Today was Grand Old Day. The weather was perfect; sunny and not too hot. I had a good time watching the parade and walking down the avenue. There is always lots to see, along with great people watching.
This year for the second time they had live wrestling in one of the stage areas. I was looking forward to watching again since I enjoyed it a lot last year. I arrived at the stage area and found out that you needed a wristband in able to enter. Last year you hadn’t needed one if you weren’t buying beer. I ended up having to watch from outside the festival garden area. I could see pretty well but it wasn’t the same as being up near the ring.
I don’t have a problem with the wristbands themselves and understand why they have them. What I do have a problem with is the price. $10 this year at the event. (They had them discounted to $5 for a while before the event but I didn’t find out about that until after the cutoff date for that price.) If the wristbands were free or $2-$3 I wouldn’t have a problem with it. $8 or $10 though is ridiculous. I’d take a less dim view of that if some of the proceeds were being donated to a charity or if the wristband came with a coupon for a free beer. (I meant get even like it a little better if the wristbands were collectible like a lot of Festival ones are. These are just plain paper wristbands.)
I was pretty annoyed because I just wanted to watch wrestling for a bit and wasn’t intending to drink.
You’d think they would keep things reasonably priced or at least offer a free or lower priced option for those who don’t or can’t drink (or who don’t want to drink). Entertainment is supposed to be free. (If they made it an outright cover charge I would be less annoyed too.) I wish wristbands weren’t necessary. I remember a number of years back seeing Soul Asylum at Grand Old Day, drinking a beer during the performance, and not having to pay extra for the privilege except for buying the beer. I wish we could go back to those days.