The line at Porkus Maximus was about as much proof as you needed that combining good drinks with spit fired and smoked barbecue is going to be popular, especially when there’s metro access running (finally). Saturday was the first annual BB.BBQ Fest for Tysons, an event that has been hosted in other parts of our metro region.
The weather held out, unlike the music festival last week, which meant plenty of folks playing cornhole, listening to some live bands, and eating an inordinate amount of meat. The addition of some games seems to have been the right move, and a reduction in some of the typical home and garden vendors was a big improvement over the Food&Wine Festival.
Some recommendations from my observations for future festivals:
– Utilize the hills around Lerner Townsquare better. Many festival goers ended up heading to the hills because it was a good place to sit; consider setting up some shade stands.
– More food please. I know this was an issue at the some other BBQ festivals around the area, for $40+, the food shouldn’t run out.
– More shade please. At times it was impossible to avoid the sun. Attendees were advised to bring blankets and other items to sit out, but in reality that is pretty difficult to do coming from metro and in a small group.
– The timing of the schedule didn’t make much sense to me. Noon to 6 is fine, but how much better would the festival be from 2pm to 8pm in terms of comfort, and that would span both lunch goers and the dinner crowd.
– Price point is a major barrier. While it can be justified in more established areas like Bethesda, Arlington, or DC; here in Tysons the event isn’t good enough yet to garner that cost. It’s setting an impossibly high bar for a 1st year event, making it less likely for return festival goers.
Overall I think the festival was a good step forward, an improvement from the prior events at the location. Hopefully it continues to improve and next year Tysons can pull some bigger live acts, get more local food options, and make a greater carnival atmosphere.