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My Thoughts: 2014 Houston Margarita Festival (review)

YOU NEED MORE!

Those were my general thoughts throughout my entire experience. Let’s start at the beginning.

The 2014 Houston Margarita Festival took place Saturday, October 25th, from 2:00pm – 10:00pm at Discovery Green.  So let’s just hop right on into this.

My friend and I arrived there around 3:20pm.  When we walked up, there was a line to the entrance that was FOREVER long.  And I am not exaggerating. But then there was a separate line for those who purchased tickets from Groupon or Living Social (ours was from Living Social). So I was like COOL.

Until I followed that line around a corner. Y’all.  The line was literally wrapped around the block.  It was HORRIBLE.  That’s so childish. There’s no reason for that.  We got in line around 3:30pm and made it to the front of the line (not inside) around 4:17pm. RIDICULOUS. You KNEW to expect a crowd. You are well aware of how many tickets you put out and sold. Come on.

YOU NEED MORE PEOPLE! 

Then, as people have stood in line for basically forever, THAT is when they decided to have some volunteers come out and tell people that there was actually a separate line for those who have Groupons.  So if you’d been standing in the Living Social line, you had to get out and go get in the back of the line for Groupon.

NOPE.

There were no ropes, no barricade, no nothing to control the line.  Once you got toward the front, it was basically like a big group.

YOU. NEED. MORE. PEOPLE. 

YOU NEEEEEED MORE ORGANIZATION.

So just when I was about to rejoice at the fact that we were about to get in, my friend reminded me about drink tickets. And pointed out that the same people who were in the forever long line outside, would then need to get in a line for drink tickets inside.

I was like..

See. The only way to be able to get a drink is to use a drink ticket.  The only way to get a drink ticket is to purchase them from drink ticket booths.

There were three booths.

The number of people expected at this festival was around 20,000.

TWENTY THOUSAND.

And, just as he said, once we got inside the festival, there was a massive line at the ticket booths.

(I may or may not have refused to stand in yet another line and decided to cut A LOT of people. I may or may not have done that.)

YOU NEED MORE TICKET BOOTHS! 

Or better yet, why not accept cash/cards at the booths? CHILDISH!

Okay. So let’s discuss these tickets. Each ticket was $2.00. Regular margaritas were 3 drink tickets ($6) and “premium” margaritas were 4 drink tickets ($8).

The cups were 6 oz.

So.  That’s 6oz of margarita for $6.00 or $8.00.  After standing in lines for approximately a total of 3 hours to get your drinks in the first place (there were also MASSIVE lines to get drinks).  Then there were booths for Lime-a-Ritas, Straw-Ber-Ritas, and Raz-Ber-Ritas.  Each one of those was 2 tickets. $4.00. EACH. For the SMALL can.  They are $1.00 each at Kroger!!!??? I mean COME. ON.

Oh. And one of the water booths ran out of water.  This was around 5:30pm.

YOU NEED MORE WATER!?!?!?!

Then, at some of the booths, they had machines and there came a point where you had to wait for the machines to freeze the margaritas.  That took 20 minutes.

YOU NEED MORE MACHINES!

Everywhere you turned, it was people, people, and more people. People everywhere.

YOU NEED MORE SPACE!

So what was good about the festival? For me, it was the company, the weather (it was so nice!), and the DJ (at times). Also, the food smelled and looked REALLY good (I didn’t eat there this time, but last year it was good). You could pay for the food with cash/cards.

This is the third year for the Houston Margarita Festival.  And it’s time to reevaluate.  Anytime you have a crowd of 20,000 people, it’s time to plan better and make it a wee bit more convenient.  Nobody wants to stand in a line to get in for almost an hour and then go inside to stand in another line for tickets for almost an hour and then stand in another line for a drink for almost another hour.

Nobody wants to do that.

It’s a really cute set-up, but it may be time to move it away from Discovery Green.  I mean, this is a good problem to have.  It means that the event has grown.

But in my honest opinion, it simply wasn’t worth it.  I didn’t pay full price for the tickets, but I can’t imagine paying $25 just to get in, and then having to pay $6-$8 a pop for a 6oz drink (which some argued were extremely watered down).  There is no benefit, here. It was crowded, and people were uber frustrated.

Better luck next year!

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