Scratch ‘N’ Sniff: WaterFire Three – the Big Kids Weigh In

Let’s begin again on a positive note…

At least two attendees of last weekend’s WaterFire New Age smoke out on the Plaza came up to me to tell how fragrant the smoke was coming from the allegedly 55 bonfires set ablaze on Brush Creek. I can’t smell, so I’ll take their word. Not so on a crowd estimate of 25,000. Not after actually counting heads at the Plaza’s Thanksgiving Lighting Ceremony a handful of years back. I don’t thinkWaterFire’s attendance even comes close.

Remember, the Plaza had been promulgating numbers in the 250,000 to 300,000 range. Naturally talking TV news heads totally bought it, and reported it as fact. Until that is Waldo businessman Gary Evert and a task force of UMKC statistics students did an actual count for my Kansas City Star column that came in around 23,000 and change.

The Plaza then came clean that they had never conducted a count and have been silent on the subject since.

So allow me to toss a number out based not on a count, but on past experience; well under 5,000.

My 12 year-old daughters finding WaterFire as boring as they did actually surprised me.

So I solicited opinions from a pair of actual adults. One who attended and one who seemed to know better.

“I’ve never seen it,” says artist Peregrine Honig, owner of birdies boutique in the Crossroads. “”I’m such a snob when it comes to dance. I usually don’t go see dance unless it’s by a well-established choreographer. And I usually prefer dance that is more experimental.”

Not that Honig wasn’t tempted: “I mean, I love Nathan Granner – he’s super talented,” she says. “If there’s anything that could get me down to that thing, it’d be Nathan Granner and he almost did.”

The acclaimed KC-based tenor performed on a stage atop a bridge over the creek.

So was Honig at all intrigued by the bonfire experience?

“No, I wasn’t really interested,” she says. “You know, we have some really great art and performance stuff in Kansas City, so it’s really hard when we spend so much money in town on something that’s a great moneymaker, but (that’s) not my cup of tea.”

Tony Botello of KC Confidential and Tony’s Kansas City actually did zip down to catch the action.

“I’m interested in how they get post menopausal Brookside women to watch a shitty techno band,” Botello quips. “The women in the audience were dancing and having a good time. I mean, it’s good if you’re like high, but most of ’em weren’t.”

That addresses the mini stage shows only, not the broader concept of bonfires on the Brush and laid back music. Speaking of which, how was

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7 Responses to Scratch ‘N’ Sniff: WaterFire Three – the Big Kids Weigh In

  1. Anonymous says:

    lol, …… you’re funny hearne : ) hehehehe

    and I am serious, I was not being snide …. I giggled …. actually I chuckled, cuz men dont giggle.

  2. Anonymous says:

    B Cranston
    Peregrine never likes anything she’s not the center of attention of, Tony never likes anyhing that doesn’t involve a taco and Hearne is 10 years late for the Snark scene. Waterfire, Nathan and Quixotic were great, everyone else that attended had a great time.

  3. Anonymous says:

    James Andrews
    I was there and enjoyed the weather, the fire spinners and the people watching. All three of you really don’t know how to enjoy yourselves.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Perigrine is right that there are lots of things to do in KC.

    There are a number of established and new dance companies here.

    The cool thing about WaterFire, for me, I think, is the nice hang-out it has become. It also uses Brush Creek in a creative way. You can use the stereotypes about Brush Creek that it is pure sewage, but it isn’t.

    New Age, shoot I don’t know, was there Yanni being played?

    The playlist included lots of different music from Pat Metheny to some really good serious Turkish music.

    Another cool thing about WaterFire is the interactivity between onlookers and live performers.

    The event is open for artists to perform a few pieces and showcase their talent to people who normally would not see them. For a few it’s all about publicity, for others its a real gig (paying), but really it’s the artists who MAKE the event what it is, not the city.

    The CVA has made every attempt to not control the artistic side of WaterFire, offering as much as they can in a down economy.

    The event doesn’t make money. It is free.

    I think if anyone were truly disappointed by the event, you can blame me and the other artists who showed up and tried to make a cool thing happen.

    We could also clue in the other performing artists in the city that it’d be nice to have your enthusiasm to bring forward YOUR talent too.

    It is a perfect thing? Maybe not. But maybe it could be better with your help.

    I appreciate the article, I mean, I had pretty much just patted everybody on the back for a job well done. It certainly was not an easy thing to produce. hmm.

    love Nathan

  5. Anonymous says:

    Alan Mester
    Nathan Granner is one of KC’s wonderful hidden talents; perhaps, hidden for not much longer. His performance on the pedestrian bridge at WaterFire last Saturday was magnificent. Bravo, Nathan!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hey B Cranston, how do you know that everyone else had a good time?

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