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Oak Street Po-Boy Fest's Scheme to Take Your Money

This easily counts as the rant of the day, or maybe even of the week or the month. Steve of He Said/She Said NOLA (obviously Steve is the "He Said" half of that equation) totally excoriates the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival for, well, basically being a rip-off. The Po-Boy Fest has gained notoriety for being the event devoted to that delightful local sandwich, and also for being an annual cluster of unwieldy crowds and long lines:

Turning five, this event has become to a degree a victim of it’s own success [sic]. Oak Street being what it is, the press of people has often created parking nightmares and stupefying lines. But not to worry! This year there’s a solution to all that: The brand new Fest VIP wristband.
The wristband lets VIPs skip the ridiculous lines to buy their food and drink more quickly. How much does that line-cutting cost? Only $200. For a sandwich. Or, for an afternoon of sandwiches, that those VIPs will still have to pay for.

So while, yeah, the whole point of the Fest is to attract attention to Oak Street, and in theory raising money helps do that, somehow (they never actually say where the proceeds go), $200 just to be able to skip lines and still have to pay for food and drink seems kind of crazy.

To be fair, that does provide easier access to all 40+ vendors who will be there putting various meats and things on French bread. And the thanksgiving po' boy from Parkway Tavern sounds really, really good, but you can always just get that from the source. The thing is, this is really the centerpiece of the Po-Boy Fest's attempt to alleviate the crowds. Selling it for $200 (or $150 if you don't want or need a parking spot) won't help most people. The "hoi-polloi", as He Said/She Said calls them, will still be stuck in lines. So what, then, could have stopped this silliness?

Oak Street, you really, really need an assigned WTF person on your staff, as in someone who will stand up in the room and say WTF? when you propose insane shit like this.
Of course, if you want to brave the lines?or pay the equivalent of a dinner for two at any local fine dining restaurant to skip those lines?the Oak Street Po-Boy Fest is this Sunday, November 20, from 10AM to 7PM.

· Overstuffed Egos: The Oak Street Po-Boy Festival [He Said/She Said]
· Oak Street Po-Boy Fest [Official Site]
· All Fess Time Coverage on Eater NOLA [-ENOLA-]

The 2010 Po-Boy Preservation Festival, now called the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival. [Photo: flickr / infrogmation]