by Joe Berkowitz
There was a free corporate-sponsored event this weekend! Billed as a multimedia arts venture, the event took place in the meat packing district of some city. It was one of a handful of events that will be held internationally this summer, offering up exciting artistic experiences across several technological platforms. It was a music festival featuring a bunch of hot acts. It was also an art show with interactive exhibitions. There were film screenings, including one from a highly acclaimed director. Some companies provided food, and still other companies kept bars stocked with beverages, both alcoholic and otherwise. All for free. It was an embarrassment of riches!
The selection of musicians was really impressive and spanned many genres. There were new bands, just starting to break out on the strength of blog-buzz, and other bands who were popular last decade and have new albums on the way. There was also a surprise special guest-a controversial performer who’s been talked about lately because of a profile that a magazine did on her. The surprise guest also has a new album out soon.
All the bands did a really great job! Also the artwork was a fun and interesting diversion between sets, and while the films were reportedly totally worth checking out, lots of people missed them to secure good spots near the stage for the next musical performance.
The refreshments were also just terrific. All your basic barbecue favorites were on hand, and remained available for most of the afternoon (the event lasted from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.) Twin gelato stands dispensed icy treats in many tasty flavors. The bars were handing out unlimited alcohol from various brands, and there was juice, tea and bottled water from some other brands. Drinks were available continuously all day and into the night. You could get totally hammered, and then keep on dancing, if you were so inclined!
Did I mention this was all for free?
The companies who made the experience possible were being very generous. It was the kind of experience an attendee would usually pay a lot of money for. Getting to go was like receiving a substantial reward, even though nobody had to do anything beyond RSVP and volunteer an email address in order to gain admission. Surely some response must be expected in exchange for such a gift?
For my part, I will certainly look favorably upon the corporations sponsoring the event, even if I can’t remember their names. When I am next in the market for a new computer, or for some entertainment-related goods and services, the association will live on. Hopefully that will be enough to fulfill my end of the bargain, and express my gratitude to somebody. Because I would like to, but I’m not exactly sure what I’m supposed to do.