't move much. Which is fine, mind you -- talking to the brewers/servers/cheesemakers is part of what makes an event like this fun -- but it makes a single-file line a poor means of providing fast service.
I and my group did what we've done the past two years as well. Split up, grab a beer and some cheese, then regroup somewhere off to the side to sip and chit-chat. I'm already looking forward to next year.