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

reggie miles 31 May 10 - 10:40 AM
artbrooks 31 May 10 - 10:58 AM
ollaimh 02 Jun 10 - 02:28 PM
Deckman 02 Jun 10 - 02:34 PM
GUEST,mg 02 Jun 10 - 02:54 PM
reggie miles 15 Jun 10 - 08:42 PM
ollaimh 03 Jul 10 - 09:47 PM
ollaimh 24 Jul 10 - 01:41 PM
ollaimh 18 Dec 10 - 09:45 PM
reggie miles 08 Jan 11 - 12:29 AM
GUEST,Desi C 08 Jan 11 - 12:34 PM
ollaimh 08 Jan 11 - 02:15 PM
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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 - 10:58 AM

You a vet, Reggie?

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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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