So I’ve been super busy since Tales, thanks to work, and wanted to put some thoughts down for y’all.
This was my fourth time going to New Orleans during Tales. Last year I didn’t buy any tickets, and the two previous years I had media badges. This year I bought two tickets – one for the Diageo Happy Hour, and one for the Barroom Brawl – as much originally to get into the tasting rooms as anything else.
Let’s hit the good news first.
This was, by far, the most fun event I’ve ever gone to at Tales. It was insanely packed, and crazy loud, but we were there to support our local and had a great time doing so, even if they lost.
Pig ‘n Punch
Always a great time. I’m amazed at how well they’ve dealt with the growing pains. My complaints were minor this year (I wish they’d had more beer, and the t-shirt was rather see-through for $35), but as every year, I had tons of fun.
The not-quite-so-good news
Often overly full, and hot, and too much citrus in the cocktails. I still had fun at them, but the ones at the Royal Sonesta were very difficult to find at first (if upstairs), and the fact that you had to wear a wristband – and only got one to wear all week, ick – was a pain in the butt.
Diageo Happy Hour
Overall, a good time. The only reason it’s down here, and not up there, is the fact that it seems like it’s gotten to be less of a good time every time I’ve gone. It used to be THE event to meet up with folks, but not so much anymore.
The Bad News
By far the worst event I went to was the William Grant & Sons event. What was worse, in my opinion, is how in typical Tales “let’s suck up to each other fashion”, there was lots of press on “Oh my, it was so fun” the next days, but everyone I talked to (so admittedly anecdotally) didn’t enjoy it.
First: it was offsite, but the only shuttles ran from another offsite event, so if you were in the area of the Monteleone, you had to taxi. For us, it was the most expensive per-person ride due to it being a flat cost per person.
Second: When arriving, there was no direction, signage, or guidance as to where to go.
Third: When we got to registration, despite having exchanged multiple e-mails about RSVPing, none of us were on the list. Then we were just let in anyways, which makes it feel a bit less exclusive (especially after as big of a deal about RSVPs).
Fourth: No guidance after registration, so everyone tried to go through the one open door into the museum. Massive gridlock.
Fifth: Too much citrus in the drinks again. Several of mine were nearly undrinkable.
Sixth: Trying to go to the Hendricks area led to mud up past our ankles. My shoes were ruined. No warning signs on the mud.
Seventh: Trying to get back into the museum, had to navigate a burlesque show that was loudly encouraging the crowd to yell to get the women to strip. It seemed more like a strip club than something that should be at Tales.
Finally: Trying to leave, there was again no guidance, a messed-up cab line, and just a general pain in the ass. Fortunately Bellocq made us feel better.
Anyways, that’s my quick rant on Tales, courtesy of Reno, NV (a story you’ll see next week here, probably). And some pictures too, when I can find them and get them uploaded!