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Near-Fest Idiocy

Garys

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It was Hoss Traders until the original founders all decided to "retire" from running it. I started going back in the early 1980s when I first got my ticket. The format hasn't changed much in all that time.

It's ridiculous to require anything since 95% or more is held outside. There are a few commercial buildings and one building where some seminars and exams are held, but that's it.

Even if you don't buy anything it's fun to walk around and see the crazy prices people are asking for what's essentially scrap metal. I swear some people super glue their items for "sale" to the table and store them that way between shows.

Come to think of it, there's another cross over from some gun shows I've been too.

I wonder what idiocy the people who run the Flea at MIT will come up with this spring?

Wasn't it called Hoss Traders back in the 1980s-90s? Perhaps more computer junk back then, but it isn't lacking computer junk these days either. I used to hear about that flea market when I was at DEC. I got my ticket in 2017 and never attended any ham flea markets (other than MIT, buying batteries and computer junk) before that.

Your assessment of Mike is spot-on.
 

SpaceCritter

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Well, a**h***ry seems to be a common occurrence in the amateur radio community. I believe I mentioned in another thread an active ham I know - instructed the Technician exam prep course I took* - happened to have a mic keyed when the clock in the hall struck a few bongs of Westminster Chimes... and someone wanted to have him written up for transmitting MUSIC!

[rolleyes]

As far as stinky goes, as the Critter with his very own Stinky Thread, I'm not throwing stones. [laugh]

* No, I am not posting my callsign. [grin]
 

Garys

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Well over 30 years ago my Brother In Law was out on his boat in Hingham Harbor. He used the phone patch on his 2Meter Weymouth repeaterto call someone to come out and tow his boat back in. One of the admins of that repeater called him and told him he was violating FCC rules by using his ham radio for business.

I had one admin on the Sharon repeater tell me to stay off because they were starting emergency operations for the incoming hurricane. Three days before the hurricane was due to hit.

Yeah, there is a fair amount of a$$ hattery among hams. Which is why I don't spend a lot of time hanging around most of them.

Well, a**h***ry seems to be a common occurrence in the amateur radio community. I believe I mentioned in another thread an active ham I know - instructed the Technician exam prep course I took* - happened to have a mic keyed when the clock in the hall struck a few bongs of Westminster Chimes... and someone wanted to have him written up for transmitting MUSIC!

[rolleyes]

As far as stinky goes, as the Critter with his very own Stinky Thread, I'm not throwing stones. [laugh]

* No, I am not posting my callsign. [grin]
 

n1oty

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Well, a**h***ry seems to be a common occurrence in the amateur radio community. I believe I mentioned in another thread an active ham I know - instructed the Technician exam prep course I took* - happened to have a mic keyed when the clock in the hall struck a few bongs of Westminster Chimes... and someone wanted to have him written up for transmitting MUSIC!

[rolleyes]

As far as stinky goes, as the Critter with his very own Stinky Thread, I'm not throwing stones. [laugh]

* No, I am not posting my callsign. [grin]


I wasn't going to post my call sign either, but...........................................................
 

drgrant

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This virus has been great at exposing the petty dictators, micromanagers, collectivists and busybodies among us. Screw all of them.
Lol there has always been an archetype of tin pot dictators in amateur radio, thankfully it's not a majority. Some of those guys were Karens before karening was a thing.
 

Len-2A Training

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That's because many of them shower as often as gun show attendees!
Personally I think it is less frequent than that. Add to that the need to hike up and down hills at Deerfield plus only 2 bathrooms open with only cold water and no soap . . . there is no chance not to be overwhelmed.
 

timbo

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Lol there has always been an archetype of tin pot dictators in amateur radio, thankfully it's not a majority. Some of those guys were Karens before karening was a thing.
So true...I think a lot of it comes from the “self policing” mentality of the hobby, plus it seems there is an over abundance of law enforcement types (and wannabes) of many different stripes as well as many first responder types that are strangely attracted to ham radio and many have this attitude that their job doesn’t end where their hobby starts.
 
