HE 2004 West Cancelled due the worker lockout

ARGHHH !!!!!!!!!!!

I had everything lined up and ready to go.
I was going to meet my wife up in SF after the Expo and have a birthday celebration dinner and stay the night in S.F.
I too am sorry about this, I was covering this for Audiogon and had plans to enjoy that beautiful city.

Worse still, I will miss out on the invitation to audition a couple of Audiogon members systems after hours. What a disappointment!

Hope they don't wind up like Chicago, losing all audio trade shows. I enjoyed the Chicago show more than Vegas, this during the good old days when Chicago had a really strong high end show.

Chicago was fun to visit with it's incredible architecture, its beautiful museums, world class restaurants and local pubs serving an unbelievable array of single malt scotch. The audio community (including myself) spent lots of money in that city and they ran us off by treating exhibitors unfairly.
Clbeanz, thanks for the advice. What a bummer! I was looking forward to it.
Albert, could you please expand on the issue with Chicago and the exhibitors. I attended the Chicago Hi-Fi show a few year ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. It really gave me the itch. I have been looking forward to its return to no avail. I also sent an email to John Atkinson at Stereophile after the announcement of the two shows this year wondering why they could do a show in the Midwest instead of on both coasts. I have yet to see it issued in the magazine with a reply. I am interested in hearing what you have to say. Thanks!
Albertporter, where are your Colorado pics? I read somewhere you would be
posted them under show coverage in Audiogon? I'd love to see them.

What's going on in SF is not good for trade shows, but it's also not good for
anyone. I think it represents the current state of things with big corporations
located outside your area vs local workers, the benefits they receive, and
consolidation of corporate power. Thank god for small businesses, only they
can't afford to offer benefits in many cases. But at least they can be much
nicer to work for. Best thing is to just work for yourself, or at least consider
yourself an entrepreneurial employee.

At any rate, it's gotten cold here but the Bay area has been beautiful with
crisp, clear air and sunny days. Come on out and enjoy it anyway! Cheers!

Audiogon has the images and should post them very soon. I think management was concerned over my coverage of the Patricia Barber live event which was forbidden to be recorded or photographed.

I got special permission and sent images to Positive Feedback (my other new employer) and Audiogon. Hope they show up soon, some of the concert images are nice.


It is very disappointing to me that the Chicago show is no more. I loved that city and looked forward to the excellent food, especially the Italian!

An example of how silly it got just before everyone left, a major high end manufacturer (like Jeff Rowland) was hooking up his equipment without having the union electrician in the room. The union charges $50.00 (or whatever the number) to plug the power cable into the wall.

The designer plugged it in, knowing the gear needed extended warm up and when the union people saw this, they threatened to close the room and cut the power off.

My son has been safe to plug in AC cords since he was eight years old. When the local trades people force intelligent people to compromise their exhibit over some silly rule, it changes things for the worse.

The same thing happened with empty cardboard boxes, moving equipment without permission and using extension cords. One manufacturer (a very good friend of mine) fought them and subsequently "lost" several pieces of equipment. When he went into a local office to complain, one of the missing pieces, (an equipment rack) was beside the official's desk, serving as a work table.

He still gets angry when he tells the story.
This really pisses me off. I've been calling the people who run this expo every other day since the strike/lockout started, and every day they've assured me that the show would go on even if they needed to change venues. Now, a week before the show, they cancel it. Believe me, I understand why it's been cancelled. There's no way in heck that they could make it work. What angers me is that they assured me constantly that everything was fine. Roar!

On another note, though I totally agree with Albert Porter's sentiments about the ridiculousness of some union policies, let's make sure not to blame this on the SF hotel worker's union. It's the hotels who are locking the workers out- they're not letting them go to work.

I know it's not what Albert meant, but I just thought I'd throw it out there.
Agreed Omains, its a shame because the high end audio business needs more positive things happening, not negative.
Sorry folks that's why I kept original message short.
I'm upset too. Seeing it posted with several shocked responses including me,led me to figure many don't know yet even as we near Nov 4.
I couldn't bring myself to cross their picket anyway. With nearing holidays the owners may settle faster.
Wow,1st I'd heard of this and I've lived here in SF 16 years.Well i won't have to take off a day from work,oh well guess I'll have to buy right here on A'gon.Some years ago I actually worked at one of the big hotels downtown and it was a toss up who were the bigger hypocrits, management or the crooks who ran Local 2 of which I was a member.Live and learn.
That's a good point, Clbeanz. I don't think I could cross a picket line either, at least without knowing much more about the specifics of the situation. I wonder if there's any contingency in the event that the lockout ends before Nov 4? It seems possible...
Please don't flame but things work better without unions involved and long ago I was a member only because I had to be. There was a time when they were useful but those times have long passed. It makes me sad and when I hear things like what has happened with this SF show.
To paraphrase Paul Simon:

One man's lockout
Is another man's strike!
You can't say that all unions are good or all unions or bad. It depends on the situation. The point here is that the people who run this show shouldn't have led us all to believe that everything was ok.
What a mess. I am hoping that both the hotel and union people return to the bargaining table quickly to settle this conflict. The impact to everyone is huge. While the issues are complex, both sides need to work together to settle their differences.