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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
reggie miles NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle) (162* d) RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle) 15 Jun 10

This story gets even more twisted. I spoke to my friend, who chose to NOT play Folklife 2010, after reading the info offered to him from the event. I wanted to mention to him that I was accused by Daniel A., the Folklife rep who called me, of offering bad or skewed advice.

On the phone, Daniel said, among other things, that I had corrupted my friend's mind with my false information and that it was my fault that he had not attended the event this year. Upon hearing this, my friend quickly pointed out, that nothing that I said had altered his decision in the least and that it was his decision alone. He had made up his own mind on the matter, after he perused the info given to him by Folklife.

Hearing this news from him was something of a vindication for me. It also made me think that Daniel merely called me to try and get me to stop posting publicly about what was going on at Folklife. Perhaps he was a tool of Molly, the marketing director.

I see that neither of them have offered even a single post addressing the matter beyond their PR and false accusations via the phone. I'm not surprised. To come clean publicly would give the event a huge black eye. To do so right before the event was scheduled to happen may have adversely affected attendance and could have created even more public outcry. Many more supporters would likely walk away from their support of the event, if Folklife actually admitted their guilt in the matters I've brought to light.

I did invite Daniel A. to post his thoughts online in an email to me. He was spouting so much BS on the phone that I wanted to have the chance to take on his points one at a time. It's been two weeks since the close of the event and not a word has been offered by either Daniel or Molly, so much for the timely response of this event's representatives.

"...but I will make an effort to answer anyone in a reasonable amount of time... Molly Haas"

I did go down to play at Folklife on Monday, Memorial Day, once the weather cleared.

A stage manager from the nearby choir courtyard stage at Folklife, near where I played last year, by the Mercer entrance, got his panties all twisted in a knot because he said that I was too loud. He came up to me, while I was in the middle of a song, and stuck his face about one foot away from my head as I was playing and just stood there, bent over, in my face until I ended my song. If I had done the same thing that he did to me, to one of the performers on his stage, I would have been booted out of this event faster than you can say folk music. Yet, this is how these supposed supporters of folk music treat actual folk musicians, with total disrespect.

His immediate confrontational attitude was followed by him announcing his name (which I forgot, Jim something I think) his festival title, stage manager and a ridiculous request. He asked me if I could turn my guitar away from the entrance to his courtyard venue and face it in the direction of the main part of the event. He then indicated that he had 100 voices on stage. His request was prompted by the fact that he thought that my guitar was bleeding into his venue's listening space.

His rudeness prompted me to reply, "I believe you also have an electric piano on stage as well. I'm, at least, 100 feet away from the entrance to your venue. You're trying to tell me that my single voice and acoustic guitar is disturbing your 100 voices on stage?" Then I added, "By the way, what you're doing in there is bleeding into my set out here. I'll tell you what. If you can keep it down in there, I'll do what I can to keep it down out here. That's called compromise." Then he reached out his hand, as if he wanted to shake mine, but instead of shaking my hand, he merely squeezed my hand very tightly for far too long and he said, "Be a man." What the hell does that mean?

To top it off, I find out from some friends of mine, who were there last year when I was approached the event's security staff, that a group of three musicians were playing (this year) in exactly the same location where I played (last year) and no one kicked them out for playing there either. Wasupwidat? I also heard that Folklife's offensive reactions to street performers was far less than it was in previous years. It was probably due to my many posts online, at various sites on the web, criticizing the event for their unconstitutional rules. Though, I still heard about some street performers who were harassed.

That's the latest from the trenches.

Sawwwwwwwwwwwwyalater, Reg vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

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