Notes from my Friday afternoon visit. I wandered the floor for an hour or so, visited a few vendors, listened to some of The Hardline. Thoroughly enjoyed myself. Reviews have been excellent, and The Ticket should be congratulated. In fact, let me start with this:
Kudos. First, how about a hand for the CTO? Sure, the thing is sponsored, and a lot of it is pretty sponsor-promotional, but it's a lot of work, a big time commitment for the whole station, very entertaining for the P1. A real nice kiss for listeners, and when we smack the CTO around for one or another sin, let's remember cool stuff like this. I'll have a further thought on this in conclusion.
Parking. I could have sworn I heard hosts saying parking was free. Five bucks to get into the garage.
General. The floor was less crowded with stuff this year. Seemed to me like there were fewer sponsors, but that may have been because the did not have the basketball court this year so the joint just had a more wide-open feel.
Shoop. I put some geld into Michael Gruber's pocket by purchasing a SHOOPY t-shirt portraying him laboring lovingly over what appears to be a Les Paul Custom. I asked the vendor whether Michael got a royalty for the use of his image and was pleased to hear that he does.
Ticket Guys Generally. Passed by Gordon, Norm, and Craig out on the floor. Norm and Gordon had destinations they were hurrying (in Norm's case, slowly) toward, but Craig was taking a stroll and chatting with attendees. I considered introducing myself, but decided against it. Everything for the bit, right? Well, being The Plainsman is my bit, lame thought it may be.
A Confessor on the last thread wrote: "It was an incredible night, I left the rest of the guys alone [Confessor had chatted with Grubes, Donovan, and Sean Bass] but to anyone that says they are too big for the P1’s, they are just wrong. All of them walked around, shook hands, took pictures and spent time with their fans, it was a pleasure to watch. I really walked away thinking “we can do what they can do, but they can’t do what we can do.” And looking at my twitter tweet P1 time line, there were a lot of folks who had just as much fun. " Second that with enthusiasm and could not have put it better.
Un. While I did not beat down any Ticket guys, I did see some guys wearing UnTicket t-shirts at a booth advertising a way of recording streamed radio, and I asked if they were with that incomparable site. Turns out they all were, and I was honored to meet DP and two of his invaluable henchmen (sorry, gents, I have forgotten your UT monikers) in assembling Ticket audio. Great guys. ap, alas, is stuck in The Great White North.
It's a pleasure to call your attention to their new venture, THINKIT MEDIA. The are marketing their proprietary system under the uSave.it brand for recording streamed radio. (DP reports that they have some P1s using their system to record their favorite station.) They also offer other services to businesses such as blog development ("ThinkIt Social) and increasing their profile in the online world. I may give him a call. You can read more about it here: ThinkIt Media I'm linking it to it on my "Ticket-Friendly Sites" if you ever need to find them.
I neglected to ask DP if he minded if I used his real name (obviously, I was star-struck by the three of them), so I'll keep that valuable information to myself. However, he and his colleagues were kind enough to let me take their picture at their booth (DP is on the right):
And to top it off, I was deeply honored that they scrounged one of those snazzy UnTicket t-shirts for me.
Ticket Chicks. Seems to me there were fewer Ticket Chicks abroad, and I did not see a photo area where us mere mortal P1 schlubs could get their picture taken with these lovelies, although I have no doubt that any of them wandering about would have accommodated a request for a quick snap.
T. As last year, the testosterone clinics were there in force and doing a brisk business. Apparently I appear to be down a couple of quarts, as I was approached a couple of times by young ladies who worriedly pressed brochures into my infirm grip.
Michael. The Ticket acknowledged MJ's half-century with a statue.
However, I couldn't help noticing that he was going to have trouble with this particular dunk, as the anchor for his Airness appeared to have had him stepping in a nasty wad of gum:
I Discover the Theme of Ticketstock. Last year, I was puzzled by the Mardi Gras theme since it had not been advertised. This year, it was a collegiate theme, which I realized when I purchased one of the long-sleeved shirts and observed that it had a large "U" in the background.
But with my keen reportorial instincts (which failed me when I didn't get the UnTicket guys' screennames), I ferreted out the true theme. It was:
"Slanty Boards with a Hole in the Top End Into Which Attendees Were Invited to Attempt to Drain Square Bean Bags Slightly Larger Than the Hole."
(1) The Dallas Stars had the most elaborate set up -- this picture only portrays only two of the four slanty boards:
(2) Top Golf:
(4) Ticket #1:
(5) Ticket #2/Budweiser, charmingly presented by two fetching Ticket Chicks:
(6) Hooters had a more inviting variation on the slanty board/hole trope:
And I thought I had snaps of a couple more, but they do not seem to have survived.
Closing Thoughts. All the Ticket events, but especially Ticketstock, remind us of what an extraordinary phenomenon The Ticket is. Of course we're unhealthily, sometimes absurdly, obsessed with who's hosting, who's got next, the JV, the shows themselves, what goes on behind the scenes. As I looked around the place with men and women having a great time, the Ticket guys enjoying themselves, the same phrase kept playing: This is a club. A private club that anyone can join just by tuning in. And think how astonishing it is that it has been maintained for 20 years, and what kind of effort must be going into trying to figure out how to keep it going another 20. I don't envy them that task.
I hope we're helping.
A big thanks to The Ticket, the CTO, the sponsors, and, of course, Grubes. Michael, don't spend all my royalty contribution in one place.
* * *