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Jazz Festival evening 1: Farmers Market in Alexandraparken

The fact is, both Tor and I have a strong aversion to Alexandraparken as a concert venue. You cannot sit by the stage, because there the volume is too high for those of us who are still not deaf (I have theories about why that area is always primarily peopled by the over-50s); and you cannot sit in most of the rest of the park because the sound either has to pass through bushes and trees, or even tents, getting more and more distorted along the way, not to mention the modest desire many might have of seeing the stage. The remainder are a couple of unsociable tables with unpleasant chairs.

We were therefore fairly surprised to find ourselves, not only in Alexandraparken, grasping our tickets at 200 a piece, but also there an hour and a half before the concert actually started. It was all down to all those people telling us Farmers Market was something we shouldn't miss. I decided to disregard the missing apostrophe (is it the market of one farmer or several farmers? The suspense is killing me) and pretend it is just a random constellation of words, convinced my self that the festival was sure to have changed the stupid stage arrangements of last year and dragged Tor along to get tickets earlier in the day.

Unfortunately, the park looked exactly as it did last year, and we decided on seats away from the stage, but still in view of it (albeit far away) -- that is to say, one of three tables where you could, in theory, both hear the music, see the musicians, and still have your hearing at the end of the concert, while sitting down.

I write ``in theory'' because as other people realised there was really nowhere pleasant to sit, they decided to stand in front of us, blocking the view. At which point we half-way gave up on the concert as a concert and decided to treat it as background music for interesting discussions about language, education and other stuff.

But yes, I am sure Farmers Market are very enjoyable if you can bear to sit close to the stage. The music was energetic, funny, Balkany, happy and pleasant. It got a little repetitive after a while when you couldn't see the stage, but I am sure they had a lot of fun in the tent.

The band described itself as a collection of cynical bastards (although there was a drummer with a sprinkling of sympathy and one entirely empathic Bulgarian). Tor insists I mention the description of one as a ``kynisk bassjævel'', which does not translate well, but made him want to be one.

I asked Tor what he thought of the concert. He replied,

Funky. Ganske variabelt. Eller egentlig jevnt. Det høres likt ut hele tiden, men det varierer hvor mye jeg liker det.

(Funky. Rather varying. Or not really. It sounds the same all the time, but how much I like it varies.)

We agreed there should be some sort of death penalty for people who stand in front of sitting people. When the revolution comes...

Something is wrong when those standing outside, having not paid for their tickets, have a better view than those who have. It is silly. This is not to be interpreted as a suggestion that they block off the street in some way. It is a suggestion that they stop taking money for the park, where they cannot offer a proper concert experience (or that they take less money for that area), and then restrict access to the tent proper. This would enable them to turn the volume down to sensible levels as well. I have no illusions that the festival will take on these suggestions, of course. God forbid they focus on quality rather than quantity.


Anders K.,  21.07.10 19:46

They shouldn't charge for entering the park because nobody goes there for the music, everyone goes there to meet people, drink beer and chat loudly. Which is a great activity, one of my favourites, as long as you don't have to pay money for the privilege of being allowed to pay more money for beer. My suggestion is to kick out those people up on the stage with instruments, I think they're the ones driving up the prices.

Arne,  21.07.10 23:50

I have been to two or three Farmers Market concerts. I like the music, but not especially if its only on CD if you know what I mean. If not, I mean you have to be close to the stage, or at least to see the stage. It's their live performance they're famous for. And the front man is really quite entertaining and clever. And playes a lot of different instruments :)

Are,  22.07.10 00:10

I'm surprised they played at that venue. From what I'm told about their music and their live gigs they sound like a band you'd listen to standing. Not sitting, and not in a tent.

(In general, I'm preferential to standing at concerts, at least as long as there is no dress code.)

Camilla,  22.07.10 10:34

I prefer to have the option of sitting at a concert. But sitting and seeing. If I don't see the stage, I might as well buy a cd.