Mississippi Delta Festival Cancelled

Dick Waterman Jinxblues@aol.com
Wed Sep 1 19:59:51 EDT 2004


In a message dated 9/1/04 5:04:50 PM, deltabluz@hotmail.com writes:


> This is sad but not unexpected.
> 
> Much of the blame has to go to MACE.  Former Executive Director Ruby Buck
> embezzled funds, promoters demanded kick backs from performers, and the
> board provided very little oversight.
> 

For years this festival has been bulletproof to criticism because it is run 
by Afro Americans in the Afro American community. Any criticism of their 
methods or motives would trigger instant responses that they were racially 
motivated.

For the 18 years that I have lived in Mississippi, this festival has been the 
most ineptly run and pathetically corrupt presentation you could imagine.

It is always the third weekend in September and, year after year, you'd get 
past Labor Day Weekend and they would have no idea who was playing, Yes, 10 
days from festival and they had no talent lineup press release available and had 
placed no advertising.   Calls into the MACE office were worthless because no 
one with any answers was ever there.

This festival encouraged people to bring their own coolers with the obvious 
result that people started drinking at Noon and were pretty messed up by ten or 
eleven at night. That made the long walk from the performance area into the 
parking lots (unlit fields) often confrontational and it only takes one bad 
experience to keep someone from returning.

Don't feel bad that this poorly run festival went belly up. It collected 
plenty of government grant aid over the years and the money was squandered and 
embezzled by corrupt people.

There are excellent blues festivals in Jackson and Clarksdale and even a 
lovely little one in Leland (just a few miles away) that showcases lesser known 
local artists.

Dick Waterman
Oxford, MS
www.dickwaterman.com

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