NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
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NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)

ollaimh 08 Jan 11 - 02:15 PM
GUEST,Desi C 08 Jan 11 - 12:34 PM
reggie miles 08 Jan 11 - 12:29 AM
ollaimh 18 Dec 10 - 09:45 PM
ollaimh 24 Jul 10 - 01:41 PM
ollaimh 03 Jul 10 - 09:47 PM
reggie miles 15 Jun 10 - 08:42 PM
GUEST,mg 02 Jun 10 - 02:54 PM
Deckman 02 Jun 10 - 02:34 PM
ollaimh 02 Jun 10 - 02:28 PM
artbrooks 31 May 10 - 10:58 AM
reggie miles 31 May 10 - 10:40 AM
artbrooks 31 May 10 - 01:12 AM
Deckman 30 May 10 - 09:38 PM
reggie miles 30 May 10 - 11:33 AM
Deckman 30 May 10 - 08:40 AM
reggie miles 30 May 10 - 08:18 AM
Deckman 29 May 10 - 03:15 PM
GUEST,The Shambles 29 May 10 - 02:18 PM
Deckman 28 May 10 - 07:28 PM
reggie miles 28 May 10 - 06:03 PM
Deckman 27 May 10 - 12:58 PM
reggie miles 27 May 10 - 12:39 PM
Deckman 27 May 10 - 09:52 AM
reggie miles 27 May 10 - 08:55 AM
reggie miles 27 May 10 - 01:51 AM
reggie miles 25 May 10 - 02:30 PM
reggie miles 25 May 10 - 12:11 PM
reggie miles 24 May 10 - 03:15 PM
reggie miles 24 May 10 - 01:58 PM
reggie miles 24 May 10 - 01:16 PM
Deckman 24 May 10 - 12:55 PM
reggie miles 24 May 10 - 12:52 PM
reggie miles 23 May 10 - 01:27 PM
reggie miles 22 May 10 - 11:02 PM
Deckman 22 May 10 - 06:22 PM
Stewart 22 May 10 - 05:52 PM
reggie miles 22 May 10 - 05:56 AM
GUEST,Molly Haas 21 May 10 - 05:39 PM
Bob the Postman 18 May 10 - 07:59 PM
oggie 18 May 10 - 07:20 PM
reggie miles 18 May 10 - 05:04 PM
Jon Bartlett 18 May 10 - 04:05 PM
ollaimh 18 May 10 - 11:04 AM
GUEST,ollaimh 18 May 10 - 10:47 AM
reggie miles 18 May 10 - 10:27 AM
Don Firth 17 May 10 - 01:38 PM
Bettynh 17 May 10 - 01:23 PM
reggie miles 17 May 10 - 12:22 PM
reggie miles 17 May 10 - 12:18 PM
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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: ollaimh
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 02:15 PM

it's really disgusting that folklife hasn't responded to the violations of the constitutional rights of the musicians and the public.

i perfromed there for seven years . i would send them back my certificates of appreciation if they hadn't gone up on a house fire. i\ll never perform there again, unless of course they pay compensation to the musicians whose legal and constitutional rights they have violated and then rescind the ciolations and of course apologize.

you who manage folk life are sleezy totalitarian scum.


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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 12:34 PM

Disgraceful, should fests even be allowed to use the word 'folk' at all. But this is a sign I fear of things to come here in the UK, where Folk Fests are increasingly being run by big business events orgs. Where open mike tents/areas are dying out, huge entry prices, often no concessions, only the most expensive food outlets inside, rude marshalling (one last year checked my wrist band going into AND coming out of the loo!) It really is heading this way and in many cases already here. I for one will be boycotting all such fests in 2011

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: reggie miles
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 12:29 AM

Well, here it is a new year, eight months after my original post. I wanted to take a look at all of the hard work that this event's managers have been doing to reform their rules and regulations, restricting the constitutional freedoms of Americans on this, one of the nation's national holidays, where we remember the sacrifices made by those who have protected our rights and freedoms in this country. So, I took a glance at the newly redesigned website that the NW Folklife event has worked so diligently at posting for the 2011 festival.

Guess what I found? This event has not done a single solitary thing to align their rules with those of expressed in our Constitution regarding our right to freedom of expression on public property. Nor is this event in compliance with the ruling of 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and their decision regarding the same issue. The Court has already made plain their decision regarding commercial interests restricting our freedom of expression and according to the Court, street performing is a protected right. This event has no right to support regulations that restrict our First Amendment rights.

NW F_ _ _klife is guilty of violating our freedoms, on Memorial Day weekend, by acting to illegally enforce unconstitutional restrictions to our freedoms, shredding our constitutional rights like so much confetti and mocking the very foundation of our great nation. Furthermore, they disgrace the sacrifices made by every American who has ever had to stand up to defend our freedoms and those who have had to lay down their lives for our freedoms. That's what truly sickens me about this event, that they so callously ignore those sacrifices, while they continue to deny Americans our constitutionally protected rights.

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: ollaimh
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 09:45 PM

i re read this issue and remain amazed the folklife reps just disappeared when faced with the facts. not only were they abusive in the present situation how do folk people justify threatening to criminally charge performers who go oyt busking to pay for the trip?

they rep4atedly threatened to charge me criminally for selling my tapes. like thats a threat to peace orde and good government. and as i said i did sign up one year to sell through tower rocords and they didn't pay me for the twenty fibe tapes they sold. i would sold twice that directly and cheaper to the people but you have to bow down to the corporate totalitarians if you want to play.

shame shame shame on you folk ife scum for ruining a great festival with your imperious and wicked threats and demands. its time you paid the musicians . you are now the same as any profit based festival, except your profits are your jobs at folklife.

i really envy the us constitution. in canada you just have to move on when the cops and bureaucrats decide you are a threat to order. folk life people should be ashamed to violate that fine constitution.

