Zimfest 2014 Survey Comments Synopsis

October 13, 2014

Workshops

What went well: Quality, content and affordability of classes; most teachers were mentioned by name as having done well

What didn’t: A few workshops were overcrowded; marimba set in Thompson was not of expected quality. There were a few instances of teachers arriving late to workshops.

Requests/ideas: more singing, drumming, dance, intensives, mbira on Sunday.

Zimfest Pass

What people liked about it: fewer hassles, simplicity of not handling tickets, good deal if taking lots of workshops; ease of registration

Criticisms: it was not an option for people rooming in the Trimble Suites; expensive if not taking workshops.

Concerts

What went well: quality of the afternoon concerts; longer sets for evening performers; variety; free daytime concerts are open to the public; lunchtime concert promotion; Emcees for nighttime concerts; Mookoomba, Cosmas, Musekiwa and Loveness.

What didn’t: dancers in front of the performers blocked view from seats in concert hall; evening concerts too long for some; marimba bands too loud

Requests/ideas: concurrent stages with different music styles (mbira, marimba, Afropop) so that people could choose; raise the stage to increase visibility of performers; have certain bands perform every other year to allow space for other bands; separate mbira and marimba shows; Marketplace in shady location closer to day stage; table for performers to sell CDs at nighttime concerts; list where performers are from in the festival guide

Volunteering

What went well: working with others and giving back to the festival, meeting performers and feeling more connected to the community; Daniel, Jake and Alex; volunteer grid

What didn’t go well: sometimes not needed at the job signed up for; registration and other jobs were at times confusing; some people felt that after spending so much on getting to and registering for ZF they could not afford to volunteer

Suggestions: better communication, organization and direction

Housing and Dining

What went well: housing and meals appreciated by many; some people appreciated the vegetarian and gluten free options, others felt they were inadequate

Criticisms: inconvenient location of kitchen in Trimble Hall; small towels; food ran out; disposable items in dining hall; stuffy rooms; food not great; housing great until the cheerleaders arrived; lack of elevators hard for some; some people were unhappy in various ways with the dorms; high prices

Suggestions: bring back the Zimbabwean dinner

Marketplace

What went well: festival T-shirts were of excellent quality; mallets and hosho available

What didn’t go well: small size; MBIRA, Tariro and Dandemutande were missed; lack of variety.

Suggestions: sell CDs of the bands that were performing; more food options, fabrics, coffee/espresso, drums, books, CDs and mbiras for sale; attract outside vendors

Late Night Parties

What went well: variety, staying in the same building—going to sleep listening to mbira and singing; mbira with guitar; 10 players together; attempts to provide direction appreciated—Jiti singing; Zimbabweans at the gatherings

What didn’t: bad hosho; piano played at gathering; guitar invasion; physical space and layout was uncomfortable; drumming

Suggestions: wish they started a little earlier; consider adding spaces for drumming and guitar

Festival

What went well: concert programming; sound quality at concerts; UPS campus; opening ceremony with Cosmas; Claire and Daniel were complimented; paid coordinator; location including the proximity of the day stage to bathrooms, etc; the volunteer effort

What didn’t: seems like there are fewer people every year; not enough local community involvement; a lot of people were missed; high cost; website confusing; the cheerleaders; lack of signs identifying buildings

Suggestions: purchase computer equipment; more opportunities for people to play with each other outside of the workshops; be more welcoming to newcomers; better marketing; more cultural presentations, film; consult with world music festival organizers to get ideas to increase funding; a permanent home might help; connect with local choir groups