Rohanna, I can well understand what you speak of regarding family traditions - my many years of family reunions have had similar practices. And, not being familiar with what may constitute a "Pow Wow" outside your family gatherings, my only comment would be that any precedence beyond first come first served may be the agreed upon norm for a communal gathering. In the case of a purely public gathering, the organizers may apply rules which do or do not meet the *desires* of all who may wish to attend.
You point out that your desire/expectation of any different practice than that established for an event governed by family culture would be rude, and while you don't say so expressly, I presume you mean the same would apply regarding a request for a practice other than is in place for a public event. But I did want to ask if that is so. My posts are not always as clear to others as they seem to me, and your statement that "cultural or personal preferences apply" had me wondering if you meant either applies, or one applies unless the other contradicts, or simply that majority view should apply. Because postings can be open to various reads, I do not mean that as a snarky question, but literal reader that I may be, wanted to ask for clarification.
Sorry, I'll clarify
By pow wow I meant the feast that occurs after an actual pow wow (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pow_wow
) - while some are less formal, the ones I attend still adhere strictly to the idea that if you attend, you give your place in lines to elders without question, and with deference.
I would be rather put out if AB didn't make some mention of his policies, or explain why he did things a little differently at the time he was doing it, because if I went to his events expecting "first come, first serve", I'd probably be fleetingly annoyed that it wasn't, even if I agreed entirely with his rationale. But he's established that to his fan base, and explained why he does so, and explained what he's offering in return- so it's up to me to decide if I feel his event is still worth attending or not- it's not up to me to decide that his rules aren't "fair" and he should change them just for me.
The reason I brought up native canadian "feast/pow wow" etiquette is because it is an example of the reverse (children waiting for elders), and that I don't find that rude either- I believe that sometimes events establish their own rules that might not always be in my favour, but I follow them or don't go.
Another example of this kind of thing is "ladies nights" at bars. Or seniors menus/free coffees. The local hockey arena offers a discount to fans with face paint in the team colours. Insurance companies offer girls lower rates than boys. Single well dressed and behaved travellors might find themselves more likely to be bumped to first class on planes. Some places offer free or reduced admission to people with handicap cards/tags. Lots of businesses and events set their own rules, and sometimes they favour one group over another....and there's always going to be someone that isn't happy with it no matter what they do.