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: ollaimh
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 01:41 PM

well i hope the folk life mamagers learn something . a lot of the buskers have been the performers over they years and if they hassle the buskers they turn off performers.

they really should apologize, and publiclly but they are obviously such sleaze they will sit in the office and try to pick of vunerable musicians one by one.

i realy thought sending the police to threaten performers who were out busking with criminal charges was as despicable a conduct as i have ever seen at a festival--probably totally illegal as well if reggies postings about the court decisions are accurate-- and i believe they are. so the folk life frestival is run by law breakers happy to use illegal tactics aqs long as no one sues.

right wing fascist brinkmanship at its worst

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: ollaimh
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 09:47 PM

well iyts good the folk fascists have let up a little.

i envy americans for the constitution thast actually provides rights to the disenfranchised on occasion. the canadian constitution provides very little real protection for the poor and disenfranchised.

i must say i am disapointed by folk life staff. people like that get thinking they are the festival and forget the musicians are. after they have been aroubnf for a few years they think they are the stars unlesss they make an attempt to keep it real--something not done much now.

i used to 0pay for my tripr to folklife by busking. and i performered as well untill they started hassling the buskers.

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: reggie miles
Date: 15 Jun 10 - 08:42 PM

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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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 02 Jun 10 - 02:54 PM

I did enjoy the buskers I saw..and obviously the crowds did too..and these were crowds that were 1/3 the size of crowds on sunny days..and still the major thoroughfares were reduced in size by sometimes 80%..letting just a squeezehole for people to get through. That is the problem and it is a big one.

I did enjoy the Native American young drummers, the young Russian women, the child prodigies etc. I do like them but for me it is such a serious safety issue when they clog the major traffic areas...when they are off the major routes I am fine with it and enjoy it. I am sure there is some compromise based on the crowds, the traffic flow, safety of young children who are performing and could get crushed in a big

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: Deckman
Date: 02 Jun 10 - 02:34 PM

I find the previous comments very interesting and reflective of what I'm hearing more and more from the folk musicians. There are increasing numbers of smaller "folk festivals" springing up all over the Northwest now. This is likely in reaction to the mess that goes on at the Seattle Center grounds. bob(deckman)nelson

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: ollaimh
Date: 02 Jun 10 - 02:28 PM

in reference to the vancouver city fest, yes i meant the vancouver city fest not the vancouver folk fest. the "crowd" who ran city fest were never able to see beyond their own "crowd".

after years out there i realized this is something they casn't do--see beyond their own crowd. they can't hear the words of those out side thier crowd and they can't understand even why the "others" are there. i wish i had fifty bucks for every time a member of the vancouver folk ss, who mostly were the organizers of city fest, asked me"what are you doing here"?. this nafter performing for years at folk festivals and even when not blackballed on their stages.

that is a middle class mostly anglo crowd who think they are righteous and entitled to lead folk. if they hear any dissent--and they are usually deaf to it, they can't understand why you are there.none of them that i eveb met have any genuine personal connection to a folk culture, so its a game to them.

not dissimilar to the folk life organizers, they have no personal link to any genuine folk tradition and so its an issue of bureaucratic organization. folk and roots issues don't enter their heads. getting past those attitudes of entitlement takes a lot of effort and skill. however most ethnic musicians don't bother , just move on. working class travellers are happy and gratefull when they bhave a good scene to participate in but as bill morrissey said

"in all my travels, this one thing i've found
the laws they are not made for the man from outs town"

its despicable that folk life used police to threaten buskers selling their own goods and its equally despicable that they now threaten them with reports to the irs,but that's definatley the signal its time to move on.

wouldn't it be nice if these middle class people could hear others,but they don't and they have shown no sign of learning

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: artbrooks
Date: 31 May 10 - 10:58 AM

You a vet, Reggie?

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: reggie miles
Date: 31 May 10 - 10:40 AM

Memorial Day is a day that we, as a nation, have set aside as a day to remember those who have sacrificed their lives to secure our freedoms. The Northwest Folklife Festival is engaged in a fascist action against our First Amendment freedoms. Our First Amendment freedoms are protected rights. The Northwest Folklife Festival is shamelessly restricting our right to Freedom of Expression on the grounds of the 80 acre public park, the Seattle Center, during this "free" event. In so doing, they disgrace the memory of every brave American who has ever fought and died to protect our precious freedoms. This event sickens me!

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: artbrooks
Date: 31 May 10 - 01:12 AM

A bit cold and wet - typical Seattle spring weekend. Crowds manageable, drumming confined physically and acoustically to the far end of the lawn by the exhibition hall, a lot of fine musicians (including many of the buskers) and good dancing. Police presence unobtrusive. Connected with many old friends. Back to Albuquerque Monday morning.

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: Deckman
Date: 30 May 10 - 09:38 PM

WELL ... I enjoyed the Northwest Folklife Festival today ... LIKE NEVER BEFORE ... it was the best yet ...

Friends flew down from Alaska and rented hotel rooms two blocks from the center grounds. They also reserved a conference room in the hotel. I arranged for a mini-hoot ... AND IT WAS SWELL. The best of the Seattle folkies came in and we sang, traded songs, and carried on for over two hours.

At one point I counted 23 people trading ballads, duets, silly songs, murder ballads, fiddle tunes, stories, much laughter. This was what the early days of the Folklife Festival was like. Great musicians brought together by a mutual love of, and respect for, this wonderful music.

And ... I didn't have to get closer than two blocks to the Center grounds ... we evaded the drummers and the festival police completly.


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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: reggie miles
Date: 30 May 10 - 11:33 AM

You did such a thorough job of raining on their parade (btw, thanks for that) that I opted to find shelter from the rain underneath the "covered walkways" at Pike Place. When I saw the sunrise being all sunny this morning, I thought you lost your touch but I see you merely held off until noon to drop the wet stuff, big time, on their event. Way to fake 'em out! The entire weekend's wet! I had no idea you were so potent in your weatherizing. I think their gonna need an ark.