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AHM

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The indoor one in Boxboro, Mass ain't bad. That one still on?
They'd punted Boxboro for Marlboro,
but never got to consummate it there because of Teh 'Rona.

It would be a weird confluence of circumstances
for it to ever return to Boxboro.
 

Len-2A Training

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They'd punted Boxboro for Marlboro,
but never got to consummate it there because of Teh 'Rona.

It would be a weird confluence of circumstances
for it to ever return to Boxboro.
Not at all likely. That place has had serious issues for many, many years. It has lost various franchises over those years for good cause. The Boxboro crew came to realize this and chose an excellent substitute location in Marlboro. Faker of course will do all in his power to stop any such events from taking place and will try his damndest to put places like the Marlboro Trade Center out of business. Let's hope that he doesn't succeed.
 

AHM

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Not at all likely. That place has had serious issues for many, many years. It has lost various franchises over those years for good cause. The Boxboro crew came to realize this and chose an excellent substitute location in Marlboro. Faker of course will do all in his power to stop any such events from taking place and will try his damndest to put places like the Marlboro Trade Center out of business. Let's hope that he doesn't succeed.
Thing is, the convention had moved from August to the week after Labor Day.
(And then the can got kicked down the road once or twice for Coronavirus2020...).
But I thought it was intended to stay in early September.

Not saying some weird consequences of the lockdown might not have echoes
that disrupt the date selection - a bigger event snagging the weekend, for instance.

And not making predictions about when the lockdown will effectively end.

But I didn't recall any rollback to July forecast for future years...
 

Len-2A Training

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Wow! They pulled any mention of a 2021 event!

I do remember July 23-25, 2021 being mentioned during the online event in November.

Keep in mind that many vendors aren't young guys/gals and if they aren't willing to sign up, the organizers can be looking at a financial disaster. Planning is usually a year before an event of this size, so I won't be surprised if they do a virtual event instead for 2021.
 

AHM

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Wow! They pulled any mention of a 2021 event!

I do remember July 23-25, 2021 being mentioned during the online event in November.
Sorry to have doubted. I was sheltering in place, and didn't teleconference,
so that fun factoid had totally escaped my notice. I'll claim that it's a
non-traditional weekend for the affair, hence my skepticism.
Oh, and thanks much for looking around.

Keep in mind that many vendors aren't young guys/gals and if they aren't willing to sign up, the organizers can be looking at a financial disaster. Planning is usually a year before an event of this size, so I won't be surprised if they do a virtual event instead for 2021.
Which will be a death-knell in turn for sub-sectors of the event industry...

(OTOH, if/when we have an eyeball QSO in the next few months,
I'll have some thoughts to share on a related topic; too tedious
to reduce to written form).
 

Len-2A Training

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NearFest in April/May 2021 has just been canceled. Here's the dictator's Email message.

Dear Friends of NEAR-Fest.....

I am sure that just about everyone knew this was coming but this makes it is official.

Given the current Coronavirus situation with new cases reported every day at astronomical levels (on January 8th there were 7,110 in Mass. alone) and the fact that the vaccination process is running behind schedule we have decided that April 30th/May 1st 2021 is far too soon to hold NEAR-Fest XXIX and guarantee that it will safe for all. Consequently I have this day notified the Deerfield Fair Association that we have decided to cancel it.

This decision was not taken lightly but it is also a no brainer. There are no options. As you know this is the third NEAR - Fest that had to be cancelled because of Covid-19. The good news is that NEAR-Fest XXX is scheduled for October 15thand 16th, 2021 and, for the first time since this started, I am fully confident this will be our grand “NEAR-Fest Homecoming!”

Advance tickets and parking passes that were sold for NEAR- Fest XXIX will be valid for NEAR-Fest-XXX. However anyone wanting a full refund may have it. Email [email protected] for details.

