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Sundance Notebook: First impressions from a first-time Sundancegoer

January 20, 2018 GMT

I woke up this morning with a knot in my stomach, composed of about 65 percent excitement and 35 percent nerves, anticipating the day ahead. As a first-time Sundancegoer, I had done my research and consumed a plethora of tips and advice for attending the Film Festival, among them, drink water, good luck finding parking, don’t be surprised if things don’t go to plan and, above all, give yourself plenty of time for everything.

I left early, giving myself an hour of extra cushion room for who knows what might happen, and found my trip relatively uneventful until I hit Park City. After a 30-minute search for parking and a quick refresher course in parallel parking, there I was, in the thick of the festival. The excitement in the air felt electric and contagious. I thought even non-film-lovers must be enchanted by the palpable anticipation.

I picked up my credential, did a little more planning, research and coordinating, and I was on my way to my first appointment at the ASCAP Music Café. But first, the shuttle. I was delighted with the diversity of people I saw attending the festival. The Sundance Film Festival truly does seem to unite people of all walks of life, if only for a week or two.

Slightly less inspiring was the traffic. Between the endless parked cars lining the streets and people walking everywhere, I was surprised so many busses could maneuver around the city without causing mass destruction. At a busy intersection, I heard our driver shout to a nearby police officer directing traffic, “Only eight more days of this.”

Then as I exited the bus and walked across Main Street shortly afterward at another busy intersection, a car refused to stop upon direction from the traffic workers and ended up coming to a delayed but sudden halt right in the middle of the crosswalk. “Some people don’t like to listen,” one traffic worker said with a smile as she waved a crowd across the street.

Kudos to you, Sundance bus drivers, police officers and traffic directors alike. I don’t know how you do it.