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: Deckman
Date: 30 May 10 - 08:40 AM

REG ... coming right up! By the way ... did you risk public exposure by going down there yesterday? How is jail food these days? bob

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: reggie miles
Date: 30 May 10 - 08:18 AM

Hey Bob,

Could ya throw in some lightning strikes into the mix, preferably near the NW Folklife Festival offices? A tornado or two would do nicely too. I understand that they can be pinpointed to strike very small targets. I'm imagining the scene from the Wizard of Oz. Perhaps you could drop a house on them. It worked on the Wicked Witch of the East. Why not try the same thing on the wicked Folklife Festival of the Northwest?

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: Deckman
Date: 29 May 10 - 03:15 PM

I like that ... but it might be briefer and more powerful in Finnish! bob

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 29 May 10 - 02:18 PM

'It is raining here also'

Funny I was just thinking of the wording of a sign to put up to disuade folks from dumping their pick-nick rubbish at a local beauty spot.

It was on the lines of:

If you do decide to do this, rather than use the bins provided, there is unlikely to be an immediate penalty imposed upon you, as there is no one policing this area. However, if you should decide at this point to do what you know to be wrong - please remember this moment the next time a bad thing happens to you and you ask your self - why me?

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: Deckman
Date: 28 May 10 - 07:28 PM

Reg .... Just to remind you ... I am of Finnish heritage. And all Nordic peoples KNOW that Finns control the weather. It's true, it's just one of our natural skills.

Early on, last year, when I heard how you were so badly treated by the Northwest Folk Police, I knew that you were due an APOLOGY. When it recently became clear to me that you were NOT going to get your just deserts, I decided to rain on their parade!

In case you don't live in the Seattle area ... so far it's rained 1.5 inches in the last 13 hours.

Don't ever piss ME off! bob(deckman)nelson

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: reggie miles
Date: 28 May 10 - 06:03 PM

Okay Bob, drop the weather balloon and step away from the puns SLOWLY!

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: Deckman
Date: 27 May 10 - 12:58 PM

Has your bubble burst yet?

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: reggie miles
Date: 27 May 10 - 12:39 PM

Well Bob, since you asked, here's the brief story. It was about 1979, when we, my group of busking buddies and I, aka the Buzzards, were hangin' 'round The Mall in Santa Cruz. It was the place to be if you, like us, were into doing what we were in that area, street performing. With no hope of offering our unique brand of voodoo/acid/blurgrass/oldtimey/folk/blues/fusion to a wholly nonexistent audience, I pulled out something that I had been wanting to do for a while. That, was inflating my six foot weather balloon.

Since I had only my lungs for completing the task, I wasted no time in huffin' and a puffin' until I had the orb about two thirds full. At about four feet in diameter I began to notice a curious side effect from using my lung power to accomplish this feat. I began to feel kind of giddy and lightheaded. The balloon was beginning to get some notice from my band mates and those few folks passing by in the area. My state of hyperventilation prompted me to reflect openly on such matters related to the twisting and tying of balloons and a great many bad puns followed. It was during that comical moment that the word "balloonatic" popped out. At that time, I had already been offering balloons to children that had accompanied their adult counterparts to our performances.

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: Deckman
Date: 27 May 10 - 09:52 AM

MY GAWD REGGIE ... "no mere balloonatic twister of air filled latex tubes" .... how do you come up with this stuff! bob(deckman)nelson

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: reggie miles
Date: 27 May 10 - 08:55 AM

BTW, lest anyone would think that Michael's post is merely the disgruntled rant of yet another street performer against the "benevolent" efforts of this event, let me introduce that Michael's other gig is that he also produces one of the two Pike Place Market news papers. He has been producing his periodical, that serves the Pike Place Market community in Seattle, for many years. Beyond being an independent journalist/reporter/photographer, he has also produced a local television documentary video about the street performers. This guy is no mere balloonatic twister of air filled latex tubes.

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: reggie miles
Date: 27 May 10 - 01:51 AM

I'm still waiting for that "timely" rebuttal from those at the festival but I understand that it may take them quite a while to formulate just the right BS to try to defend the festival's position on this subject. Meanwhile, while we're all waiting on the edge of our seats for the next installment from those busying themselves with everything but what really matters at this event, let's hear another testimonial, from someone else, who was actually there on the grounds of the Seattle Center during the Northwest Folklife Festival and who can attest, first hand, to exactly what I'm talking about.

The issue is called abuse, abuse of power and abuse of authority to verbally browbeat, threaten, intimidate, harass, demoralize and demonize us as we are engaged in exercising our First Amendment rights on the grounds of this "public" park during this "free" event on Memorial Day weekend.

The following is from a post on facebook where I am also posting about this issue. If you'd care to, feel free to post your thoughts about this matter there as well. Here's the link to my page.



February 25, 2005
From: Michael and Miriam FitzPatrick

LETTER IN SUPPORT OF MIKE BERGER and STREET PERFORMING in general (at Seattle Center and elsewhere)
To Whom This May Concern...

We have been street performing in the Seattle area for: 18 years (Michael), and 11 years (Miriam) – mostly at the Pike Place Market, but also at fairs and festivals, as well as at Westlake Park and Seattle Center. The two of us have been both musical and balloon-art performers - mostly balloon twisting in recent years. Like other street performers, we NEVER charge for our creations, though we have a sign that says: "Donations are encouraged, BUT NOT REQUIRED" and have a SUGGESTED "donation" range.

