So here we go, my review of Corning, New York’s Glassfest. The festival ran from May 24-27 with the intention of celebrating “glass and the fine arts in America’s crystal city.” With high expectations for this festival, I was a little disappointed with some aspects.
I attended two days out of the four and that was plenty. I will break down the good and the bad of each day for everyone.
I arrived Thursday at the Corning Museum of Glass for the ribbon cutting and the special 2300 Degrees. I was extremely excited for the ribbon cutting ceremony and started to make my way to a seat, when I was stopped and was asked if I was on the list. I was confused. List? The lady politely told me that the ribbon cutting ceremony was only for the press. I was miffed about this, because if this fact had been advertised, I would definitely have obtained a press pass. First of all, when the schedule was released, the ribbon cutting ceremony was first on the agenda with nothing saying it was for the press only. Second, why would you just want the press there for the ribbon cutting ceremony? Shouldn’t everyone that traveled to the festival be able to see this event and not be stuck on the outside trying to catch a glimpse of the glass ribbon being made and then cut?
With that out of the way, let’s get to the greatness of Thursday night. Thursday was packed with great people and fine drinks. 2300 Degrees hosted two fabulous bands for everyone to enjoy. The Gold Dust Lounge Band was on the outside stage while The Makepeace Brothers held down the main stage in the Auditorium. I was torn. Both bands were amazing and I had to split my time between the two. Gold Dust Lounge Band is from Florida and brought some incredible energy! I would have to say their music was fun in the sun infused with electronic flavor. The Makepeace Brothers, originally hailing from Ithaca, NY, are now based out of LA. Their set was remarkable and had everyone dancing up a storm! I bought a CD from both bands and both are in my rotation of daily music!
Saturday I got a late start and did not get over to town till 2pm. As I walked over, I figured it was going to be jammed packed. Boy, was I wrong; hardly anybody was there. So I was able to make my way down Market St. to scope out the art booths without any problems. I was surprised at the lack of glass artists on display. To be honest, I had seen most of the artist booths before at the now defunct ArtFest. Although all the artist booths were spectacular and all the artists are extremely talented, I just thought: “Where are all the glass artists?” Another thing that bummed me out was the lack of recycling cans. The festival was selling water and soda, only for the containers to end up in the garbage. That’s no good!
After a brief trip home, I returned for the evening’s festivities. Wow was I stunned by the dramatic change. The park was packed! Everyone had staked out their spot for DSB, the famous Journey tribute band. If you can’t have Journey, DSB was the next best thing! They put on an incredible show, performing all the classics. I was amazed at how much they sounded like Journey. I made my way to the back of the crowd to try and find my friends when all of a sudden I heard sirens. I became alarmed, because usually at a festival this not a good sign, but I was instantly relieved when four tricked-out motorcycles roared in over Centerway Bridge with a police escort! The bikers were friends of the band and had just completed a ride for charity. Pretty cool if you ask me.
As DSB’s set wound down, the Light Up the Night themed evening kicked off with a synchronized light show. This was fun. They lit the fountain with multiple lights and some nice visuals and some pretty cool music that they sync’d with the light show. But I had one problem with this: the fountain should not have a better lighting rig than the band performing on the main stage! I have seen better lights in a bar than what the main stage had. Okay, end of rant, back to the rest of the evening: The evening was capped off by one of the most brilliant fireworks displays I have ever seen. Wow! Just absolutely incredible. Not only were they brilliant in color and amazing, they were LOUD! My ears rang all the way home! A sure sign of a great fireworks!