Here in Fort Collins, we just wrapped up FoCoMX, which is basically Christmas for the local music scene. Over the course of two nights, there were nearly 400 bands that played across 2 dozen venues in Fort Collins. Amy and the Peace Pipes were lucky enough to be selected, but in addition to playing I also had the chance to go out and do some shooting for the FoCoMA.
I ended up covering a lot of ground over the course of the night but still didn’t get to see many of the bands as I hoped. Rather than park myself at a single venue, I roamed throughout downtown and captured bands in venues of all sizes and lighting. Some made for some interesting challenges, but I’m overall pretty happy with how the images turned out.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve been out to shoot some bands, but I recently had the opportunity to catch some talented high school bands at the Downtown Artery in Fort Collins.
Cosmic Hot Sauce opened for My Dog Ate Chad, both which put on an awesome show for a packed crowd. It was a bit of the challenge to work on the extreme amount of red light that was being cast on faces, but I captured some pretty fun shots.
I came across this story in the Coloradoan earlier this week:
Old Town Fort Collins bars plan to launch ID scanners
You need to read the story, but in a nutshell an initiative called “Downtown After Dark” wants every establishment in downtown Fort Collins to install drivers license scanners, as well as photograph everyone that enters a bar in Fort Collins at night. They want to build a database of all patrons so that they can easily identify trouble-makers.
They say “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”, but I’m not even sure if these intentions are that good. I can appreciate the intention of wanting to curb bar fights and disorderly conduct, but is giving the police a database on everyone that goes out the way to do this? Talk about “guilty until proven innocent.”
If we’ve learned anything by the internet: building a database of personal information will surely get hacked. It’s like what Steve Buscemi said in Armageddon, you’re going to put your trust into something that was built by the lowest bidder? They said that the ID system is being targeted by the small minority of disrupters, but it’s the vast majority that’s going to be impacted when some identity thief gets into that data. Moreover, if you have open access to employees in these establishments, how hard is it for a seedy worker to go in and get the address of woman he’s decided to stalk?
You then have the issue of what’s considered “unruly behavior”. I’m sure the law enforcement in Fort Collins do a fine job, but this system becomes all too easy to track the whereabouts of anyone out to have a good time in Fort Collins. What happens when someone who has unpaid parking tickets shows up at the bar? What happens if a private investigation firm gets access to this DB. All of the sudden your employer can now find out whether you were drinking the night before you called in sick?
Each one of these systems costs $1800 – multiply that by the number of bars in Old Town and watch those costs sky-rocket. Those machines need to be paid for by someone – whether it’s the owners hiking the prices of drinks, or the tax-payer when this measure is put on a ballot.
This all boils down to the fact that some bars in Old Town have a problem over-serving people. Instead of cracking down on the patrons who are having a good time, not causing any trouble and pumping money into the local economy, why don’t we crack down on the bartenders who aren’t cutting people off when they need to be? There are bars in Old Town which constantly have these incidents, why not crack down on the owners of these places to beef up their own security before tracking anyone who goes out in Fort Collins?
For those of you outside Colorado, you may have heard that we are getting quite the snow storm. Late yesterday afternoon it started raining, which quickly turned to snow as the night progressed. Both Bethany and I drove separately from Denver to Fort Collins and dealt with the horrible road conditions. We woke up this morning with a robo-call for Bethany that told her the Fort Collins schools were closed. We were doing a chili cook-off at work, so I still drove into work. My chili was a hit at the sparsely-attended event, but was still a lot of fun.
I had no doubt that it would snow this week, as Greenfoot has a show tomorrow night. It seems like we’ve had crappy weather for the last 3-4 shows that we’ve played. I’m holding out hope that the snow will taper off early enough tomorrow to encourage people to come out to the show.
For those of you in Northern Colorado, I hope that you’re safe and warm tonight (and have nowhere to go).