This brings us to our first point: the reason the suggested amount is on our sign is because, if it is not specified, we are repeatedly asked "how much" they are, thus we have to recite a spiel that denotes exactly the same thing the sign says. Most folks really haven't a clue, otherwise, as to what is an appropriate "tip". No one is required to give us a penny and we don't ever ask for it. We, in fact, give a tremendous number of them away for NO donation at any given venue. (We were even tipped a salmon once).

Our question is this: Since when should someone have to submit to fees and restrictive regulations - on either part - to GIVE something away or RECEIVE it? Why should we, as performers (and, yes, we give the kids a "show" as we create their balloon animals,) be enjoined from having a sign such as we have described, while it is clearly okay to verbally say the same thing (and should be).
This is exactly what Seattle Center is doing – forcing a certain class of American citizens to submit to unconstitutional requirements (including photo ID) because they simply are GIVING SOMETHING AWAY! To see how far enforcement of such regulations can get out of hand, let me provide an example or two from Seattle Center, during the annual Folklife Festival last year:

I (Michael) first performed at Folklife 18 years ago (doing music). Interestingly, the festival itself is dependent ENTIRELY on VOLUNTEER performers. That's right, the musicians and dancers are all GIVING THEIR ENTERTAINMENT TALENTS AWAY (to the benefit of Folklife). Yet last year, for the first time in memory, we were enjoined by Seattle Center Security from having that simple little sign that says "... donations are encouraged but not required."
While surrounded by giggling, happy children for whom we were making balloon creations, a Seattle Center Security officer walked up and immediately, and very loudly, began to berate us for our sign and began loudly threatening to kick us out or have us ARRESTED for trespassing!

We were stunned and taken aback, but I (Michael) calmly asked him if he and I could step back from our TV tray and talk about it (while my wife kept the children distracted) because, I said, "... there are children here." He immediately, loudly, and with a stunning amount of anger, yelled. "I don't care if there ARE children here!..." and continued to loudly threaten us.

The parents of the kids appeared completely shocked (like us) and, after we took our sign down, and the security officer left, they expressed their disgust at how it was handled. The situation there quickly went from a moment of sublime joy, to one of plain old meanness on Seattle Center's part. And here we were, on taxpayer-owned property!

In another instance, a Folklife volunteer (in "charge" of street performers), gleefully told us that morning that they had forced a young, pre-teen girl to take a sign out of her violin case that said something like "working my way to music camp". If any of you reading this letter have ever been to Folklife, you know that there are literally hundreds of performers "jamming" together throughout Seattle Center grounds - simply for the FUN of it.

To force this little girl to remove her "music camp" sign meant no more tips that day, since she then looked like any other musician in the throngs of people playing for fun alone. We felt very sad for that little girl, especially since it was completely unnecessary. My guess is, if she was dependent on tips from Folklife, she never made it to music camp.

In summary, there should be no regulations of street performers beyond public safety issues. It should STILL be Constitutional (right) to give something away, and to receive a "gift" from an appreciative citizen, especially since it all occurs on PUBLIC PROPERTY. Why Seattle Center and Folklife continue to object so strenuously to any kind of "donation" sign is beyond me. In fact, the very next day they forced us to remove another, revised, sign that simply said: "Thank You for your Donations" - we were not even allowed to say thank you!

To compound our particular problem, standing directly across from where we have twisted balloons year-after-year, were several food booths giving away free samples. When our "donations" sign was forcefully removed, people started treating us like we were another free-sample booth, and tips dropped to less than HALF of what we would normally earn on a sunny, festival day.
We survive on this income source by working hard - 'till our fingers, literally, ache. We also spend well over $100 on balloons for a three-day festival like Folklife. For the first time in 18 years, however, it appears now we can no longer afford to work at Folklife if this policy is upheld.

Beyond the financial considerations, is the extreme negativity employed by the "enforcers" in what should be a joyful event for everyone. One more thing: Beyond the financial impact, for someone dependent on JOY in the performance of their JOB, to have something like this happen is EXTREMELY depressing. It becomes VERY hard to emotionally recover from such public berating and threats, and to get back to dispensing JOY to the children. This exacerbates an already disheartening situation, and cannot possibly be necessary for the "protection" of the public interest. Whether someone gives away a balloon kitty, or a song, it should be a Constitutionally-protected act to GIVE and RECEIVE anything not harmful to the general public.

I hope you will view this dispute from not only a Constitutional standpoint, but also in light of how such unneeded regulations can result in patently-unnecessary harassment by some authority figures. Seattle deserves better, America deserves better, and these artists deserve better.

Respectfully. Michael and Miriam FitzPatrick


Michael F., thanks for that post! It really puts into perspective, as to just how long we've had to endure their incessant abuse, at the hands of their Folk Nazi security force. When will their abuse stop? Maybe when we kick everyone of them, involved with perpetuating this charade of propriety, out! That's right, I want them all gone. Let's start over from scratch and put this event back in the hands of those who do all of the work to actually make it happen, the entertainment folk who started it.

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: reggie miles
Date: 25 May 10 - 02:30 PM

I thought, that for the sake of clarity and since the poor folks at the NW Folklife Festival apparently don't have access to a law dictionary, I'd quote this definition that I found online.

Unconstitutional - Conflicting with some provision of constitution, most commonly the United States Constitution. When a statute is found to be unconstitutional, it is considered void or as if it had never been, and consequently all rights, contracts, or duties that depend on it are void. Similarly, no one can be punished for having refused obedience to the law once it is found to be unconstitutional.

I think that the above generally covers why I'm so on about this matter but once again, for clarity's sake, they have no right, under law, enforcing the use of unconstitutional rules against our First Amendment right to freedom of expression. Why are they hell bent on punishing those who refuse obedience to their unconstitutional rules?

