Fierce Anniversary was without a doubt the most highly anticipated event since the start of the year. In our estimation, twenty percent (20%) of this anticipation had to do with a tasteful and flawless execution of a 3 month marketing strategy (a strategy that Alter Ego has become famous for) whilst another 20% had to do with the fact that the summer was dreadfully boring and it seems everyone in the Corporate Area was just desperate to party and unwind. However, the overwhelming driving factor is the fact that Alter Ego has become synonymous with high quality, high octane, and first class productions and as such its reputation precedes it. Yet whilst we recognize the high anticipation for the event, it is also important to note that the challenge with “high anticipation” is that it eventually bears immense disappointment! In this regard Alter Ego did beat out the norm, for the event was not immensely disappointing, just plain old vanilla flavoured disappointing!
The source of disappointment can squarely be placed at the feet of poor quality of music delivery and a bar area that was clearly overwhelmed by the crowd support. As it regards the first issue, it should be noted that PINK is at pains to make a distinction between poor music quality and the delivery mechanism. The issue of music quality relates to DJ quality whilst the delivery mechanism relates to technical matters revolving around sound. Here at PINK we found that the DJs did not embarrass themselves, in fact the selections were good in the main, excellent at times and poor only in passing. Consequently, our issue rests with the speaker boxes!
To their credit Alter Ego did not make the mistake of having too few speaker boxes. In fact, there was enough speaker box coverage to ensure that each square meter of the party area, including the Great House and behind it was covered by sound. The problem was, that having achieved total sound coverage there was no corresponding bass coverage, indeed the bass was concentrated towards the North-west corner of the party area. The effect of this miscalculation was that instead of a party one ended up with a LYME. To compound matters, it was evident that there was an issue of malfunctioning speaker boxes.
As it regards the second matter of the drinking taps running dry by 1 a.m. with low alcohol pressure before 12 a.m., Alter Ego has already apologized to their legions of fans for this. As such Pink will not dwell on this matter. Rather we will highlight that this is the first time, that we are certainly aware of, that a party promoter has apologized for not delivering on something they promised or is implicitly apart of throwing an event. This speaks to the emergence of a customer service culture at least as far as Alter Ego is concerned, and we welcome it and support it. To be frank, this pre-emptive move by Alter Ego illustrates what many persons have privately commented, that theirs is a brand that is more like a company or a professional unit and thus a cut above the rest at this point in time.
The Good Points
Yet whilst Fierce Anniversary was a bit of a disappointment, there were many good points:
- The Location was excellent, and by location we mean including the selection of Ocho Rios as the host town. This move alone transformed, Alter Ego from a Kingston based brand to a truly national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) marque. The selection of Ocho Rios meant that persons from Montego Bay, Negril, Portland and elsewhere could easily attend as it is just a straight (relatively) drive along the North Coast highway. Further, given the numbers in attendance which seemingly approached 500, Alter Ego can possibly lay claim to being the largest LGBT organization in Jamaica, depending on how largest is defined.
- Whilst the liquor taps were a source of unease, the lay out of the bar was both functional and aesthetically appealing. In deed we should point out that although the bar tenders were slower than a turtle on weed, they were professional as was the accounting staff. Such was the professionalism that whilst some patrons were busy mining for gold in their noses, the accounting staff accepted their monies and dispensed with their duties without fanfare or noise.
- The use of the Great House exuded Old World charm and had the effect of projecting an image of High Class. The team at Alter Ego had the good sense to let the charm of the old house provide the décor and not deface the setting with any unfortunate fabric selections rather choosing to use a light show to highlight the beauty, grace and elegance of the Great House. For future editions of this event, should Fierce decide to continue with the use of this location, they can determine how much they would want to add to the decor. However, a clearly demarcated dance area could possibly add to the aesthetics.
- The Soup, whoever was the cook deserves an award for best soup at a party!
The award for most fierce goes to Candy, with explanation! Ashlee was in our estimation slightly better dressed but clearly could not manage her heels. Candy on the other hand was well dressed and her heels could not stop her from splitting and sending her legs skyward.
Fierce Anniversary marks the beginning of the end of the Year and the start of the countdown to Christmas and New Years. We hope that in the long run, Party Promoters in general will be able to cultivate a culture of customer service and shake of their unfortunately acquired reputation of being rapacious money grubbers that deliver medium to low quality events without a concern about customer feedback. We hope that they recognize that theirs is a business, that albeit has thin margins, generates not only revenue but jobs from the bartenders to the liquor wholesalers that are used for consignment. Right now it seems that Alter Ego not only gets it but is moving in the right direction for theirs is truly a national symbol of excellence and quality.