Welcome to Jfest! You walk in, buy your Jbucks, take a seat,
enjoy the music and meander around checking out the booths, food, or Kidsworld.
It’s a magical land of funnel cakes, shaved ice, music, and fellowship. That is
what the public gets the chance to experience. On the other side we (the staff)
get to see everyone enjoy the hard work. This is the reason I enjoy event
management. You get to watch your dream of making people happy a reality, even
if it is only for a day. It is seeing all of the puzzle pieces coming together
to form one beautiful picture of completion.
One of the pieces to the puzzle is putting up all the orange
fencing that keeps people from going where they shouldn’t. This task involves
pounding metal bars into the ground and zip tying on the fencing. Sounds easy
enough right? It is as long as you don’t loose control of the pounder. Well,
Justin lost control and the 20 or so pound pounder came and hit him right in
the head sending him to the ER to get his skin glued back together.
Puzzle piece number two is putting up all the signs and
banners around the camp. Two other people and I were put in charge of putting
the J103 banner all the way down the fence. Also a pretty straightforward task
except when all the fire ants decide that is where they want to build their
homes. Needless to say we got a few bites before we learned our lesson to look
where we stepped.
It might sound like it was all work, some injury and no
play, but that is not how the J103 staff operates. We always have a little fun
at the end of the day. During set up week our fun was in the form of a golf
cart race. We lined up in the parking lot and took off. The first five seconds
was the most exciting part because all of our cars had different rates at which
they sped up. Once we all topped out at a certain speed the race wasn’t really
much of race anymore, but it was still fun because we got so competitive about
Once all the set up was complete I was stationed at the main
entrance for ticket sales and will call. This was probably my favorite piece of
the puzzle because the team at the desk is the first impression people get of
Jfest and I think all of us were striving to get everyone’s day started off
right. I got to meet a ton of people and wish them a happy day.
I was then put in the position to pass out surveys to
festivalgoers to get their opinion on Jfest. That was also a lot of fun because
I got to fellowship with some of them and find out their opinion about the
What I have learned from this whole experience is that it
takes tremendous amount of work to put together a festival of this magnitude
and the aftermath of evaluations and clean up is a tedious process. Surveys had
to be evaluated, tickets had to be counted, vendors had to be paid, and cost-profit
analysis had to be evaluated. Finishing all that work was very rewarding because
I was able to see the impact Jfest has on others along with the impact it has
on the mission of J103.