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: reggie miles
Date: 25 May 10 - 12:11 PM

A friend of mine was in the Market the other day and stopped to talk with me about how they had gone to the offices of the NW Folklife Festival to offer their feelings on this matter. At first, they were met with a questionable response, from the person that they were speaking with, regarding the history that they had with the event. Then, they told me, that someone else in the office recognized them and the tone of how they were treated, after being recognized, changed. I was delighted to hear the festival folks got an earful from someone who has had an even longer history with this event than mine. I was also pleased to hear from them that there may be an attorney available to fight on our side in this effort.

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: reggie miles
Date: 24 May 10 - 03:15 PM

Look at their proposed rules for street performers on their website

Then you can read through the last couple of paragraphs of the 5th page of the actual appellate court case here.

This is a link to the entire court case pdf file but the pertinent info is on the 5th page. It describes the rules that were challenged in court by Michael Berger. If you compare the rules in the court case, which, btw, was won by Michael, to what is being proposed by the NW Folklife Festival you will see some remarkable similarities.

How is it that the festival could have magically chosen some of the exact same rules to enact that the Seattle Center tried to use to restrict street performers. Hmmm, I wonder? Was it because the NW Folklife Festival saw the Seattle Center getting away with using them, so they thought that they perhaps could get away with using them too? What do you think?

Here are some of the restrictions on the NW Folklife Festival site.

The following areas are off limits for street performing:

* Covered walkways
* Within 30 feet of a captive audience
* Washrooms or entrances and exits of washrooms
* Entrances and exits from any facility, door, loading dock, elevator or stairway
* Inside of any building
* The Fisher Green programmed area (the entire block). This space designated as a jamming space.
* In the breezeway between the Alki Room and the Snoqualmie Room
* On the South, East and West sides of the Alki Room
* Handicap access to any location
* Any areas designated by the Street Performer Coordinators as "off limits"


And below are the rules deemed unconstitutional by the courts. You'll note a disturbing trend being proposed above by the NW Folklife Festival. They are trying to dictate where we can and cannot play on the grounds. The courts have deemed these actions as unconstitutional.

Read the rules below F.5, G.4, and C.5 below. They all pertain to the court having granted our freedom of expression as being unrestricted as to place. Even though the NW Folklife Festival would have us believe otherwise, our freedom of expression cannot be dictated to us by this event. Yet, that is what they are trying to do.

They are in direct violation of the court's decision in this matter and as such in support of denying Americans our First Amendment rights on the grounds of this public park during this national holiday.


Rule F.1, which requires
"street performers" to obtain a permit before performing at
the Center and to wear a badge displaying that permit while

Rule F.2, which sets forth the terms and conditions
for acquiring a "Street Performer Permit";

Rule F.3.a,
which bars street performers from "actively solicit[ing] donations";

Rule F.5, which limits street performances to sixteen
designated locations; and

Rule G.4, which prohibits all Seattle Center visitors, other than Center employees and licensed concessionaires, from engaging in "speech activities" within thirty feet of a "captive audience."

Rule C.5 defines a "captive audience" as "any person or group of persons: 1) waiting in line to obtain tickets or food or other goods or services, or to attend any Seattle Center event; 2) attending or being in an audience at any Seattle Center event; or 3) seated in any seating location where foods or beverages are consumed."

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: reggie miles
Date: 24 May 10 - 01:58 PM

"Doin The Perp Walk" by Jim Hinde
Tue May 9, 2006 21:22

World leaders are trying to beseech Bush.
All of my friends are trying to defeat Bush.
I've even seen some signs that tell me to impeach Bush.
That ain't gonna cut it for me.

I won't be happy 'til I see him do the perp walk.
Handcuffs and leg irons swingin' to the perp walk.
Bright orange jumpsuit, stylin' for the perp walk,
On his merry way to cell block D.

He raided my National Treasury.
Invaded a nation's sovereignty.

That's why I won't be happy 'til I see him do the perp walk
Exiting the White House, shuffling to the perp walk.
Live on TV, smirkin' to the perp walk.
That's democracy for me.

Lest we neglect the Bush Administration,
That gang hell bent for world domination.
Live at The Hague for their humiliation.
That is what I'd truly like to see.

'Cause I won't be happy 'til I see 'em do the perp walk.
Rove and Rummy marching to the perp walk.
Colin and Johnny dancing to the perp walk,
Getting finger printed on TV.

They acted preeminently,
Searching for those WMDs.

And now I won't be happy 'til I see 'em do the perp walk.
Condoleezza Rice practicing the perp walk.
Bunker bust Cheney and make him do the perp walk.
That's democracy for me.

But we won't stop there, with this administration.
Set a precedent for future generations
To not be messin' with the Peoples reputation.
And that's the way it oughta be.

If you mess with us you get to do the perp walk.
Don't matter if you're rich you get to do the perp walk.
Especially Richard Nixon should have had to do the perp walk.
It's what we call equality.

That's the hallmark of grass roots liberty,
And U.S. Constitutionality.

So you Supreme Court Judges ain't immune to do the perp walk.
Senators and Congressmen take turns to do the perp walk.
This whole damn government may learn to do the perp walk.
That's democracy for me.


And ya know what? The NW Folklife Festival ain't immune to doin' the perp walk either!

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: reggie miles
Date: 24 May 10 - 01:16 PM

From my other thread on this matter "the pot calling the kettle black NW Folk" (It was supposed to be "the pot calling the kettle black NW Folklife".

What I'd really like to see is those event organizers being evicted from the grounds of this public park using the same method that they used on me last year. Since they are, in fact, in violation of the law in this matter, let's use the fullest extent of the law to have them pay for their actual crimes. Of course, a court awarded settlement of, say, $20,000 would be icing on the cake. ;o)

A musical partner and friend of mine, the late, great songwriter/singer/guitarist Jim Hinde came up with a wonderful song that seems wholly appropriate in this instance. His repeating phrase throughout the song was that he wanted to see all those who would commit such abhorrent acts do the "perp walk."

