#WhattheTruck is wrong with the 2012 Edmonton Fringe Festival grounds?

I thought 2012 was the "year of the food truck". So why is there only one food truck at the Fringe festival?

I mean, isn't that supposed to be the point of the entire food truck thing: that this was a mobile restaurant that could both satisfy the cravings of the business district and also motor on down to social and cultural events. I personally think the food truck fad itself is a bit overblown (as all hipster fads tend to be), and find it hilarious that the big fans of food trucks are the same ones decrying fossil fuels being burned for fear of "global warming", but I digress.

The food truck thing is just a distillation of a larger point: the Fringe grounds themselves this year are pretty...crappy?

For the past few years, the Fringe grounds have been slowly expanding. Not as fast as the number of venues (fifty-one of the damned things this year!) but expanding nonetheless. It was starting to look like the north area would be developed more and more, with the "centre" of the grounds migrating from the south beer garden to the north beer garden (I don't count that weirdo one by the New Asian Village booth).

Yet this year it regressed: the north beer gardens now have a single food vendor (a Greek food truck that puts out decent if a bit overpriced lamb meats). The mini-food court that ran along the north side of the library parking lot is gone, replaced with a small book tent. The north stage on 85th Avenue at Calgary Trail is gone entirely, as was the little wine tent that had been setup last year. Hell, even the beads vendors have vanished from the area. Walking from the Freak Show to the Kids Fringe is now a no-mans land.

Why? It didn't have to be this way. Why couldn't they have put like 10 food trucks all along 85th Avenue where the missing stage is? "Food Truck Alley" luring people to the north part of the grounds where perhaps some el-cheapo stage could be erected. "Mini-fringe" even, where too-short-to-charge plays and skits could be acted out, possibly previews or excerpts of actual Fringe shows (past and present). I don't know, something up there.

It seems there are fewer food vendors on 83rd Avenue as well. I must say I'm quite confused by this, and as I tweeted yesterday if you're too old for the KidsFringe and too young for the beer gardens, this year's Fringe Grounds have absolutely nothing for you. A couple buskers by the Firehall, the large stage show by the Green Onion Cakes (inexplicably, these unpalatable nightmares haven't disappeared this year), and the shows on 84th Avenue. That's about it.

If Winnipeg beats us this year, they deserve to. The Fringe grounds certainly deserve more eating options than in years gone past, not fewer.

Also, on one final beer gardens note: why the hell were there lineups at the beer gardens last night? I understand if they were at capacity, but I assume they are not at capacity until all the seats are occupied...which they weren't.

If you can't put as many patrons into the beer gardens as you have chairs, why not pull the surplus number of chairs out and give us more space in? Holy hell, this should not be difficult.