Months ago, I decided to attend GP Ghent. Durdling as usual, I asked around who would want to come along. Naturally, everyone wanted to go at first, then the group of commited legacy amateurs shrank. If you live in a rural area like I do, bi-monthly draft FNM is all you got, and it’s hard to get used to go to tournaments. So, if we finally know who’s coming and if we can go at all, booking usually takes place a mere month in advance.
Yes, that pretty late. It worked for GP Milan, though. It usually works if you put in some effort to look around for accomodation on the internet. Sadly, GP Ghent seems to make things difficult. To quote the GP Ghent event information:
During summer, Ghent hosts one of the biggest cultural festivities in Europe, the Ghent Festivities (Gentse Feesten). The city centre is one big festival with concerts and markets on every square, fireworks, artists, etc. It also covers the Gent Jazz Festival, World Youth Circus Festival, Polé Polé (world music), Ten Days Off (electronic dance music), and many more festivals.
Grand Prix Ghent takes place during the last weekend of these festivities. This means a great experience, but also means you’ll have to book your hotel as fast as you can!
Well, it’s nice if you are able to plan *that* far ahead. I have only myself to blame for not knowing to book freakin’ early, but seriously – If the festival is as awesome as described, the cheaper hostels and B&Bs are probably fully booked for months in advance. Wikipedia claims that 2 million people go to the festival each year, while the population in the Ghent area clocks in at about 500.000.
And that’s where you host an European Legacy Grand Prix.
Both cities have a much larger population, and hence, more hotels, hostels and B&Bs. And as far as I can recall, there were no super-attractive festivals jamming the cities with tourists, making it impossible to find a room. I can see that it adds to the experience – bomb out of Day 1, go to the city for something different. But let’s face it, the majority of the players will be in the hall most of the time.They want to play a Legacy GP and according sideevents.
I want to go to Ghent, I really do. However, it seems impossible to find a place to sleep other than the car we’ll be driving. Even the campsites are fully booked.
I think the location is awesome, the festival is almost assuredly good times. Heck, I will almost assuredly be exploring it when I’m not Day 2′ing. – for a Legacy GP though, this has to be the worst location one could find. I wonder how many players are in the exact same situation I’m in, staring at 100€+ /night luxury hotel rooms, since these are the only ones available.
And I didn’t even get into *getting there* yet. Due to the fact that there is a popular festival, cheap trains or plain tickets are a pipe dream. You *need* to go by car as soon as you are traveling with 2+ people. That’s less than ideal.
“Yay, life’s a bitch, just sell some cards, yo.”
No, I won’t. I want an accessible, large city with available rooms which are not crazy expensive and to which I can travel by public transport. Is that too much to ask?