Perp Walk - A slang term describing the police action of parading an arrested suspect in handcuffs before the media.

Now that the NW Folklife Festival has illegally given me a taste of what it's like, I'd like to return the favor and see all those who are defending the position of enacting and enforcing illegal and unconstitutional restrictions against our First Amendment rights do the perp walk. Oh yeah!

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: Deckman
Date: 24 May 10 - 12:55 PM

Reg ... what's a "perp walk" ... inquiring minds want to know? bob

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: reggie miles
Date: 24 May 10 - 12:52 PM

I won't be happy till I see them do the "perp walk."

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: reggie miles
Date: 23 May 10 - 01:27 PM

Their silence speaks volumes

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: reggie miles
Date: 22 May 10 - 11:02 PM

And the festival went silent.

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: Deckman
Date: 22 May 10 - 06:22 PM

Stewart ... I can't begin to thank you enough for posting that video ... NOW people can see and hear what Reggie is all about. He's a national treasure, in my opinion. (can you believe this ... this guy actually likes children ... I didn't know that was possible)

The only possible threat I can conjure up would be to the Diston Saw Manufacturing Comapny. bob(deckman)nelson

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: Stewart
Date: 22 May 10 - 05:52 PM

Here is a video of Reggie playing his musical saw at NW Folklife in 2007. This was at a free, open, sign-up stage in the Alki Room where CDs were sold. As I recall, there were both children and adults in his audience thoroughly enjoying his free performance. This doesn't look like the kind of guy who would threaten anyone or be a menace to the true spirit of Folklife.

One of my favorite spots at Folklife in recent years has been this free, open stage where anyone could sign up for a 20-min spot. I've listened to some great performers there, many of whom were not scheduled performers. It was a great cross-section of the musical community and open to all. This is what Folklife used to be like as far as I can tell by talking to the old timers (I only arrived in Seattle 14 years ago).

Now, as far as I can tell by the schedule, this one bright spot of the festival will no longer exist (please correct me if I am wrong - I would be happy to learn that I am mistaken). The Alki Room will no longer be available for music on an open free stage, or for CD sales. CD sales are now relegated to an outdoor tent area (we'll see how that works). The Alki Room will now be used as an "EcoActive Zone," whatever that is, and however that relates to "folklife."

So Folklife continues to change, and not altogether for the better. That's too bad.

S. in Seattle

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: reggie miles
Date: 22 May 10 - 05:56 AM

Molly, thanks for the post and identifying yourself here. At The Mudcat Cafe some folks come by to spam in the threads and as such, it becomes a challenge to know for certain who is posting in a valid manner. After posting in this community for years, I and others here are naturally suspicious of those, who have no background with the site, entering into conversations without identifying themselves.

Daniel wanted to set up a meeting with me after the festival this year. That hardly helps the matter at hand, by talking about it after the event has already taken place. This event has had since last year in June, when Mike's case was won, to do something about this matter and the festival has apparently done nothing. Your rules have not been altered, in the least, to align with the decisions made by the Courts. I would say that the festival is dragging its feet.

Daniel wanted to invite me to be a part of the process of changing these rules. I explained that I did not enact them in the first place. You folks did that on your own. I think that it's your job to change them.

You make a mess of it and now you're asking me for my help to fix your mess!? This is sounding the Wall Street bailout all over again.

I also explained that I live an hour outside the city, a fact that you folks should also be aware of, since you have my address. The chore of getting in and out of the city can be a challenge for me for just that reason. Couple that distance, with the price of gas and my somewhat less than adequate vehicles and you might begin to understand my reluctance to simply sit around some meeting that might not guarantee me any results in return.

This is not just a concern to me but to quite a number of others, even though Daniel would have me believe that no one else is on my side regarding this issue. I know for a fact that anyone who has spent time in a uniform defending this country would disagree with that.

Daniel would also have me believe that this issue, my right to freedom of expression, is hardly worth fighting for and in his words, "you should choose your battles." Well, to that I would reply, that this battle is the one at my doorstep and I value my right to this freedom highly. I also believe that every American would agree with me. Our freedoms are not something that we want others to deny us.

I'd start with eliminating the $10 fee that you folks have deemed as necessary in order for folks to offer their Cds for sale on the grounds. Daniel said the city was demanding that we pay $20 for a temporary business permit to vend our recordings. If that's true, then why should the event then pile an additional fee of $10 on top of that?

Regarding your claim that I've not been talking about this to anyone until now, that is simply not true. If you'd like, I will send you every post that I've made online about my experience regarding what happened to me last year. I'll warn you in advance, there's a lot of reading ahead of you. I will also offer you a list of those who I have spoken with about this matter, it's a long list.

Regarding your or Daniel's unwillingness to discuss what happened to me last year, why would I believe that an event or those running it, that would allow to happen what happened to me last year, would be the least bit interested in hearing my side of that story? Your head of security was plenty willing to threaten me, verbally intimidate me, demonize me and bully me until he then decided that he had grounds to call for the police on me. He had no such grounds but nevertheless did so with impunity. He inflamed the situation to justify his actions.

Nothing that I did last year blocked traffic. Nor did I in any way create an unsafe situation for anyone. I complied fully with his directives. I wasn't even playing when he arrived. I even packed up my things after he told me that I could not perform under that covered walkway in the shade. The only reason that I was there was because it was hot and I didn't wish to be in the direct sunlight on such a warm day. Just before I arrived to play there, an entire band of about 15 performers were in the exact same location. They created an huge crowd that did, in fact, block all access to the area via their presence and nothing was done to deter their efforts in exactly the same location. Why was I being singled out?