For more information visit NEAR-Fest XXIX Cancelled. Next one October 15th and 16th 2021!!!!

73 and see you all on October 15th!

Mister Mike, W1RC
Benevolent Dictator
New England Amateur Radio Festival, Inc.
I wouldn't take bets on October either!
 

Garys

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NearFest in April/May 2021 has just been canceled. Here's the dictator's Email message.


I wouldn't take bets on October either!

As with a lot of things with the panicdemic, this will likely kill NEAR Fest. I won't be at all surprised ir there is no MIT Flea this year either. Or maybe never as it's been getting squeezed by construction for the past five or so years.
 

AHM

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As with a lot of things with the panicdemic, this will likely kill NEAR Fest.
I lack the vision thang, but...

I'ma go way out on a limb and question whether the Fair Association
has a long list of other events banging on their door;
ravening to reserve the venue on those two weekends on the calendar.

Neither are there a boatload of other healthy happy regional mega hamfests
clamoring for commercial vendors to instead commit to their event
on those same two weekends per year.

Which begs the question of WTF are the major sunk costs and overhead
that are bleeding the event dry; costs which suppliers can't credit
towards future instances of the event?

We ain't getting any younger, and I'm sure the disruption
in the rhythm has an impact on the cadre of volunteers,
but that ain't a money thing. And the only reports I ever see
are arguments from the purse.
 

Garys

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I lack the vision thang, but...

I'ma go way out on a limb and question whether the Fair Association
has a long list of other events banging on their door;
ravening to reserve the venue on those two weekends on the calendar.

Neither are there a boatload of other healthy happy regional mega hamfests
clamoring for commercial vendors to instead commit to their event
on those same two weekends per year.

Which begs the question of WTF are the major sunk costs and overhead
that are bleeding the event dry; costs which suppliers can't credit
towards future instances of the event?

We ain't getting any younger, and I'm sure the disruption
in the rhythm has an impact on the cadre of volunteers,
but that ain't a money thing. And the only reports I ever see
are arguments from the purse.

When events are cancelled for a couple of years in a row, people tend to lose interest and forget about them. There may well be more smaller, regional, ham fests, but NEAR Fest could well die. I don't know how much the fairgrounds cost, but it's probably not much. The food vendors seem to be semi permanent, and probably like the chance for another day and half of revenue. There is a dumpster rental, which the organizers have to pay for. Other than that, it's all volunteers.

Unlike MA, no police details..
 

Orion2k

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I don't know how much the fairgrounds cost, but it's probably not much.
I recall seeing a post on their website that said they paid $3000 to reserve the site for each event and they lost the money because there was no force majeure clause in the contract. They recently announced they were going up on general admission to $15 from the usual $10, quite possibly because they lost so much money. If you paid for your tickets in advance they would still honor the old fee but the new fee would be paid at the gate.

Good thing I didn't pay in advance.
 

AHM

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When events are cancelled for a couple of years in a row, people tend to lose interest and forget about them. There may well be more smaller, regional, ham fests, but NEAR Fest could well die.
That's like saying people are going to forget Christmas,
but will be front and center for Arbor Day.

Unlike MA, no police details..
I wouldn't want to get disorderly around the Sergeant-at-Arms.

I recall seeing a post on their website that said they paid $3000 to reserve the site for each event and they lost the money because there was no force majeure clause in the contract.
Well now, that's fascinating.
Easy come, easy go. [rolleyes]
 

ToddDubya

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Reading through this thread reminds me of why I never join any clubs of any sort. I don't even have any range memberships because I don't want to deal with the club types.

I've been listening to my local repeater a lot more recently and considered joining the club to support them, but now I don't want to. But I might still.
 

DispositionMatrix

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Reading through this thread reminds me of why I never join any clubs of any sort. I don't even have any range memberships because I don't want to deal with the club types.

I've been listening to my local repeater a lot more recently and considered joining the club to support them, but now I don't want to. But I might still.
You can send money to support your local repeater without joining the club.
 
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