We finally reached the conclusion to the new expanded season of the 2107 Texas Renaissance Festival, and it was a glorious weekend for a festival indeed! The crowds came out to enjoy it with us, and we even broke a record.
Looked back at the season, I will say that adding an extra weekend didn’t tire me out as much as I thought it might. Ending the season with a three day weekend still knackers me out though…
Great weather, large crowds, everything running along smoothly, naturally that’s when everything goes pear-shaped.
With the festival in full-swing Saturday at about 2:00 pm the Tri-County area suffered a major power outage affecting not only the Texas Renaissance Festival but west Montgomery, north east Waller and southern Grimes counties. Many of the guests were not even aware of the issue, but of course those directly affected were less than pleased.
The front gate business operations have a stand-by generator, but there was no Internet and ticket sales were affected. Especially affected were those with tickets only on their phones. At least one of the cell towers in the area was offline with no power. People’s information had to be taken by hand, and ticket sales were restricted to cash only, but ATMs were down with no power or phone service. Luckily at the gates we were still able to scan tickets. After about an hour operations were restored at the Will-Call window using a cell phone as a WiFi hotspot.
Inside the festival had issues, as many shops had no way to take credit cards with out power or phone service, though some had generators or a working cell phone provider. Audio equipment was not working at the stages. Food vendors fared better and all of them remained fully operational, as almost all their transactions are cash, and use gas for cooking. Continue reading By The Numbers: 2017 Week Eight
A good weather forecast, a pleasant weekend and all the Heroes and Villains in their new costumes coming out en masse to have a good time combined to give us our best attendance of the year so far, and even felled a few records!
Sure, it got a little crazy once or twice, with fighting equipment failures and for a while we were letting people enter through the exit gates so they didn’t have to wait so long to enter, but from the Beefeater’s viewpoint things ran relatively smoothly.
If you look at the attendance page for this year 46k is obviously the busiest day so far for 2017 but it is also the record for seventh (formerly sixth) Saturday and seventh (formerly sixth) weekend total. On top of all that it was also the 4th busiest day in Texas Renaissance Festival history.
It will be a short update this week, as we also had our annual School Days this week. More Renaissance Festival means less time at the keyboard, for better or worse!
While the numbers for the weekend were not as impressive as last year, (Those were really good numbers in 2016) they are better than the previous five year average attendance for the date of 30,358 for Saturday and 29,062 for Sunday. Hey, every weekend can’t be a record right?
What a difference a week can bring! We had some nice weather and everyone always loves All Hallows’ Eve, so attendance really bounced back this week. Last week I was really wishing for a breeze, this week not so much. Be careful what you wish for for, eh?
AHE is usually a crowd favourite, and I always enjoy seeing the creative (and not so creative) costumes everyone comes up with. This year did not disappoint, as with the cooler weather heavy or elaborate costumes weren’t such a burden to wear. This goes for uniform tunics as well, thankfully!
Week four of the 2017 Texas Renaissance Festival turned out to be a harsh lesson on how outside influences affect attendance. A dire weather forecast, a baseball championship, rain in the area and a cold front on Sunday all combined to drive down the numbers for the weekend.
After what amounted to two opening weekends it was time to settle in for the rest of the run of the 2017 festival. Pirate weekend is a fan favourite and historically on the calendar this weekend can be a hot one. We weren’t disappointed on either count as a shipload of people had a hot time at the ole festival this week!
This year I will be continuing my weekly By the Numbers series of discussions and comparisons about the Texas Renaissance Festival attendance and weather. This week was opening weekend of what I have playfully dubbed the Year of the Change.