The few folks that had gathered before me all attested that they were enjoying my performance. When I asked your head of security for directions as to where I could perform, he became unwilling to reply accept to say that I should move closer to the center of the event where the amplified stages were. Molly, why would I want to play acoustically next to an amplified stage? Is this the kind of solution you endorse?

When I asked him why he wasn't harassing another nearby performer playing in the same area, he replied in an angry tone, "This isn't about him! It's about you!" Please tell me Molly, how is it that this representative of the festival can regard my presence on the grounds, entertaining folks, at their behest, such an infraction as to be worthy of police intervention? I really want to know your answer to this question. I think that you should put a muzzle on your security force and tell them to stick to harassing pistol wielding park goers rather than pushing around folk musicians.

He pushed the letter of the rules by telling me that I could not perform beneath a covered walkway. I, at no time indicated, in any way, that I would continue to play there. Yet, the festival allows vendors set up and offer their arts and crafts beneath the same covered walkways. There, those vendors are allowed to cause such traffic issues with impunity but performers are demonized.

This is double standard has been going on for far too long. Performers are not the demons your security staff and your rules make us out to be and to treat us as such is demeaning and unjust. The rules in Mike's lawsuit with the city explicitly state that dictating where performers can perform on public property is unconstitutional. Telling performers that we cannot be within 30 feet of a gathered group of park goers is unconstitutional. Do you not understand the meaning of the word unconstitutional? It means illegal! This event is acting illegally by enforcing these rules. They are acting illegally by including them as directives to those of us who perform on the grounds of this public park. I don't know how much more plain that I can say this.

One year, I even had one of your security force try to demonize me for merely standing underneath a covered walkway with my instruments while it was raining. I asked him, "Do you see me performing here?" Then, another time, I had one of your security harass me for merely leaving my guitar case under the cover of one of the covered walkways while it was raining, as I played in the rain. Neither time was I creating any issue with traffic or safety. These security folks should be treating us with far more respect and not be looking for reasons to harass us every chance they get. They need to take a chill pill, get a life, and stop creating trouble, where there is none, to merely justify their presence.

Covered walkways are not this event's private domain in this "public" park. They are part of the "public" park too. The court was very clear on this matter. It has deemed the park a freedom of expression zone and beyond your control to restrict my actions as a performer, specifically with regard to where I can perform. Just as you have the right to set up your vendors under those covered walkways, we too have the right to perform under those same walkways. Yes, we do!

The district court struck down the attempt by the Seattle Center and the city of Seattle at trying to enact this sort of legislation and so did the appellate court. Are you trying to defend unconstitutional acts on Memorial Day weekend? Do you have no shame? How much more blood has to be spilled before the NW Folklife Festival is willing to grant Americans citizens their First Amendment rights during this national holiday???!!! This event is engaged in enforcing rules restricting our First Amendment rights, on Memorial Day weekend! Get your head out of whatever kind of hole you seem to have stuck it in. You have no legal basis for enacting these kinds of restrictions.

This holiday weekend is a time of remembrance for all Americans. A remembrance of those who have given their lives to protect OUR FREEDOMS. Among those freedoms is the freedom of expression. Are seriously telling me that this is something that I should wait to discuss with you, in some meeting, after the festival? Please enlighten me as to why I should wait for you to grant me my rights and freedoms???

My posts online are, in fact, an actual open dialog. Thanks for your participation. I AM taking issue with what you do. This is a meeting, now, not later, after the fact and I am talking with you. I am interested in helping you to see the error of your ways.

I'd say that my willingness to explain to the festival the fact that it is, in fact, engaged in illegal and unconstitutional activities IS actually benefiting both the festival and street performers. Why the festival seems blind to this fact is bewildering to me. Why this festival has been unwilling to act on that information, information that has been available since last June, is what is surprising to me and a host of others.

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: GUEST,Molly Haas
Date: 21 May 10 - 05:39 PM


Daniel Atkinson, our Outreach Coordinator called you on May 20th to help clear up the misunderstanding about Folklife charging street performers, which we do not do. He did not call you to keep his comments "off record." He called you because talking person to person is the respectful thing to do. He offered to set up a meeting with you to further discuss the issue in person, which you declined. I am posting here as an individual, Molly Haas, Northwest Folklife's Marketing Manager. I am a representative of the organization and the one who posted earlier in this thread. You may remember me as the one who you implied did not have "a pair."

Daniel did not speak to you about last year's Festival and the events that occurred between you, our security and the Seattle Police Department. He was not there, nor was I. Any comment from either of us on the matter would be hearsay. What I do find interesting is that you had an entire year to speak with Northwest Folklife about the matter and chose instead to bring it up now. Furthermore, you chose not to speak with us directly. You posted on an online message board and on Facebook, instead. If you read our policies regarding street performing at the Festival you will see the following statement: "We want this program to evolve with you! If you are interested in becoming a part of the planning process for the 2011 Festival, let a Street Performer Coordinator know." Our policies regarding street performing are not directives from on high as you imply. We open the dialogue to anyone who wants to be a part of it. If you take issue with what we do, I invite you to join us in the planning process.

When I posted here earlier, I left a phone number and email address. We have yet to receive a single phone call or email from anyone regarding the matter. There are two ways to handle this conflict. You can post about it to your friends on Facebook and Mudcat. Or you can talk to us and help us work to create a system that benefits both our Festival and the street performers who help us entertain the crowds. I encourage you, Reggie, and all others who may be reading this to take the second approach. If you would like to discuss this further, please call 206-684-7300 and ask for me. Or if you prefer written communication my email address is Understandably, I will be busy for the next couple weeks, but I will make an effort to answer anyone in a reasonable amount of time.

See you at the Festival,

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 18 May 10 - 07:59 PM

Perhaps ollaimh is confusing Vancouver CityFest with the Vancouver Folk Festival.

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: oggie
Date: 18 May 10 - 07:20 PM

Just out of interest.

