I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Schadenfood.

I love the South Beach Food and Wine Festival. I've loved it since the first time I went, in 2004, when tickets were like sixty bucks a pop to the Grand Tasting Tent.

Since then, I have loved it more and more begrudgingly, as the tickets went up to $87 bucks, and then like $120 and then $187 and up, and up, and up.

And finally, this year, when the tickets to the Grand Tasting Tent broke $200.00 a pop, I was like, "Basta, ya," or, for those of you not in Miami, "Enough."

$212 for a day of elbowing people out of the way to get a venison sandwich on a bun, and a riblet on a plate? For tossing back mouthful after mouthful of thin Rioja and chalky Cabernet Sauvignon? Even if I could rub elbows with Martha Stewart and Paula Deen and George Duran and Madhur Jaffrey, the price this year was simply... outrageous.

And it looks like it wasn't worth it to a great number of other people as well.

It's not that I don't want the SoBe Food and Wine Festival not to do well - quite the opposite. Second to Art Basel, it's my favorite annual event. I LOVE it. I'm obsessed with the Food Channel. I read cooking magazines in my spare time. I plan around the festival - I even clear my schedule on the Monday after, to fend off the inevitable second-day hangover.

So, this year, when I made the executive decision, "I'm not going, I cannot afford it," it was a bitter decision for me. (It turns out I'm out of town this weekend for a wedding anyway, but even if I was staying, I still wouldn't be going.)

Having made that decision, I'm really enjoying seeing that lots of other people have made the same decision. And I'm enjoying seeing Brian Schrager do the publicity tap-dance as to why Grand Tasting Tent Tickets are still available... the week of the Festival. He's not kidding anyone. Comped tickets cut down or not, like everything else in Miami, the festival got too big for its britches, too smug, and reached too high.

Just as they overbuilt on Brickell and downtown, and are now squirming in the mire resulting from a burst of greediness, it's sort of nice to see this Festival get checked.

I just hope it undergoes some self-correction and (1) comes back next year and (2) comes back next year with reasonable ticket prices. Also, I'm not unmindful of the fact that the Festival benefits FIU. It just seems to me that selling more cheap(er) tickets would benefit FIU (and the local economy) more than selling less more expensive tickets.

So - South Beach Food and Wine Festival - we will miss each other this year. I hope you think about what you've done, and come back next year, chastened. I'm more than willing to forgive you, as long as you come back next year, having learned something. And your ticket prices drop. I'll come back to you if you charge $150.00 a ticket to the Grand Tasting Tent. Swearsies.

4 Comments:

Blogger Lola said...

I love your blog!!

3:23 PM

 
Blogger SuperBee said...

Thank you, Lola! : )

7:45 PM

 
Anonymous JB said...

You know what the kicker was? No free wine lanyard with your glass this year. They were charging $5 (initially) and then $10 when they realized how much people wanted them! That really pissed me off. The tasting is great, but I think the Burger Bash and the BubbleQ are more fun on the whole. I mean, where else can you get a burger made and handed to you by Bobby Flay? Ilan Hall's fried chicken skin sandwich was the bomb, too...

4:34 PM

 
Blogger SuperBee said...

No effing LANYARDS!!? That's too much.

7:45 PM

 

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