Porta-Potties. And Such.
While we normally put the "pro" in procrastination, we decided that delaying on Roots and Blues planning could be a legendary disaster, even by PJP standards. (And honestly, since I still suffer from lingering Thanksgiving post-traumatic stress disorder, adding a barbecue related breakdown would probably send me right on over the edge.) If you are curious about how Roots and Blues works from the vendor perspective, you basically pay hundreds of dollars for an empty 10x20 space. And then everything else is a la carte...including the tent and the electricity and even the water. We purchased one circuit of electricity for $150 and then spent a lot of time wondering exactly just how much stuff you can plug into one circuit. (As a side note, is the whole "how much you can plug into one circuit of electricity" common knowledge? Because I feel like it isn't. But if the application just lets you buy as many circuits as you want at $150 each, there must be the assumption by the organizers that people know this sort of thing. I'm not sure if I should be indignant or ashamed.)
So while fully stocked with employees this morning, we left Mitch, Mac, and Bailey in charge of PJP Buttonwood and went to A-1 Party Rentals to find some tent and lighting-related answers. But first I'm going to digress and ask if you are aware of the things that you can rent for weddings now? I was tempted to text Behind-The-Scenes-Tech-Guru Jason and demand he consent to a second (albeit 15 years later) wedding ceremony simply so I could rent the most darling table place settings. And a chandelier. And a four-tier champagne fountain. And satin chair covers. And a white leather lounging couch to sip cocktails on in my fancy second wedding bridal gown. Ahem...
After Jeanne and I pulled ourselves away from all the fluff, we got down to the business of tents. We need a 10x20 tent. And lights are mandatory. And I also don't like to be hot, so fans are a must (honestly, I don't like to be hot, hungry, or tired...and God bless if you if I'm all three). Within 15 minutes, we had completely overwhelmed the guy helping us. (I think we lost him when we started debating the merits of whether a chandelier would be a good option for a tent at a festival.)
But at the end of what was probably a trying hour for everyone involved, we reserved a tent, lighting, fans, and a number of other things you probably don't care about, but in the end will make our tent super cute. And all in, we spent about $550, but that includes the set-up and the tear-down of the tent. (And shhh...I probably would have paid $550 for that service alone. Our tent construction skills are seriously lacking.)
The one thing that our new friends at A1 couldn't provide us is a portable hand-washing sink. The festival (and the City of Columbia) requires that each vendor bring their own portable hand-washing sink and their own jugs of water (and then you have to take those full jugs of dirty water away and dump them off site, because OF COURSE YOU DO). After much Googling, A1 suggested we try a porta-potty rental company for sink rental availability. I emailed them earlier this afternoon regarding the hand washing sink, but it really begged the important question...should we rent ourselves a private porta-potty? Is that over the top? Too much? Bordering on Real Housewives level drama? Or is it okay based on the theory that no one really is okay with a shared porta-potty?
And then I started to think about the cost of a private porta-potty. What value to do you put on a seat not shared by thousands? Whatever it is, the value is less than the value of a team of strangers assembling our tent prior to the event and tearing it down after, right?