Bele Chere and domineering?

When walking through the crowds at Bele Chere this past weekend, I normally see everything between the music stages as commercials. I skip right by them, ready to see and hear what is beyond all of the marketing. Not that there's anything wrong with commercials, they're just not my bag. I didn't drink beer from any of the stands at the festival (I chose rather to spend a couple of dollars at our locally owned co-op some fifty yards away from one end of the festival. I was saddened to hear the way the beer bracelets apparently served no purpose at all in the festival — none that I could see at least.

Two friends of mine reported to me how, after showing their IDs to the bracelet sellers and paying $2, then showing their bracelets and IDs, again, to beer sellers and paying a few dollars, they were then, and still, interrupted while enjoying their beers by undercover police officers to show them their IDs.

This makes a total of showing an ID three times for one beer! Too, a wasted $2 on a bracelet that made no difference to beer vendors or police officers. It's not like they were applying for a passport to get across imaginary lines or anything. They were just drinking a beer. These friends of mine are the “one or two beer on the weekend” kind of drinkers, not the kind of people stumbling around a festival drunk.

Does anyone have information on why they mandated beer bracelets at the festival? Or was it just good, old-fashioned “let's create trash and make some money while we do it” capitalism mixed with a bit of over-policing?

— Larry Rogers

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5 thoughts on “Bele Chere and domineering?

  1. LOKEL

    The money from the bracelets goes to various local charities ….

  2. Viking

    Having attended some of the early Bele Chere events I find the current model to be unappealing. This year’s seems like a debacle.

    On Sunday after church I gave a buck to Revolution 880’s Bowen fundraiser then I bought a snack from a local vendor and left. 30 minutes or less and no stress. That’s Bele Chere for me.

    Bele Chere is a way to put Asheville on display to the rest of the world. It’s not a community party any longer. There’s a way to sort out a great plan for Bele Chere 2012, but that’s unlikely to happen with the same people in charge.

  3. indy499

    The bracelets are an ALE requirement to be able to consume beer in the street. Nothing new at all.

    And Viking, if you find Bele Chere potentially stressful and not fun, don’t go. If you go can have no stress with a 30″ outing, think how good zero minutes could be for you.

  4. bill smith

    [i]If you go can have no stress with a 30” outing, think how good zero minutes could be for you.[/i]


  5. dpewen

    I agree with indy … don’t go if you cannot handle the stress … and on Sunday? Church would be stressful for me … so I don’t go!

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