I carry third party insurance in case I, my stall or my saw cause an accident in any way. Do buskers? If someone trips over your guitar case who is liable? You or NWF?


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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: reggie miles
Date: 18 May 10 - 05:04 PM

If NW F_ _klife wants to behave like petty dictators in their race for their almighty dollar$ they can goosestep their way onto private property to do so. There, they can get away with their jackbooted actions with impunity. Yes, in this country, even those who don't believe in our way of life, have the freedom to act out their twisted suppression of human rights (within reason) as long as they're doing so on private property.

However, on public property, there's a different rule book in play. It's called the Constitution. We, who honor what it stands for and believe in its principles, are happy to live within the freedoms it affords. We eschew those who would use their position and influence to rob us of those freedoms. F_ _klife stands guilty of just that, robbing American citizens of their right to freedom of expression. You can also add to that list, demonizing, threatening and intimidating Folk musicians and criminalizing the act of playing folk music on public property. Their actions are, in fact, criminal acts, that the courts have already ruled as unconstitutional.

My efforts at pointing out their illegal activities are merely my way of shining a bright light on what they are doing. It's shameful and everyone should be aware of how far they've managed to warp the meaning of freedom.

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 18 May 10 - 04:05 PM

I'm Bartlett and I don't have a crowd so what "ollaimh" is on about I couldn't tell you.

Jon Bartlett

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: ollaimh
Date: 18 May 10 - 11:04 AM

ps reggie please send me the contact info for the people who withdrew from the festival, i'd like to chat with them.

can send to

and americans can be thankfull that they have such great rights, we in canada do not, you just have to accept the rules and cheat when you can or keep on moving on.

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: GUEST,ollaimh
Date: 18 May 10 - 10:47 AM

i forgot to add that back when the folklife staff were giving the power to sell tapes and cds to tower records, they sent the police around to threaten the buskers with criminal charges if they didn't comply. threatening musicians is n othing new yto folklife staff. i think that performers might be given extra place for busking to keep down the numbers but that would get controversial as well.

back then i talked with one of the organizers--very high up-- and i told him people who travel hndreds of miles to perform have to be able to make a living if they are to participate. i pointed out how folk was becomming mostly middle class(maybe an old phenomena)because working musicians can't afford to take the weekend off but the folks with nine to five jobs have no such problem. he responded "i hope thats not happening"--he had absolutely no awareness of class and ethnic equality, just a corporate head ready to use the cops at a moments notice.

using the cops was foolish. the festival is so big there is no way the cops could actually enforse things and the buskers know that. all the attitude did was alienate many of the regulars who also busk. most of them stopped performing. now thay threaten to report people to the irs--like they have the resourses to hunt down buskers for the a few hundred bucks--and then ban certain busker for going public. that s really despicable.who at the top thinks these fascist tactics are acceptable.

i too recall some great musicians playing at folklife, john p being one, and stanley greenthall and gerry haggerty and many more who really gave the festival it character. most of whom busked at one time or another.

as for the canadian off spring vancouver city fest and the other that i've never been to, the vancouver city fest was run by middle class neopitists as well. they regularily sortd the good stages to pals of the organizers. i remember one of the great peruvian bands i used to know playing right on the street with the traffic noise overwhelming them, while a poet i know--possibley the worst poet i've ever seen--was reading on the main stage with a guitar accompaniest. of course the guitarist was tight with the organizers, and of course the ethnic and non middle class performers noticed this and stopped coming. to do what bartlett says requires abandoning the "entitlement attitude" that his crowd have--something they will never do.

so folklife staff and board how about stopping using the police to force musicians to sell through one outlet, how about paying for the tapes sold, how about stopping using threats against musicians, how abour youse guys at the top trying to rejoin the human race??

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: reggie miles
Date: 18 May 10 - 10:27 AM

Betty, the kinds of balloons that these folks provide are not of the helium variety or floating sort. These balloons are the long skinny kind that one can twist, bend and tie into all manner of animals, flowers, or other such sculptural figures. The art is in the twisting.

These balloons will generally not float any farther than a strong breeze might carry it and then only at ground level, where it will encounter far too many obstacles in its path with sharp edges. Those edges will ultimately cause the fragile material that the balloon is made of to burst, long before it would be of concern to marine wildlife.

As Don pointed out the prevailing winds blow eastward from here. I doubt that these balloons could get a block from where life was breathed into them without popping.

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 May 10 - 01:38 PM

In the Pacific Northwest, the prevaling winds tend to blow from west to east. Helium-filled balloons would have to make it all the way across the continent to pose a hazard to marine life. So other than a bit of litter somewhere in the wilds of North Dakota or falling on the roof of a building in Chicago, I doubt that it would be much of a problem. Well--maybe Lake Michigan. . . .

Don Firth

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seatt
From: Bettynh
Date: 17 May 10 - 01:23 PM

Balloons can be an eco-issue, especially in coastal cities. If they blow out to sea and turtles eat them, they'll kill the turtles. I don't know the issues in Seattle, but it's an issue in Boston.

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: reggie miles
Date: 17 May 10 - 12:22 PM

I started posting about this issue, the NW Folklife Festival vs street performers, on facebook and was surprised to learn that those offering balloons to kids on the grounds were asked to leave the event almost 10 years ago. What is it with this festival and their anti-entertainment attitude? They might as well call it the F_ _ _ life festival!

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Subject: RE: NW Folklife threatens street performers (Seattle)
From: reggie miles
Date: 17 May 10 - 12:18 PM

An interesting add on that someone made to this thread (Seattle). Was there some confusion about where this was taking place? I thought that the name of the city was mentioned several times throughout this thread. So, that there would be no doubt. Perhaps that designation should be made to each thread, to identify what part of the world, country, state, province, county, or city they originate from.

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Mudcat time: 18 January 5:09 AM EST

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